The Christian New Testament includes four rather lengthy texts, called the Gospels. All of them are peculiar biographies of Jesus Christ. But at the same time, being sacred texts, they are at the same time theological treatises, revealing in a theological perspective, the person and mission of Jesus. This property of theirs leads to the need to compile comprehensive comments, which with varying success have been written by exegetes for almost two thousand years. Below we will go through the content, as well as give a brief interpretation of the gospel of Luke.
About Luke's Gospel
Luke's Gospel: content
The content of this gospel can be represented as follows:
- Preparing Jesus for the ministry.
- Sermon in Galilee.
- Go to Jerusalem.
- Sermon in Jerusalem.
- Suffering, death and resurrection.
- The appearing of Christ after the resurrection and ascension.
Prologue of the Gospel of Luke
12-year-old Jesus and the Jewish sages
Jesus, according to the gospel of Luke, from his very childhood was distinguished by extraordinary wisdom and knowledge. This episode, for example, tells of how the family of Christ went from her native Nazareth to Jerusalem for a holiday. When the celebration came to an end, all the relatives went back, but the parents of Jesus — Mary and Joseph — did not miss the boy, thinking that he was with other relatives. However, when three days passed, it became clear that Jesus was forgotten in the capital. After returning for him, his parents found him in the Temple, where he communicated with scribes and wise men, admiring and amazing them with his not that adult, but even inhuman wisdom. At the same time, Jesus called God his father, which was not typical of Judaism of that time.
Preparing Jesus for the Ministry
The gospel of Luke recounts in some detail how Christ was preparing for its entry into the public service. It is preceded by a story about John the Baptist preaching, which he had, in accordance with the first chapters of the monument relative. By this time the grown-up John became a hermit, preaching in the wilderness and practicing the solemn rite of repentance of sins through the washing in the waters of the Jordan river. Through this ritual took place and the Christ. According to the gospel narrative when Jesus came out of the water, descended upon him like a bird the Holy Spirit, and from heaven the divine voice proclaimed that Jesus was God's son. Further the act of baptism follows the genealogy of Christ. The gospel of Matthew and Luke are two of the only text which has preserved for us the genealogy of the Savior. However, they differ significantly. Bright theological bias, traceable in these generic lists, makes them more of a theological commentary to the life of Christ than his reliable genealogical data. Unlike Matthew, the family tree of Jesus which goes back to Abraham, Luke goes even further and goes right up to Adam, after which indicates that Jesus is the Son of God.
Sermon in galilee
The ministry of Christ in Galilee is the next important period in the life of Jesus, about which the gospel of Luke relates. Chapter 4 opens this section with a story about the rejection of the Messianic claims of Christ by his compatriots - the people of Nazareth. After this incident, the Savior goes to Capernaum and preaches there, as well as in the vicinity of Lake Tiberias. Several significant events take place here. Luke's Gospel begins the story of this period with the miracle of exorcism. This episode generally opens a series of miracles attributed to the gospel tradition of Jesus Christ. In this monument, there are only twenty-one. Those of them that were committed in Capernaum are summarized by the statement that all the people followed him. Among these people were the first disciples of the Savior, who later became apostles. This is one of the differences of this gospel from others in terms of chronology of events. According to the text of the Gospels of Mark and Matthew, the vocation of the apostles preceded the wonders of Capernaum.
Going to Jerusalem
About ten chapters are devoted to the transition of Jesus to Jerusalem and the ministry within it. This is a fundamentally new section in the text, and is preceded by its own introduction. Jesus, according to the gospel of Luke, realizes that he is not just preaching and performing miracles, but in order to accept death for the atonement of the sins of the whole world. This is one of the basic Christian doctrines very clearly reflected in the nature of the actions and words of the image of Jesus, which is characteristic of this gospel.
Especially here it is worth noting the pamphlet, which tells how on the way to Jerusalem Christ was met with hostility in the Samaritan settlement. This creates a striking contrast with the narration of the Gospel of John, where, on the contrary, Jesus is met in Samaria very cordially and even is recognized as the Messiah in droves. This story is also not devoid of theological and ethical content. In response to the rejection of Christ by the Samaritans, two of his closest apostles, John and James, offer no less than to bring down the fire in heaven in the image of Elijah and incinerate the city. Christ responds to this initiative with a categorical refusal, reproaching his disciples for not knowing the spirit to which they belong. This is followed by three dialogues of Christ with various people who are willing to follow him. In them, or rather, in the responses of Jesus to these wishes, all the absoluteness and height of the requirements for the Savior’s disciples are revealed. The role of these dialogues in the gospel is to demonstrate the ethical perfection of Christian doctrine. This comparison is offered in two perspectives - the pagan world perception and Jewish religious law, which appear to be flawed in front of what Jesus offers and preaches.
