Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Gospel in Luke

Continuing the series looking for 'the gospel' in the gospels. All six posts in this series here:
  1. Gospel in the Gospels - introduction and some thoughts to consider 
  2. Gospel in Matthew - verses related to the term gospel in Matthew 
  3. Gospel in Mark - verses related to the term gospel in Mark 
  4. Gospel in Luke - verses related to the term gospel in Luke 
  5. Gospel in John - verses in John that that make similar points 
  6. Gospel in the Gospels - Summary
This time considering what Luke has to say. If Luke was asked "What is the gospel?", how would he respond?

I'll try to organize some scripture snippets, and look for a gospel theme. (All taken from NIV)

Gospel = good news, and good news is a theme in the gospel of Luke.
3:16-18 John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” And with many other words John exhorted the people and proclaimed the good news to them.

2:10-11 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

4:16-21 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
7:22 So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.

8:1 [ The Parable of the Sower ] After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him,

9:6 So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.

16:16 “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing their way into it.

20:1 One day as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courts and proclaiming the good news, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him.
In fact Luke records Jesus as saying preaching the good news of the kingdom of God was the reason Jesus came to earth. 
4:43 But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.”
So we see that the good news according to Luke (and Jesus) was that of the kingdom of God.

Here are some additional references to this kingdom of God:
6:20 Looking at his disciples, he said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

7:28 I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

8:10 He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, “‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.’

9:2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

9:11 but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.

9:27 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”

9:60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

9:62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

10:9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’

10:11 ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’

11:2 He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.

11:17-20 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebul. Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.12:31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

12:32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.

13:18 [ The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast ] Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to?

13:20 Again he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to?

13:28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out.

13:29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.

14:15 [ The Parable of the Great Banquet ] When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”

17:20-21 Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

18:16-17 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

18:24-25 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

18:29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God.

19:11 [ The Parable of the Ten Minas ] While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once.

21:31 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.

22:16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”

22:18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

22:29 And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me,

22:30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

23:42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. ”

23:51 who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God.
Lets take another look at what Mary was told about Jesus by the angel:
1:30-33 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.
King of the Jews
19:38-40 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

23:3 So Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “You have said so,” Jesus replied.

23:38 There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
And many verses where Jesus is refereed to as Lord like these:

(Lord = King, I won't list them all here)
12:42 The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time?

13:15 The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water?
  • Jesus and His disciples preached the good news of the kingdom of God from town to town.
  • This is why Jesus came
  • Jesus is King, Lord, the Messiah (anointed king) the Jews were waiting for
  • But it's not the type of kingdom we are familiar with
  • Some references to the kingdom of God seem to be present tense and something to be part of now
  • Some references to the kingdom of God are future tense
  • Something about this kingdom is especially good news for the poor
  • We must have some child like quality to be part of it
What do you think the gospel was according to Luke?

Anything else stand out to you?


reformedlostboy said...

I'm really enjoying this series Jon. It reiterates much of what I have meditating on lately.

Christ is Lord and his kingdom is at hand.

This is not only the good news in the four gospels it is the subject of the entire bible. The purpose, the foretelling, and finally the culmination and coming of the kingdom of God in Christ.

Jonathan said...

Thanks! glad to hear it makes some sense. God bless!

Frank said...

I agree!
The gospel really is all about the Kingdom of God. The kingdom of God as preached by Jesus was at hand, not something we wait for when we are dead.

The kingdom is like another dimension alongside our visible world. It is a kingdom we cannot perceive with natural eyes, but with eyes of the spirit it becomes visible. With the hearing of our spirit man we can understand.

Have you noticed what Jesus said in Matt23v13
But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for YOU SHUT UP THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN AGAINST MEN: for ye neither go in [yourselves], neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

I find this concept very revealing, that the kingdom can be shut up, even to those wanting to enter.
Where? How? Who does this?

The institutional church with all its rigmarole, its dependence on its leaders, and especially its teaching that heaven is for when we die, has led to people having no concept of God's activity today. Anyone acting as if they are in communion with Heaven is likely to get locked up, or thrown out of church

Jonathan said...

Thanks Frank,

I agree Matt 23:13 is noteworthy warning, that may apply to some leaders today as well.

However, I know many people who love Jesus, yet have never been taught the good news of the kingdom of God. For the most part I assume the lack of emphasis of this teaching isn't because they want to keep people out of the kingdom, but because they are afraid it is some dangerous liberal watered down gospel (which it is not).

I pray more Christ followers would be willing to engage the gospel of the kingdom that was obviously of great importance to Jesus and His disciples.

May we keep seeking His kingdom.

Thanks for your comment!