Diary of a Travelling Preacher Volume I and II

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Luke implies in the Prologue that he made use of sources in preparing the Gospel. The oral tradition was much more important, it should be said, than Western scholars make it. Not so among the Jews and other peoples of the East. From early childhood in their synagogue schools the men around Jesus were taught by rote long passages from the Law and the Prophets. The memories of these men became living repositories of the words and deeds of Jesus. The tradition they preserved would soon become fixed in form and content.

Mark was the first to gather many of the elements of this tradition and put them in written form as a Gospel.

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It is plain that Matthew and Luke used the greater portion of Mark in the composition of their gospels. But there is much that Matthew and Luke have in common that is not contained in Mark. Scholars have called this material the Q document. Streeter includes it among the four documents that he believed made up the bulk of the Synoptic Gospels.

But there is much in Luke that is not to be found in either Mark or Matthew. Streeter calls the greater portion of this material, found largely between and , L. Throckmorton, Jr. In a few instances he preserved intact the oral or written pericopae as he found them. Jesus was crucified in A.

At this time Mary the mother of Jesus would have been about eighty years of age, Peter perhaps sixty. The Apostle John was likely younger. There would be multitudes of people living who had seen and heard Jesus. Luke might have interviewed numbers of them. This becomes very evident early in the Gospel when Luke traces the ancestry of Jesus to Adam, the father of the human race We have seen that the descent of the Holy Spirit is one of the two great pivots upon which the story in Acts swings, the other being the work of the Holy Spirit in liberating the gospel from the chains of Judaism at the Council of Jerusalem.

Considering Luke-Acts as one, we may say that Pentecost 1s the pivot upon which the action of the entire story swings. The work of the Holy Spirit as seen in the Gospel is to be interpreted in the light of his work in Acts. Space does not permit extensive elaboration of the point, but certain strategic appearances of the Spirit should be mentioned.

And we should not overlook the very important claim of Jesus in the synagogue at Nazareth, as he stepped out on the stage of history to inaugurate his public ministry. We have seen how in his declaration at Nazareth Jesus identified his ministry with the prophecy of Isaiah.

In so doing he revealed that he had adopted the pattern of the Suffering Servant of the Lord, pictured by Isaiah, as the pattern of his messiahship. His most poignant lament was concerning the fate that awaited his people because of their rejection of him. Do this in remembrance of me. The first cup is the last cup of the Passover Feast. Luke makes frequent mention of Herod Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee, and in one passage records that Jesus called him a fox.

Only Luke records the appearance of Jesus before Herod during his trials Luke adds his own special touches to the passion story, among them the record of the charge of sedition and insurrection against Jesus , the only charge that would have any validity before the Roman procurator.

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In the eyes of Luke it was ironical that Jesus would be charged by the religious leaders with sedition and insurrection when he man whose release they asked of Pilate was Barabbas, an insurrectionist In his resurrection narrative Luke takes pains to show that the resurrection of Jesus was an historical event. It is interesting to observe how the educated physician went further than Matthew and Mark to show that the risen Jesus was an historical being, the same Jesus the disciples had companied with before his crucifixion.

He reported it as an historical event. You are witnesses of these things.

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And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city, until yon be clothed with power from on high. It is amazing how expertly Luke the Gentile linked the gospel of the universal Savior with the history of Israel!

His references to the Kingdom of God show plainly that he believed that Jesus taught that the Kingdom was a transcendent and spiritual reality present in the person and ministry of Jesus, to be realized as a force in history through the passion of Jesus. Luke took pains to show that the Kingdom was not to be reduced to an eschatological Kingdom and was not to be confused with the Parousia. This is the clear teaching of the well-known passage Having said this concerning the Kingdom, Jesus turned to the disciples to teach them concerning the Parousia of the Son of Man.

Compare Luke with Matthew To Luke the preaching and teaching of the Kingdom was highly important.

