The Gospels According to Luke
Gospel of Luke
There are things that Jesus said which are unique only to Luke and it would also be appropriate to examine this Gospel and explore Jesus’ Words therein and perhaps arrive at many a solution to some of our questions. There are many aspects which are similar to that of Matthew and which perhaps has already been covered, so we will limit ourselves to those aspects that have not previously been covered.
Luke 1:31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
We must realise that only in Matthew do we find an attempt to fuse the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 “…Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel…” with the one given here by the Angel Gabriel. At the time of Jesus there was a heightened expectation of the fulfilment of all the prophecies and this expectation must have led Matthew to try and fuse these prophecies into one without even realising that the names given were different. Isaiah prophesied Imanuel but the Angel Gabriel prophesied Jesus. These are very different prophecies. They require very different fulfilments and circumstances.
Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,…”
Jesus here we must realise was not referring to earthly captivity and bondage as indeed most people and most Israelites at that time understood it. He was referring to spiritual bondage. The spiritual always came first with Jesus as indeed we could glean from His attitude throughout His ministry.
If the people were spiritually free, then earthly freedom would come of its own accord. Most people, however, did not understand this and they saw only the earthly suffering and when they saw that Jesus was apparently not going to do anything for their earthly bondage, they refused to listen to Him. He did not fulfil their expectations of Messiah.
We must remember that these people of their own accord had built up a picture of the kind of Messiah they wanted. He had to correspond exactly to their wishes. The Will of God mattered not in this. They would stipulate conditions and demands on God for the Messiah that He was to send to His creatures. Human arrogance can indeed achieve much.
It was this non-fulfilment of the expectations of so many people that led to the hostility and rejection that He experienced. Especially as He showed so much Power in other directions (in His miracles and so on). They felt that He could if He wanted to use His Power to destroy the Roman legions and set them free.
What, however, Jesus wanted to teach them was to show them how to look into themselves to discover their faults and to reflect on how they came to be in the position of subjugation which they found themselves in. The path towards self-recognition was where Jesus was leading them. This would in the end allow them for all time to avoid sin and in the end avoid the kind of wrong doing that led them on to slavery and earthly oppression in the first place.
Luke 13:1-5 There were some present at that very time who told him of the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. (2) And he answered them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered thus? (3) I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen upon whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who dwelt in Jerusalem? (5) I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
God speaks to His creatures through events. These events are meant as a warning so that we might change our ways in time before the same terrible fate that we see others go through also overtake us. The other human beings who are going through a terrible fate are not worse off than the rest of humanity, it is only that the time has come for them to receive back the consequences of the deeds that they had put into Creation.
There is always a cycle of the sowing, germinating, maturation, ripening and reaping of all the seeds in this Creation whether these are the material earthly seeds of maize or rice or the spiritual seeds of our thoughts and deeds. The same Laws of Creation guide these activities.
When the cycle closes for every event then the perpetrators must indeed reap the consequences of their deeds. These consequences roll back and one cycle after another is closed in this way. It is therefore inevitable that one day the time will come for us to reap the consequences of our own deeds.
What therefore we see our neighbours go through will one day be the fate that we will have to bear if we do not learn to change in time. We are indeed meant to open our eyes and change ourselves in time for the better. We are meant to realise through the sufferings that our neighbours are going through that indeed the Laws of this Creation are not mocked. But of course, we dance away the opportunity. We allow ourselves to be comforted too easily. We fail to ask the great questions. As Jesus mentioned here, we are no better than those who suffer these horrible fates and if we do not learn to change ourselves for the better in time, we will definitely reap the same fate, if not worse.
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