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Luke 1:1-24:53
Key Verse: 19:10

Thank God for blessing our Luke’s gospel study from the beginning to the end. We studied this gospel of Luke in 91 lessons. Especially, we thank God for helping us to strive for the last three months to probe into Jesus’ prayer at the Mount of Olives, his arrest, trial, crucifixion, and death, which took place about the last 12 hours of his life on earth, and his resurrection on the third day and his ascension. His death and resurrection are historical facts. Indeed, he died for our sins according to the Scriptures, was buried and was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. At this time it will be meaningful to review Jesus’ whole life and ministry in this book so that we can have a better understanding of the whole book of this gospel and each may have one word deeply.

First, Jesus is the the Son of Man who came to seek and to save. Jesus is the Son of God. When the angel Gabriel delivered God’s message to Mary concering how the virgin would have a baby, he said, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God” (1:35). When Jesus drove out the demons, they shouted, “You are the Son of God” (4:41). At the time of trial before Sanhedrin when Jesus said, “But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God,” they all asked, “Are you then the son of God?” Jesus replied, “You are right in saying I am” (22:69-70). At the human supreme court of the nation Jesus identified himself as the Son of God, even though it would cause him the death sentence.

Jesus is originally the Son of God. But he became the Son of Man, born of virgin Mary and laid in a manger. He grew up in Nazareth during his childhood and boyhood. Luke recorded what happened when Jesus, as a boy of twelve, went up to Jerusalem at the time of Passover. Although his parents left the temple to go back to Nazareth, he stayed in the temple courts with no one’s notice, for he was eager to learn from the teachers of the law, sitting among them, listening to them and asking them question. It lasted three days. He had an unquenchable desire to learn of the truth of the Scriptures. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his mother Mary expressed the parents’ anxiety in searching for him, he said, “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house (in KJV “…I must be about my Father’s business”)? (2:49). Even at this age twelve he knew his heavenly Father and was concerned about the Father’s business, definitely the business for the salvation of mankind. Coming back to Nazareth, he was obedient to his parents. He grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men. When he was about thirty years old he began his ministry, after being baptized.

The Son of Man came to seek and save what was lost. In his gospel Luke specifically described how Jesus sought and found one lost person, Simon Peter. It was in the Sea of Galilee which Luke called the Lake of Gennesaret. Simon was a fisherman, hardworking and passionate. One day despite having spent the whole night fishing, his net was empty. Humanly speaking it was not a good day, rather a tired and discouraging day. On that day Jesus approached him, speaking to him personally. When he obeyed Jesus’ word, he could make a great catch of fish. At that moment he could see the holy God in Jesus and himself as a sinner. In his sinfulness he was fearful and wanted to avoid Jesus. But Jesus embraced him and caught him with forgiveness and new life direction and hope, saying, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.” He followed Jesus faithfully until he could make a personal confession of Christ, answering, “the Christ of God” at Jesus’ question, “Who do say I am?” However, when he relied on human loyalty, he experienced a bitter failure, terribly disowning Jesus three times, though it was against his wishes. That seemed to be the end of the world to him. Yet, to God that was the moment of the breaking of his strong self in Jesus’ unchanging love. Luke described it specifically. The Lord Jesus who was at trial before the high priest looked straight at Peter when he denied Jesus the third time. Then Peter went outside and wept bitterly rememing Jesus’ words. The relation between Jesus and Peter was a lasting one.

To seek and find the lost Jesus himself traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God (8:1). Then he sent out his twelve disciples to preach the gospel (9:6). And then in Luke’s gospel, while he was on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus sent seventy-two other disciples two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go, the region of Perea, east of the Jordan River. Sending the young disciples was like sending lambs among wolves, yet he had to send them because of the plentiful harvest field (10:1-3).

