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Posts tagged ‘Gospel of Luke’

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:15-20 – Shepherds Find the Infant Christ

Luke 2:15-20 – Shepherds Find the Infant Christ

LK2:15 Now when the angels departed from them to heaven the shepherds talked to one another: “Let us go up to Bethlehem now and see if this has really happened just as the LORD[1] has made known to us.” LK2:16 Quickly they arrived [in Bethlehem] and found both Mary and Joseph and the infant lying in the manger. LK2:17 Now as soon as they saw them they realized the [truth of the] message that had been made known to them regarding this child. LK2:18 So everyone that heard this was amazed regarding everything that had been reported by the shepherds. LK2:19 But Mary kept all these things in her memory[2] and pondered over them in her heart. LK2:20 Then the shepherds returned [to their flocks], glorifying and praising The God for everything they had heard and seen, just as it was

[1] The Lord: The Greek is HO KYRIOS.

[2] Mary kept all these things in her memory: It is possible Luke interviewed Mary in her old age. If she had been a young girl of 14 when she gave birth to Jesus, Mary would have been about 45 when Luke was doing his research.


Preceding: Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:1-7 – A Firstborn’s Birth In Bethlehem

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:8-14 – Angels and Shepherds in the Night

Next: Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:21-24 – Presenting the Baby to God

File:Illustrations from Alden's Prince of Peace c. 1890 0004.jpg

Church built where angels appeared to shepherds – The Prince of peace by Isabella Macdonald Alden c. 1890

  • Merry Christmas and the Shepherds (
    It has always interested me that the revelation of Jesus Christ to those outside the circle of Mary, Joseph, and Elizabeth started with shepherds.  From most accounts shepherds, during the time of Christ, lived outside established religion and were generally mistrusted by society.  Yet the greatest revelation of history, “God in flesh”, was first announced to a group of shepherds outside of Bethlehem by angels.
  • Merry Christmas! Peace on Eath, Good Will Toward Men (
    The gospels of Luke and Matthew both describe Jesus as born in Bethlehem in Judea, to a virgin mother. In the Gospel of Luke account, Joseph and Mary travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem for the census, and Jesus is born there and laid in a manger. Angels proclaim him a savior for all people, and shepherds come to adore him. In the Matthew account, astronomers follow a star to Bethlehem to bring gifts to Jesus, born the King of the Jews. King Herod orders the massacre of all the boys less than two years old in Bethlehem, but the family flees to Egypt and later settles in Nazareth.

    Luke’s story takes place mostly before the birth of Jesus and centers on Mary, while Matthew’s story takes place mostly after the birth of Jesus and centers on Joseph. The two other gospels, the Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of John, begin their narratives of Jesus’s life in his adulthood; both mention him coming out of Galilee and John mentions the name of Jesus’ father, but neither John nor Mark gives any other details of his life prior to adulthood.

  • Shepherds Hear that the Great Shepherd Brings Peace (Day 12 of the 12 Days of Christmas devotionals) (
    What does it say about Jesus that shepherds were the first to receive – and tell – the good news of His birth?
    By Christ’s day, shepherds had lost much of their ancient esteem from the days when Abel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and David plied the trade.  They were no longer among the mighty, the rich, the great, or the respected among the population, but were on the margins of society, working a difficult, dangerous and undesirable job of watching over some of the smelliest, stupidest animals on earth, living outside in the cold and weather, and not being highly paid for doing so.  Thus, choosing to give such a great honor to the shepherds, and therefore, snubbing the high priests, the rich, and the kings of the earth like Herod, sends a message from on High.  As we have touched on before, it must represent the “great reversal” that Christ’s Kingdom brings, where the humble are the exalted, and the exalted are brought low.
  • The True Meaning of Christmas (
    And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
    the glory of the Lord shone around them
  • Saints and Feasts: The Nativity of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ (
    Concurring with the witness of the Gospel, the Fathers of the Church, in their God-inspired writings, describe the Feast of the Nativity of Christ as most profound, and joyous, serving as the basis and foundation for all the other Feasts.
  • Merry Christmas to All of You!! (
    And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
  • Mary pondered these things in her heart: the art of pondering (

    One of my favorite verses in the Bible is that part in verse 19 where it said that Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.

    What did it mean for her to ponder in her heart?

    Ponder means to consider.  It means to take what you know, and consider what might be.

  • Joy. (
    17 When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
  • Merry Christmas from Our Family to Yours! (
    We know that Christ was born and we should be very, very thankful!
    The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history, because it has meant the pouring into a sick world the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years… Underneath all the bulging bundles is this beating Christmas heart.