The return of the disciples from the missionary campaign ends with the solemn handing over to them by Christ of a special mystical power to cast out demons and perform miracles. This is interpreted as the fall of the kingdom of Satan under the onslaught of divine power.
This is followed by a very important place in the gospel in terms of the ethical content of the gospel of Jesus, which tells about a scholarly scribe, a Jewish sage, who came to Christ to tempt him. He does this by asking about the most important commandment. However, the answer of Jesus that the whole law and the prophets consist in a single commandment of love for God and neighbors, delights the scribe. Following this, he clarifies who is to be considered neighbor. Here, as it is in the spirit of the gospel of Luke, Christ tells the parable of the merciful Samaritan, which illustrates that all people are meant by neighbors, without exception.
Sermon in jerusalem
The service in the capital of Judea and the religious center of the Jewish world – this is a very brief period in the life of Christ, but, nevertheless, extremely important. The night Jesus spends in the nearby villages – Bethany and Vitaliy. And the day he is focused in the vicinity of the temple of Jerusalem. As in the other Gospels, the first entry into Jerusalem painted solemnity and significantly ritualized. It is described in such tones, in order to present this event as the fulfillment of some ot prophecies that the Messiah will come as king in the Holy city riding a donkey.
Then follows the story of the cleansing of the Temple from the merchants. The same story is also found in other texts, for example, in Mark. However, here Luke again changes the chronology of events, attributing purification to the day of the entrance to Jerusalem, and not the day after that. After this, Christ daily begins to teach the people. And people listen to him en masse and at least recognize him as a prophet, as reported by the gospel of Luke. The sermons of Christ are reduced mainly to the fact that the Jewish religious authorities of his day usurped the authority of the priesthood, but by their actions do not serve God. The second important motive in his teachings is his own messianic role. Jesus does not speak directly about her, but provokes his listeners to accept this fact. The Pharisees and the color of Jewish society, being convicted, plot to kill Jesus. However, they are hampered by the huge popularity of Jesus among the people, so they develop a cunning plan.
A very important block, the following, narrates about the preaching of Christ about the end of the world. Its outline also includes predictions about the end of the Jewish kingdom and the destruction of the Temple.
Suffering, death and resurrection
The immediate story of suffering is preceded by an important episode in which Christ, in the circle of his closest disciples, performs a ritual meal, called the Last Supper. In theory, it is a festive Easter meal. Its symbolism is deep enough, since the role of Christ correlates with the role of the sacrificial lamb, which is prepared and eaten on this holiday. In addition, Jesus teaches disciples bread and wine, which symbolize his own body and blood. Theologically, all this is interpreted as the establishment of the sacrament of the Eucharist. After the meal, the holy gospel of Luke tells the story of how the disciples go with Jesus to the Mount of Olives, where the arrest is made, and Christ is brought to court. Without dwelling in detail on the details of these events, we note that their interpretation again correlates with the prophecies of the Old Testament about the suffering righteous man. Thus, the sufferings and death of Jesus are not meaningless - he is serving a sentence for the sins of the whole world, thanks to which everyone can be saved from the kingdom of Satan in the future.
As a result of the Roman and Jewish courts, Jesus is found guilty and sentenced to crucifixion. However, strangely enough, the judges themselves pass this verdict by force. Pilate, Herod, and even the Roman soldier, who pierced Christ with a spear, acknowledged that he was innocent and is a righteous man before God.
Apparitions of Christ after the Resurrection and Ascension
The story of the resurrection of Christ from the dead and his apparitions to his disciples is the most important thing in the gospel story. Here it is not even a matter of new ethics, but of soteriology — the ontological salvation of mankind, which is made possible through this very resurrection. Therefore, Christian Easter is the most important church holiday. It is this event that gives meaning to the phenomenon of Christianity and is the basis of religious practice.