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Another Banquet Held in Jesus’ Honor

banquet-tables

from Google Images

Earlier and near the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, Luke tells us that Matthew (Levi) held a banquet in Jesus’ honor (Luke 5:29). Now, as Jesus begins his second year of public ministry, a second banquet is held in his honor. However, considering what has gone on up to this time in Jesus’ ministry, it is with some surprise that we find that a Pharisee had invited Jesus to eat with him, and Jesus accepted his invitation (Luke 7:36). Luke tells us this man’s name is Simon, and, as it turns out, he is the only Pharisee named in the Gospel narratives! It would seem then, at least on the surface, that this account may have some importance that isn’t apparent with a cursory read of Luke’s narrative. Moreover, there are hints in the text that tell us we probably should know who this Pharisee is, besides his name being Simon.[1] Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2019 in Gospel of Luke

 

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The Authority of Jesus

authority

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Authority is a strange thing. One cannot see authority, touch it, smell it, hear it or taste it. In other words, authority is something we may know and understand, but such a thing cannot be witnessed through our five senses. Nevertheless, we know when we are in the presence of authority. A man of authority is able to move many men to act according to his will, and some men are able to move nations by the word of their power. Jesus represented Heaven, so he spoke and acted out of the authority of God. It is interesting to see, as we read the Gospel narratives, who recognizes Jesus’ authority and who does not. One may even be surprised with the fact that the very men, who were given authority over God’s people, were unwilling to recognize God’s authority over them in the person of Jesus. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2019 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Choosing the Twelve

from Google Images

from Google Images

It seems that the selection of the twelve disciples who would be called Apostles, came only after the Jewish authorities initial opposition and rejection of Jesus. I don’t mean to imply that the selection of the Apostles was an afterthought, or that Jesus was initiating plan-b, but I do believe that, before Jesus chose who his representatives would be, it had to be shown that the leaders of the nation had rejected him. Therefore, he chose the Twelve to be with him out of a larger number of disciples. These would be the ones in whom he would entrust the success of his own ministry to the nation. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2019 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Jesus and Moses

from Google Images

from Google Images

In Luke 5:33-39 Luke records Jesus making four pairs of contrasts: fasting and feasting, an old garment and new cloth, old wineskins and new wine, and old and new wine. All have to do with religious practice and how Jesus disciples relate to God, versus how this was done under the Old Covenant. Some contrast the Church and Judaism, but this isn’t enough. The heart of the matter is not simply Jewish tradition. Rather, the problem is with the Mosaic Law. Moses and Jesus are at odds in this respect, namely, that law and grace simply have no common ground. One cannot cry out for justice and forgive at the same time. Nevertheless, Jesus did not come to destroy the Law but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17)—i.e. to complete it, furnish what it lacked and pay its demands. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2019 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Jesus and the Doctors of the Law

from Google Images

from Google Images

“Your sins are forgiven!” Jesus said to the man stricken with palsy (Luke 5:20), and his words were implied in the case of Levi (Luke 5:27)—and fellowship follows forgiveness. Although the scribes and Pharisees were astonished over the true meaning of forgiveness, they understood the man stricken with palsy must be forgiven (Luke 5:26), but they couldn’t see that the publican, Levi, was forgiven. How could he be forgiven of his sins, even if he left all, if he continued to associate with those who persisted in the abuse their authority over the people (Luke 5:30)? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2019 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Jesus and the Sinner

from Google Images

from Google Images

After Jesus’ first meeting with the leaders of Judaism since the beginning of his public ministry, Luke continued to record their response to him and his claim to be the Messiah. They seem to be very attentive of Jesus’ activity, challenging his disciples about his and their willingness to keep company with publicans and sinners. When Jesus saw what was occurring and spoke for his disciples, the doctors of the Law confronted him about his public religious spirit (i.e. fasting). Yet, at each turn Jesus responded in such a manner that exposed the apparent self-righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, showing how they overlooked the weightier matters of the Law, while they made a public show of their own personal religious prowess. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2019 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Leaving the Past Behind

from Google Images

from Google Images

Just after Jesus’ first meeting with the leaders of Judaism, he embarked on a series of events that would cause these same doctors of the Law to question his methods. He seemed to make a point of contradicting everything they stood for. Whether it was the company he kept or his personal lifestyle, as it pertained to God, Jesus challenged all men to rethink what they held as true or righteous living. One day, Jesus was watching Levi, a tax collector who probably worked for Herod Antipas, but he could have been working for the Roman oppressor. Jesus said to him, “Follow Me,” and Levi left his old life with all its worldly rewards and followed Jesus (Luke 5:27-28). Did he know Jesus before his call? Was he at least aware of the miracles folks were saying Jesus had done? Luke doesn’t say, but probably Levi at least knew about Jesus. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2019 in Gospel of Luke

 

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