Throughout journeying to read the Gospels ever since a month ago, it has been a really fun and exciting time, being able to dig deeper and really understand why the Gospels are written in that state. I love the essence every author brought out with the theme they had in mind to portray to the different targeted masses. For this particular post, the focal point shall be centered towards the one of the synoptic Gospels - the Gospel of Luke (since my mind is still extremely fresh about this and I really love it to bits! And I do hope that anyone will correct me if there is any wrong contents with regards to this post – still a fresh learner here.)
Firstly, I would like to state that I really do appreciate the painstaking efforts Luke, the physician, took to collate the whole Gospel through interviews with different eye-witnesses and people who had followed Jesus closely. I think if it was me, I don't know if I would be able to sustain and compile a whole lot of records into a full reliable summary of Jesus's ministry here on earth (talk about writing a book some more lol fail).
Zooming into the theme of Luke's book, being centered to portray Jesus as the rejected Prophet. The first hints of the theme as Jesus the Prophet can be found in the genealogy (Luke 3:23-28), as seen from being different from the genealogy in Matthew's Gospel, given that the line after King David was not King Solomon, but the prophet Nathan. In the whole account, Luke portrays Jesus being born as a prophet, performing miracles as a prophet, and dying as a prophet.
Even in the last traces of his book, the theme of Jesus as a prophet was clearly notable. Seen in the reply that Cleopas made to Jesus on the road to Emmaus.
Luke 24:17-20 (NRSV) - And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” He asked them, “What things?” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him.
And in the Old Testament, the prophet that Moses was talking about was Jesus.
Deuteronomy 18:15, 18-19 (NIV) – The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him. I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name.
As I was thinking about the theme, I thought to myself – I had recognized Jesus as Lord, Saviour, King, etc. But talking about Jesus as the Prophet whom Moses spoke about has been a quite vague picture for me to look at and consider. I really began to appreciate Luke's portrayal of Jesus as the Prophet, dying as an innocent prophet, drawing forth repentance – an expansive content with I'll continue next time.
Moving on to mention another notable emphasis that Luke has portrayed, which I really love: the Holy Spirit [work]. It was first clearly seen in the introduction of the book of Luke, with different ones, namely Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary, etc. Also evident in his continuation book, the Book of Acts, there was an elegant depiction of the day of Pentecost, the first mass scale move of the Holy Spirit, leading to the birth of the church. As I read the Gospel, I felt the love, honor and significance of the Holy Spirit being in my life brought to a whole new level, and I'm extremely thankful for the work of the Holy Spirit being evident even in the times of today.
Lastly, I end off with something that stayed with me throughout the time I read the whole Gospel: the prayer life of Jesus. I've noticed much that Luke records Jesus moving to the solitary to pray before He begins His ministry, as well as in the night watch before the Twelve were chosen. This left me honestly marveled initially, because I thought to myself– why Jesus would retreat in prayer since He knew the will of the Father and should know what to do in different junctures? And as I was pondering about this, and at the same time reflecting on my prayer life, this came to me in spontaneous revelation:
“When Jesus interceded and prayed, oneness was built between Him and the Father as He tap into the heavenly realm. Instead of the normal prayers like what you and I would normally pray, like, “God, help me”, having those “I” centered prayers, Jesus's prayers were different. He was praying the Father's heart and perspective.”
This, maybe, could be the answer to intercession. Sometimes I would honestly question God, “God, I don't know them, so how and on what basis should I pray for”. But in intercession, it's not, “If I know them, I would pray”; it's “even if I don't know them, God knows, so I would pray”. That's when I would begin to pray the Father heart of God - a complete side note here that I decided to throw in.
I hope that whatever that I've typed here today has blessed you who are reading this today – it indeed blessed me a lot, and I really thank God that He loves spending time with you and I. It's my prayer that your journey with God will continue to be enriched in great abundance as you continue to spend time with Jesus and know who He is. Together, let's have fun! (Apologies for a lengthy post too – I don't think I can ever get out of this lengthy mode while typing). :)