Mark 1:1; Luke 1:1-4; John 1:1-18; Matthew 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38; Luke 1:5-38
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Today we begin the New Testament!! I'll highlight each of the 4 Gospels overviews these next 3 days, starting with Luke today.
Place: Perhaps Caesarea
Date: A.D. 60-65
Content: Luke was a physician and a traveling companion of the Apostle Paul. He wrote his Gospel for a cultured Greek named Theophilus in order to show the true humanity of Jesus and his place in history. For this reason Luke was careful to examine all the evidence very carefully and give precise dates for the events that took place. He begins with an account of Jesus' virgin birth, giving many details not found elsewhere. Jesus' Galilean ministry is described, followed by a lengthy account of Jesus' trip to Jerusalem. After Jesus' death and resurrection, the disciples are left rejoicing, waiting for the promised power of God from heaven to fill them.
Theme: Whereas Matthew shows Jesus to be the Jewish Messiah and Mark shows Jesus as the servant of God, Luke depicts Jesus as the perfect God-man whose genealogy may be traced back to Adam. Jesus is the greatest man in history and is placed within the flow of world events by Luke. He is the greatest man because of what he taught, what he did, why he died – and because he rose again from the dead. For this reason we ought to accept him as our Lord. (Above commentary is from Tyndale Publishers "The One Year Bible Companion" p. 22) More commentary on the Gospel of Luke is at this link. Below is "Saint Luke" from an illuminated manuscript, circa 1130:
You'll notice that Luke's genealogy in chapter 3 today is different from the genealogy in Matthew chapter 1 in a couple of ways: 1. Matthew starts with Abraham and goes to Jesus & Luke starts with Jesus and goes all the way back to Adam. This was done by Luke to show Jesus' relationship to the entire human race. Matthew focused more on Jesus' relationship with the Jews by going back to Abraham. 2. Matthew traces Jesus legal genealogy through his father Joseph back to Solomon son of David, while Luke traces Jesus bloodline through his mother Mary back to Nathan son of David. This is an interesting slight distinction. Line up Luke & Matthew's genealogies and you'll see the differences in the names between David & Jesus. Below is an image of Luke's genealogy of Jesus, from the Book of Kells transcribed by Celtic monks circa 800:
Bible.org's commentary on the genealogy of Jesus is at this link.
In today's Matthew readings, we read the genealogy of Jesus. I know that genealogy's can sometimes seem a bit boring to read, but this one in Matthew is phenomenal! If you just finished reading the One Year Bible this past year, you will recognize many of these names. Or - let me encourage you to come back and read this genealogy again on January 1st of next year, if you are going through the entire Bible for your first time this year. This genealogy will amaze you. One of the interesting things to note in this genealogy is the mention of 5 women - Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary. It was not the norm in the 1st century to list women in genealogies - only men were typically listed. At least 3 of these women were Gentiles (not Jewish) - Tamara, Rahab, and Ruth. Matthew was potentially trying to indicate to his Jewish readers that God's work in this world is not limited to the people of Israel - nor was God's work limited to men. The genealogy in Matthew is sometimes illustrated by a "Jesse Tree" showing the lineage of Jesus from Jesse, father of King David:
Today in John Chapter 1 verse 14 we read – “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Do you believe that Jesus is the Word John is referring to? What does this mean to you that the Word became flesh? Do you believe that Jesus was born into this world both fully divine and fully human (yet sinless)? Why would God send Jesus, full of light, grace and truth into the world? Why was this necessary?
Today in John Chapter 1 verses 10 & 11 we read – “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.” Do you believe that the world was made through Jesus? Do you believe the world is Jesus’ own? Have you ever gone through periods in your life where you have not recognized Jesus for who he truly is? ( I know that I have) Have you gone through periods of your life where Jesus has come to you and you did not receive him? ( Again, I know that I have) As you read through the Gospel of John this year will you prayerfully read it? Will you ask God to reveal to you through John’s Gospel who Jesus really is? And will you ask God to make Jesus more known to you this year than ever before? Do you believe this is possible – for you to know Jesus more this year than in your prior years? Do you believe the Gospel of John and prayer can help you to truly know Jesus more?
Bible.org's commentary on our readings in John today titled "What Child is This?" is at this link.
Worship God: Today's genealogies reminded me of "Matthew's Begats" by Andrew Peterson: (thanks Beth T!)
Do you know our God of genealogies? Click here to meet Him!
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!