See these references: ; ; , 11, 60; the good news of the Kingdom was being preached since John the Baptist brought the era of the Law and the Prophets to a close. This same emphasis upon preaching and teaching the Kingdom is carried over into Acts, appearing significantly at the beginning and the ending of the book. The disciples were to know that the Kingdom of God was near engus in the midst of tribulations connected with the destruction of Jerusalem See the mention of the Parousia in It seems that Luke is stressing the reality of the Kingdom for the disciples as an antidote to the suffering attendant upon the tribulations they would experience.

It is that the determination of Jesus to go to Jerusalem, knowing that he would be rejected and crucified, accounts for and illuminates the character of his ministry and teaching that follows the final decision to accept the cross.

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From this point on there is emphasis upon the cost of discipleship as involving unreserved commitment to Jesus and to the demands of the Kingdom of God. Likewise the centrality of the cross in the universal gospel is emphasized. The reader will do well to study these for himself as they are indicated below.


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On prayer: Jesus is described as praying—at his baptism ; when he withdrew into the wilderness ; when he went up into the hills ; when he was alone ; at the Transfiguration ; when he was in a certain place and the disciples asked him to teach them to pray ; in the Garden of Gethsemane when he himself prayed and urged his disciples to pray ; on the cross , Jesus taught his disciples to pray , and he illustrated in three remarkable parables how men ought and ought not to pray ; On the peril of riches: ; the Parable of the Rich Fool ; making friends by the right use of money ; the Rich Man and Lazarus ; the Rich Young Man There need not have been any great lapse of time between the publication of the two parts.

Naturally the Gospel came first, but Acts was not far behind. Mark certainly must have been in circulation not later than A. He must have been a person of some influence, or prominence, to merit the mention he receives both here and in the Introduction to Acts. It is possible that Theophilus provided the funds for the publication of Luke-Acts, and that Luke dedicated his two-part work to him in gratitude for his beneficence.

It is unreasonable to suppose that Luke-Acts was meant for the eyes of Theophilus alone. The formal statement of the purpose of the Gospel is given in the Prologue The purpose to continue the story, as indicated in the Introduction to Acts, links the two parts of Luke-Acts in an overall purpose that cannot be revealed by the few words of the Prologue.

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At the same time we must reckon with the controlling ideas and emphases in both the Gospel and the Acts. John the Baptist provided the link. Luke shows that Jesus lived, taught, died and rose from the dead, as one who fulfilled prophecy as the Jewish Messiah, but more importantly, as the universal Savior of mankind. His own contributions to the gospel story in his Gospel illustrate vividly this picture of Jesus.

The first of these is the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost Acts 2. There is frequent and significant mention of the Holy Spirit in the Gospel, but from Pentecost the Holy Spirit is the universal Spirit who unremittingly projects and impels the gospel as a historical movement of universal proportions in the Roman Empire.

The story ends in Rome, not because Paul was the first to. With this purpose in mind Luke did not attempt to give a comprehensive history of the early church. Much of the history of the beginnings of Christianity will forever remain unwritten. Luke selected from the material at hand. These materials include those incidents and stories illustrating the inexorable progress of the gospel, under the explosive power of the Holy Spirit, from the confines of Judaism to the limitless stretches of the Roman Empire. The story of the great liberation is given in Acts From Pentecost to the Council of Jerusalem the story is of the steady progress of the gospel toward the realization of its inherent universalism.

From the Council to the end it is the story of how Paul took the gospel to Rome as the universal gospel. How then does the more restricted purpose of Luke fit into this overall purpose of Luke-Acts? Luke implies in the Prologue that he made use of sources in preparing the Gospel. The oral tradition was much more important, it should be said, than Western scholars make it.

Not so among the Jews and other peoples of the East. From early childhood in their synagogue schools the men around Jesus were taught by rote long passages from the Law and the Prophets. The memories of these men became living repositories of the words and deeds of Jesus.

The tradition they preserved would soon become fixed in form and content. Mark was the first to gather many of the elements of this tradition and put them in written form as a Gospel. It is plain that Matthew and Luke used the greater portion of Mark in the composition of their gospels. But there is much that Matthew and Luke have in common that is not contained in Mark. Scholars have called this material the Q document. Streeter includes it among the four documents that he believed made up the bulk of the Synoptic Gospels.

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