Lukeby Mike Raiter
Sixty-two days ago, we began our journey through Luke. Luke began his story in the Temple in Jerusalem with a faithful priest named Zechariah (Luke 1:5). Like other Jewish saints, he was waiting for the Messiah. Appropriately, the gospel ends in the same place where it began. The faithful disciples are in the Temple praising God for sending the Messiah. However, they and all Israel have had to radically rethink their understanding of the Messiah. He is a crucified and risen Saviour.
Finally, Jesus appears to the disciples. Over the past weekend, they have betrayed Him, deserted Him, denied Him, and refused to believe eyewitnesses’ testimony of His resurrection. How amazing, then, that His first words to them are a blessing, “Peace be with you” (v. 36). He can see confusion written all over their faces, and so He assures them that a ghost does not have a body and does not sit down to eat a meal with his friends. He is truly alive. His resurrection is a bodily resurrection.
To reassure them, Jesus shows them that everything that has happened was promised long ago in the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets. He now gives them, and us, a key principle in reading and understanding the Bible. The Bible is all about Jesus.
Scripture prophesied not just that the Christ would suffer, die, and rise again for our forgiveness, but that this good news would be told to everyone (vv. 46–47). These local fishermen, tradesmen and tax collectors are sent out to the ends of the earth to proclaim this gospel. What a daunting task—but they will not be alone. Jesus will clothe them with power when He sends them His Spirit (v. 49).
We who serve Jesus in the 21st century have the same commission and the same promise: preach repentance and forgiveness of sins, and in the power of the Spirit.
Jesus’ work on earth is finished. As He returns to His Father’s side, His work in heaven will begin. Appropriately, the last words of Luke’s gospel are, “praising God”. As we conclude our amazing journey, let us pause for a moment and do just that.
Although full of joy and amazement at seeing Jesus, the disciples still have doubts and fears. Why do you think this was the case? Do we experience the same conflicting emotions today? What does Jesus do to allay their doubts (vv. 39–42)?
Having spent 62 days with Luke, write down three important things that the Lord has taught you from His Word.