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October 25th, 2010

DEVOTIONS

Reading Luke’s account of Jesus’ life is quite humbling.  Luke clearly wants us to know how dependent Jesus was on prayer.

He was praying at his baptism when the Father’s voice spoke from heaven (3:21).

He prayed all night before choosing the Twelve (6:12).

He was praying just prior to Peter’s confession of him as the Christ (9:18).

He went to the mountain to pray when he was transfigured (9:28).

He prayed for Peter before his denial (22:32).

He prayed before his own suffering (22:41).

Jesus’ life of prayer led his disciples to ask him, “Lord, teach us to pray” (11:1).  He taught them what we call the Lord’s Prayer – a prayer of adoration, submission, confession, and dependence.

My efforts at prayer seem SO very feeble.

The disciples don’t get it, either, but Jesus patiently keeps teaching them, loving them, modeling for them.  He reminds them by example and teaching never to give up – keep praying (18:1).

I need that today.  How about you?

 

DAILY BIBLE READING

Oct 25: Luke 4-5
Oct 26:
Luke 6-7
Oct 27:
Luke 8-9
Oct 28:
Luke 10-11
Oct 29:
Luke 12-13
Oct 30:
Luke 14-16
Oct 31:
Luke 17-18
Nov 1:
Luke 19-20

 

NOTES ON THIS WEEK’S READINGS

·        The first sermon I ever posted on my blog when my son Philip set it up in December 2008 was a first-person recounting of the story of Luke the physician, and how he came to write his Gospel.  The sermon combines Scripture as a source with extra biblical your reading of Luke’s Gospel.  (It’s one of my favorites.)

·        I’ve often been fascinated by the fact that Paul and other “letter writers” in the New Testament don’t quote a lot from the Gospels.  At least part of the reason (though certainly not all) is that the Gospels were written after the letters, for the most part.  Luke probably wrote his Gospel in the early 60s AD, when most of Paul’s ministry was over.

·        Luke wrote his Gospel to speak to his historical context.  People were wondering why 30 years had passed since Jesus’ ascension and his promised return had not been fulfilled.  They wondered why the kingdom of God had not arrived and why many believers still suffered and lived in poverty.  Luke emphasized Jesus’ teaching about the kingdom and noted that Jesus himself spoke of its delay.  He stressed the “great reversal” in Jesus’ teaching – that the last will be first and vice versa.  He showed how Jesus taught the danger of riches and how to live contentedly.  Ultimately Jesus showed his dependence on the Father in prayer and how to live with compassion toward sinners and others often excluded or undervalued – the poor, women, children, and those who are ill.  Like other Gospel writers, Luke gave the most space and the greatest value to the story of Jesus’ trial, death, and resurrection – as the meaning of his coming into the world.

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