Posts Tagged ‘Luke’

Christmas, Pt. 4

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, Which is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:10-11

As we once again enter the Christmas season, I would like to spend the next several days looking at these two verses, which I believe give us the best summary in the entire Bible of just what Christmas is all about.

We have looked at the fact that it was an angel who brought these great tidings to the shepherds.  We have also seen that the first thing they said to the shepherds was to “Fear not…”  These were not tidings of fear, but “good tidings of great joy…”  It is the “great joy” that we will look at today.

The whole ministry of Jesus Christ brought joy to people.  Think of the people who were healed of various diseases.  Think of the blind who were made to see and the deaf who were made to hear.  Think of those possessed by devils who saw their lives restored to peace and sanity.  Think of those who had loved ones who had died and saw them brought back to life.  All of those people doubtless had “great joy” after meeting Jesus.

But even more important than great joy over some physical benefit was the great joy experienced over meeting the Saviour.  These people found the One Who could forgive their sins and give them a true “great joy” coming from their hearts.  That is the kind of “great joy” that we have found in coming to Christ.  Romans 5:11 tells us “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”  It is through Jesus that we have truly have great joy.  The angel announced it many years ago, and we are still receiving it today.

Christmas, Pt. 3

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, Which is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:10-11

As we once again enter the Christmas season, I would like to spend the next several days looking at these two verses, which I believe give us the best summary in the entire Bible of just what Christmas is all about.

After telling the shepherds to “Fear not…”, the angel went on to say “I bring you good tidings of great joy…”  The shepherds were coming with good tidings.  They weren’t coming with a message of judgment and chastisement.  Those messages would come, and we have them written down for us in the Bible.  But on this day, it would be “good tidings of great joy.”  The sinless Son of God was coming to die for the sins of the world.  He was coming to be a Saviour for all of mankind.

Proverbs 25:25 says “As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.”  In this case, the “far country” could be thought of as Heaven.  That is where the angel came from and that is where the Lord Jesus came from.  This was indeed going to be “good news from a far country.”

The word “gospel” means “good news.”  We have the gospel.  We know the gospel.  We have the same “glad tidings” that the angel was speaking of.  Romans 10:15 speaks of those who know this gospel and who tell others about it:  “And how shall they preach, except they be sent?  as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”

Let us, in this Christmas season, be thankful that we have received these “good tidings!”

Christmas, Pt. 2

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, Which is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:10-11

As we once again enter the Christmas season, I would like to spend the next several days looking at these two verses, which I believe give us the best summary in the entire Bible of just what Christmas is all about.

We looked yesterday at the fact that it was the angel who brought the news of this newborn King to the Earth.  Today, we will start to look at the message that the angel brought.  “Fear not…”  The first thing that the angel said was to “Fear not…”  No doubt these shepherds, being confronted with a talking angel and the glory of the Lord shining about them, were afraid.  But the angel told them not to fear.

Fear has been with us as long as man has lived.  All of us, at one time or another, have known fear.  As we look at the world around us, we can see plenty of things that would give us cause for fear.  But Jesus did not come to scare us; He came to save us.  John 10:10 tells us “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

Jesus came to conquer fear.  He came to give us forgiveness, salvation and hope.  When we come to Jesus, we often come in fear, but He always gives us comfort and has whispered “Fear not” to many people throughout the years.  The first thing the angel said was “Fear not…”  We would be wise to listen.

Christmas, Pt. 1

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, Which is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:10-11

As we once again enter the Christmas season, I would like to spend the next several days looking at these two verses, which I believe give us the best summary in the entire Bible of just what Christmas is all about.

“And the angel said unto them…”  The first thing we notice about these verses is that the whole proclamation was given by “the angel.”  This was not going to be anything normal.  Billions of babies have been born on this Earth, and very few of them have had angels announce their birth.  This was going to be a miraculous birth of a miraculous Saviour.

This was not a birth to be announced in the local newspaper.  This would be a birth announced by Heavenly beings.  The great Christmas song “Hark, The Herald Angels Sing” tells of the message that this angel was bringing.  This was not just another birth.  This was the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who would be the Saviour of the world.

He did not come from natural means.  He came from Heavenly means.  He did not come from earth.  He came from Heaven.  Everything about Him was supernatural, from His birth to His death and resurrection.  His entire life was supernatural, so what other way could there have been to announce the birth of this baby boy?  The angels from Heaven announced it.

Just Be Nice to People, Part VI

Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.  Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.  Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.  Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.  Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.

Proverbs 3:27-31

And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

Luke 6:31

This passage in Proverbs tells us to be nice to people.  It tells us to treat people fairly.  It tells us not to strive with others, especially those that we deal with on a daily basis and those who have done us no wrong.

This verse in Luke chapter 6 gives us the same general idea: be nice to people.  Treat them in the same way that you would like them to treat you.  Some people have called this the Golden Rule – for good reason.  This is the greatest rule that there is.  Treat others the way you want to be treated.  It sounds simple, and it is.

Everybody knows the Golden Rule.  Everybody has heard the saying “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  But not everybody uses the Golden Rule.  Definitely not everybody practices the Golden Rule.  If we would live by rule, and everyone else lived by this rule, imagine what a great place the world would be.  Imagine how friendly and helpful everyone would be if they all lived by this simple rule.