On a Sabbath Jesus sought and found a crippled woman in one of the synagogues. Her human condition was that she was crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. In the synagogue she came forward at Jesus’ calling and Jesus healed her. When the synagogue ruler was indignant at this healing on a Sabbath, Jesus clearly said of the reason: to Jesus Satan had bound her for too long, for eighteen years. Jesus had to set her free from this bondage and could not delay even a single day, even though it was Sabbath. Jesus was happy to find this daughter of Abraham and set her free from Satan’s bondage.

Luke wrote in chapter 15, the parable of the lost sheep, of the lost coin and of the lost son. These consecutive three parables show God’s earnest heart to seek the lost. To God the lost means the dead; being found, being alive.

Jesus’ healing is personal. One evening when people brought to Jesus all who had varous kinds of sickness, he healed them, laying his hands on each one (4:40). However, when on his way to Jerusalem he traveled along the border between Samaria and Gailee, he healed ten lepers all at once, as they called out together in a loud voice standing a distance. Certainly to Jesus they were all lost ones, so he healed them all on his way of the holy journey to Jerusalem.

As he was making footprints toward Jerusalem, Jesus did not fail to find a man by the name of Zacchaeus. He was a chilef tax collector and wealthy. It seemed that Jesus was just passing through Jericho to go up to Jerusalem. Zacchaeus was desperate to see Jesus, but being a short man he could not among the crowd. Then he climbed a sycamore-fig tree and on that spot Jesus found him. To Jesus Zacchaues sitting on a sycamore-fig tree showed all about him, his depair, nothingness of his position and wealth, his longing for a new life, his earnestness to accept Jesus despite people’s misunderstanding criticism, etc. Jesus never misses to find such a person. Jesus was so happy to see this Zacchaeus and invited himself to Zacchaeus’ house to have fellowship with him, although until that time nobody had wanted to come to his house, the house of a sinner and though he was in his solemn step toward Jerusalem to fulfill the will of God. Jesus knew that finding him was the will of God and made a wonderful remak about this finding, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” Zacchaeus was the last one to be found before Jesus’ entering Jerusalem to finish his life there.

Finally, even on the cross Jesus found a totally hopelss peson, a dying yet repentant criminal, and saved him to his eternal kingdom.

In Luke’s gospel, the words “Savior,” “salvation,” and variations of “save” appear 18 times, more than in any other book of the New Testament (1:47,69,71,77; 2:11,30; 3:6; 6:9; 7:50; 8:12; 9:24; 13:23; 18:26; 19:9-10; 23:35,37,39). Particularly, in the song of Zechariah Jesus is depicted as a horn of salvation (1:69) before hs brith. At the time of Jesus’ birth, an angel of the Lord proclaimed to the shepherds in the field, “Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you…” (2:11). When Simeon saw the baby Jesus, he took him in his arms and praised God, saying, “…my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people” (2:30-31). When John came and preached a baptism of repentance, Luke quoted the words of Isaiah, “all mankind will see God’s salvation” (3:6). As he made his way to Jerusalem, someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” he said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to” (13:23). When Jesus talked about the difficulty of the rich entering the kingdom of God, saying, “It is easier for a carmel to go through he eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”, those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God” (18:23-25). As we mentioned above, after finding Zacchaeus, Jesus said, “Today salvation has come to this house, beucase this man, too, is a son of Abhram. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost” (19:9-10). While he was hanging on the cross, the rulers sneered at him and said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen one” (23:25). The soldiers came up and mocked him and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself” (23:36-37). One of the criminals who hung there on a cross hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But Jesus did not save himself but died on the cross calling out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” Thus through his atoning sacrifice of himself he brought salvation to mankind. This salvation is through the forgiveness of sins. The life of the Son of Man was, from the manger to the cross, to seek and save what was lost.