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:8-14 – Angels and Shepherds in the Night

Luke 2:8-14 – Angels and Shepherds in the Night

LK2:8 Now there were shepherds[1] in the same area who were living outside keeping watch at night[2] over their flock. LK2:9 Then YHWH’s angel[3] appeared to them and YHWH’s glory[4] shone all around them and so they became frightened with a great fear. LK2:10 And the angel said to them: “Do not be frightened. For, behold, I declare to all of you a great joy for all the people. LK2:11 Because today there was born to you in David’s city a savior[5] who is Lord Messiah.[6] LK2:12 And this will be your sign – you will find an infant wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” LK2:13 Then suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of celestial armies[7] praising The God and saying: LK2:14 “Glory to God in the heights, and on earth peace among men of goodwill!”[8]

[1] Shepherds: Though Luke compiled his Gospel thirty years later it is still possible he was able to interview one or more of these shepherds. Certainly he could get facts from their children who would have been told the story.

[2] Living outside keeping watch at night: Suggesting it was not yet winter and was mild enough in the fall to sleep outdoors.

[3] YHWH’s angel: A Hebraism that occurs often in the Old Testament. [Genesis 16:7; Exodus 3:2; Numbers 22:22]

[4] YHWH’s glory: A Hebraism. [Exodus 16:7, 10; 24:16, 17; 40:34, 35]

[5] A savior: Or, deliverer. The Greek SOTER is without the article. The designation is used of God and judges of Israel. [Isaiah 19:20]

[6] Lord Messiah: Or, Christ, Anointed Lord, Messiah and Lord, Christ the Lord. [Daniel 9:24, 25]

[7] A multitude of celestial armies: Or, KJV: a multitude of the heavenly host; GDS: a throng of the heavenly army; AMP: an army of the troops of heaven.

[8] Peace among men of goodwill: Or, on earth peace, good will toward men; RSV: among men with whom he is pleased; ABU: peace toward men of his good pleasure; MON: among men who please him. [Isaiah 9:6] Compare Jesus’ use of Isaiah 61:2 at Luke 4:19.


Preceding: Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:1-7 – A Firstborn’s Birth In Bethlehem

Next: Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:15-20 – Shepherds Find the Infant Christ

File:Rembrandt van Rijn - The Angel Appearing to the Shepherds.jpg

The Angel Appearing to the Shepherds – 1634, Rembrandt (1606–1669)


  • The Peace of the Lord – Sermon for December 29, 2013 (
    It seems appropriate to consider why the angels were bringing tidings of peace when this child whose birth they were announcing would lead to so much bloodshed, when he himself would grow up to say, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword” [Matthew 10:34]?
  • The First Christmas (
    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!”

    And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the
    shepherds said one to another, “Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.”
    Celebrate His birth like the Shepherds did: spread the Good News, glorifying and praising God, for Christ the Savior is born!

  • Joy. (
    God chose the shepherds to tell Mary about the baby. What does this say about God? What does this say about the shepherds?  Can God use you to tell some good news?
  • Merry Christmas from Our Family to Yours! (
    some of the words to the songs sung at this time of year are beautiful and very meaningful, but why do people wait to sing them now? Why not during the year? Some say that the Christmas story was told in the scriptures of the Gospels.
  • Merry Christmas to All of You!! (
    behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
  • The Lord Sits #ThroneOfGod #YHWH #Jesus #TheLordsits (
    The Throne of God is mentioned several times throughout scripture. I won’t bombard you with all of them. Most famously it is described by Ezekiel (chapter 1). I’d like to mention also that the angel Gabriel refers to the Throne of God in Luke 1:32-33 because… he should know, he’s been there. He’s actually seen it!
  • God Love’s You! (
    John 3:16 (NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
  • Let Go and Let God #LetGodAndLetGod #YHWH #Jesus (
    Give God the reigns of your life. He is a much better driver anyways. Letting go is hard for us humans, isn’t it? We have to be in control of everything. It’s almost as if we’re admitting defeat if we let someone else take over. If someone is more qualified, then why not? And if anyone is more qualified, it’s the LORD. Why is this such a struggle?! It’s OK to let God in. It’s OK to let Him be the deciding factor.
  • Mary pondered these things in her heart: the art of pondering (
    God had been silent in the Bible for 400 years until the arrival of Jesus.  So the God of the universe had spoke to Mary, gave her a baby, and now these shepherds were witnesses to the authenticity.  I think she just pondered what would be next.  Where would these events take her life next?  Who else would come to visit the baby and how did they know of Him?  Would there be a different way of raising this God child?  She had no idea what would be next, but I think her mind would race with expectations.
  • The Norm Nativity | Angels visit the Shepherds (
    Above the stable, a particularly bright star grew even brighter, and in the stars around it, angel Norms started gathering to celebrate the birth, flying then from place to place to spread the great news. One of the first places they visited was a nearby field, where a group of shepherds sat about having a little evening supper after a hard day looking after their not insubstantial flock. When the shepherds caught sight of a group of angels coming towards them, they almost collapsed in shock – their poor little sheep didn’t know what to do with themselves and promptly hid behind their shepherd masters. Only when the excitement of the news relayed by the angels sunk in did the shepherds (and the sheep) begin to settle, jumping up with some excitement and declaring that they must visit the baby forthwith!