How are we doing today?  Are we living the Golden Rule?  Are we doing to others what we want them to do to us?  I think we can all try to do a little better.

Favorite Verses: Luke 2:14

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Luke 2:14

I like Christmas so much that I had to include another verse from the Christmas story in my list of favorite verses.  “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

That verse might not make a lot of sense to some people.  Some would look around and say that there is very little peace on earth and that there is very little good will toward men.  God is also not often glorified, either.  But when we look more closely at this verse, we can see that it is just as true today as it was when it was spoken by the angel two thousand years ago.

There may not be a lot of peace on earth between nations or even between individuals, we can know peace on this earth.  We can, through this Saviour, have peace in our hearts and peace with God.  Romans 5:1 tells us “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  We can have peace and, only through the finished word of Jesus Christ, there can be (and is) peace on earth.

There might not be a lot of good will toward men, but there was no greater show of good will toward men than that which was shown to men by God on the cross.  And, today, there is no greater show of good will toward men than a Christian sharing the message of the Gospel with another.

And, as Christians, we can glorify God every day.  Truly, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

I will be away from the computer for a couple of weeks.  Feel free to comment, and I will respond when I get back.  Thanks for reading and commenting and God bless!

Favorite Verses: Luke 2:11

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. 

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:8-11

No list of my favorite verses would be complete without my favorite verse from the Christmas story in Luke 2.  “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”  It might not be Christmas season on the calendar right now, but it can be Christmas in our hearts every day of the year and this verse tells us what it’s all about.

The baby in the manger is good to think about, but the reason for His coming was to save us from our sins.  Unto us was born “a Saviour.”  It has been said that we didn’t need a teacher, a physician, or a friend (though He is clearly all of those things).  We needed a Saviour.  And that is what He sent.

Every year in December, we celebrate the coming of this Saviour to Earth, but we shouldn’t confine our celebration to one day, one month, or even one season of the year.  We should celebrate the fact that we have a Saviour every day of every month of every year that we live.

I will be away from the computer for a couple of weeks.  Feel free to comment, and I will respond when I get back.  Thanks for reading and commenting and God bless!

The Gospel

Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  And ye are witnesses of these things.

Luke 24:45-48

When Jesus opened the understand of the disciples, there were a few key things He told them.  “… it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in him name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”  What He told them is basically what we now call “the Gospel.”

Jesus suffered, died, was buried, rose from the dead the third day.  That is the essence of the gospel.

He then talked to them about the reason for the gospel: “…repentance and remission of sins.”  Those things were the things that were going to be “preached in his name among all nations.”  They were going to start at Jerusalem, and spread to all the nations of the Earth.  It has come to my nation and it has come to my heart.  The reason for the death, burial and resurrection is so that we might have remission of sins.  Through the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ on the cross, we can have our sins forgiven.

As Jesus told the disciples, “And ye are witnesses of these things.”  Jesus told the disciples about the gospel and He told them that they were witnesses “of these things.”  If we have seen these things, we also are witnesses of them.  The same gospel that Jesus spoke of to the disciples is the gospel that saved us.  The same commission He gave the disciples, He gave it to us too.  We have an incredible responsibility.  How are we fulfilling it?

Results of Seeing God

And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.  And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.  And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God.  Amen.

Luke 24:50-53

After seeing the risen Lord Jesus and talking and fellowshipping with Him, the disciples went with Him “as far as to Bethany,” where He ascended into Heaven.  After being with Him, seeing and hearing Him, and walking with Him, they were on top of the mountain, so to speak.

After He left them, going back to Heaven, they “returned to Jerusalem with great joy: And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God.”  After they had been with the Lord, they worshipped Him.  They went lived “with great joy.”  That is what being close to the Lord will do for us: it will cause us to worship Him and will bring us great joy.

After they got back to Jerusalem, they “were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God.”  They went to church and praised and blessed God.  Again, when we have been with the Lord, we will want to be in church and we will want to be praising and blessing Him.

There are certain things that we will want to do when we have been with the Lord.  When we have walked closely with the Lord, we are going to act a certain way.  We are going to have the same reaction as these disciples.  We can tell if we have been close to Jesus by the way we act.  Are we worshipping Him?  Is our life characterized by joy?  Are we in church?  Are we praising and blessing God?  If we are, then we can know that we have been walking with the Lord.

Opening Our Understanding

And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.  Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

Luke 24:44-45

When Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to His disciples, they were “terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.”  They had seen Jesus nailed to the cross and crucified.  They had watched Him die.  And now, all of a sudden, there He was in the middle of them, talking to them.  That would probably scare just about anybody.

After getting over their initial shock, He reminded them of words that He had given them when He was with them.  He reminded them of all of the things written about Him in the Old Testament – in the law, the Psalms and the prophets.  He had told them of all of these things before.  He had shown them the prophecies and had tried to explain to them exactly what would happen.  But they had not understood it before then.

“Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.”  That is the key to anybody understanding the Scriptures.  In order to understand anything in the Bible, our spiritual eyes have to be opened by the Lord.  As it says in I Corinthians 1:18, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”  The key to understanding the Scripture is having the One who wrote it explain it to you.

When we come across a passage we don’t understand, let us pray that He would open our understanding of it.  There are some passages that we might not need to understand.  But the one Who authored the Book can and will open our understanding if we will allow Him to.