Then what kind of attitude should we have toward the Son of Man who came to seek and to save? Althoug Jesus came to seek and to save, many were far from this blessing of God. Especially the Pharisees were out of this blessing because they were critical and self-righteousness. Jesus said about them, “John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners”’” (7:33-34). They were critical both at John the Baptist and Jesus. When Jesus drove out a mute demon from a man and made him speak, the crowd was amazed. But the Pharisees insulted him and devaluated his work, saying, “By Beelzebub, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons” (7:15). On another time he said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight” (16:15). Those who live before men for people’s recognition and self-justification cannot come to the Son of Man for his blessing. Jesus told the parable of a Pharisee and a tax-collector to some who were confident of their own self rightouesnss and looked down on everybody else. In the parable the Pharisee stood up at the temple and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ Then Jesus said, “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God.” Jesus came to seek and to save those who come to God with a humble broken heart. This is Jesus’ conclusion, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” These words of Jesus are repeated in Luke’s gospel (14:11; 18:14). The humble are the object of Jesus’ seeking and saving.

Jesus’ healing of ten lepers was mentioned above and we thought of Jeus’s broken heart to seek the lost. Yet, Luke’s writing this story has a deeper intention. The whole story is that after the healing one man came back, praising God in a loud voice and thanked Jesus, throwing himself at Jesus’ feet, and he was a Samaritan. At this Jesus askd a poignant question, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” This story tells us that sinful human beings are ungrateful even at such an amazing grace of God and how much we need to struggle to keep a thankful heart and be thankful people.

And Jesus told his disciples about a servant who worked hard for his master. Then he said to them, “So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty’” (17:10).

Humbleness, thankfulness and unworthiness are the very attitude we should have toward the Son of Man who came to seek and to save what was lost.

Second, Jesus is the Lord. At the time of Jesus’ birth an angel of the Lord proclaimed, “Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” (2:11). The Lord Jesus had power over all sicknesses and demons. The Lord Jesus was in control over all the fish and let Simon Peter catch a large number of fish when he obeyed Jesus’ command. On one occasion Jesus said, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” (6:5). The Lord Jesus healed a sick servant of a centurion with just a word from a distance, without even contacting the sick one (7:7). When a squall came down on the lake of Galilee, he rebuked the wind and the raging waters and calmed the storm (7:24-25). He is the Lord of the natural world as well as of the spiritual world. The Lord Jesus raised a dead young man from a coffin, saying, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” (7:14). Another time he raised a dead young girl, 12 years old, saying, “My child, get up!” (8:54). He is the Lord of life and death. When he sent two of his disciples to bring someone’s colt for his entry into Jerusalem, he said to them, “If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying the colt?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs it.’” When the two disciples obeyed the instruction, they could experience the lordship of Jesus (19:31-34). Also, when Jesus and his disciples had to prepare for the Passover, which would be the Last Super, Jesus gave the similar kind of instruction to Peter and John, telling them that a large funished upper room in someone’s house would be prepared. When they followed Jesus’ instruction, things happened just as Jesus had told them (22:13). Finally the Lord has risen from the dead (24:6,34). And he was taken up into heaven (24:51).

At the time of Jesus’ trial before the Council of Sanhedrin, Jesus clearly testified about himself, saying, “From now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God” (23:69). Now the Lord Jesus is at the right hand of the mighty God, as David declared in Psalm 110:1, “The LORD said to my lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet’” (Lk 20:42). In Luke’s gospel Jesus said of his coming again repeatedly (9:26; 12:40; 17:24; 18:8; 21:27). Particulary he said in 12:40, “You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him”, in 17:24, “The Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other” and in 21:27, “At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” This Lord Jesus will come again. At his coming our salvation and redemption will be completed (21:28). He saves us to eternity beyong this world. He is our Lord and King forever. He is to be obeyed. His last command in Luke’s gospel is “repentance and forgiveness will be preached in his name to all nations…” (24:46). His kingdom will be establish on earth as he taught his discples to pray, “…your kingdom come…” (11:2). And he is the Judge of all.

We thank and praise God for Jesus, the Son of Man and Lord. He came to seek and to save what was lost. May we be humble and thankful in his unfathomable grace, and be obedient to him in life, participating in his work of seeking and saving as we waiting for the Lord’s returning.

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