Nazarene Commentary to Zechariah and Elizabeth

Luke 1:5-7 – Zechariah and Elizabeth

LK1:5 In the days of Herod,[1] king of Judea, there happened to be a certain priest named Zechariah[2] out of the [priestly] division of Abijah,[3] as well as his wife named Elizabeth[4] from the daughters of Aaron. LK1:6 Now they were both righteous before The God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and righteous requirements of the LORD. LK1:7 Elizabeth had never had any children as she was barren and they were both well along in years.

[1] In the days of Herod: Luke does not begin with something obscure, as “once upon a time in a land far away.” He states the Roman appointed king of Judea, something that could be confirmed. There is considerable information in Josephus on the house of Herod and its various rulers. Though scholars disagree on the time of the death of Herod it is possible he lived until 2-1 BC, about the time of the birth of Jesus.

[2] Zechariah: Meaning “Yah Remembers.”

[3] Division of Abijah: King David divided the priests into 24 divisions. Abijah was the eighth. [1 Chronicles 24:10] Each of the divisions served for one week every six months.

[4] Elizabeth: Meaning “God of Plenty.”



Nazarene Commentary to A Factual and Logical Statement

The Advent of the saviour to Roman oppression

Next: Nazarene Commentary to An Angel Appearing to a Priest

Zechariah the priest, father of John the Bapti...

Zechariah the priest, father of John the Baptist, with a scroll showing the opening words of the Benedictus; old Russian Orthodox icon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


  • Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 1:5-25. (
    St. Augustine said: “Empty yourself, so that you may be filled; go out, so that you can go in.” And in another place, he said: “Noble soul, noble creature, why do you seek outside yourself for something which in its most constant, truest and purest form is within you? You share God’s own nature: what business can you have with created things?” If a man would prepare an empty place in the depths of his soul there can be no doubt that God must fill it at once. If there were a void on earth the heaven would fall. God will not allow anything to be void. That would be contrary to his nature and his just ordinance.
  • Advent Series, part II – Zechariah (
    Abijah’s name was listed among other names of priests who served during the reign of King David. This is an amazing heritage for Zechariah. It’s a heritage that he does not take for granted. According to Luke, Zechariah was righteous before God and walked blamelessly according to the statutes and commandments of the Lord (Luke 1:6, ESV). This does not sound like a man slacking off, or treating his priestly role in a lackadaisical manner. He’s committed to serving the Lord.
    It must be said that Zechariah was not precluded from interceding for himself and his family. In fact, the Levitical code required priests to intercede for themselves before performing anything on behalf of the people (Leviticus 9:6-14, ESV). In Luke’s text, Zechariah offered incense in the Lord’s presence, which alluded to intercessory prayer (Luke 1:9 & Rev 5:8c, ESV). Gabriel’s appearance and response confirmed this as he spoke to Zechariah, “your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son” (Luke 1:13, ESV).
  • Daily December Devotional – Day 2 (
    Herod the Great ruled over, among other places, Judea and Galilee from 37-4 B.C. Bethlehem and Jerusalem were both in Judea. Priests during this time were required to keep incense burning on the altar in front of the Most Holy Place in the temple in Jerusalem. To be the one to enter the Most Holy Place and supply fresh incense for the morning and evening sacrifices would have been a distinct privilege and a priest could only be chosen once in his lifetime to fulfill this role. As a priest, Zechariah would have been very familiar with Mosaic law and the prophecies about the coming Messiah.
  • Thursday Third Week Advent 2013 – Zechariah and the Angel and Third O Antiphon (
    Once when he was serving as priest in his division’s turn before God, according to the practice of the priestly service, he was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary of the Lord to burn incense.
  • December 4th: Zechariah and Elizabeth (
    Luke deliberately and carefully structures his gospel to parallel the story of Christ’s birth with that of John’s, compelling us to take a closer look.
    In the Jewish community, it was considered a great disgrace to remain childless and sometimes it was thought to be due to the wife’s sinfulness. This simply wasn’t the case for Zechariah and Elizabeth who we are told were both righteous and blameless before God. They were both quite elderly and had probably given up hope some time ago that they would ever be parents, resigning themselves to enduring the assumptions and whispers of their community. It just seems so appropriate that the birth of Christ, who was to bring newness of life and healing in both his life and death, should be paralleled with God’s grace and restoration of joy to Zechariah and Elizabeth.
  • The Daily Gospel and Readings 19 December 2013 (
    you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He will drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb, and he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.
  • Day 1 – Luke 1:5-12 (
    Everyone who had an ancestor who was of the tribe of Levi was a priest; so about 20,000 priests lived in and around Jerusalem, all serving the temple.  Of course they all weren’t there at the same time.  Most of them were farmers.  But 2 weeks out of the year, each priest would serve along with others of their order, to perform sacrifices, assist pilgrims, give blessings, and care for the holy vessels.
  • 19th December, Gospel Reading (Luke 1:5-25) (
    Now it was the turn of Zechariah’s section to serve, and he was exercising his priestly office before God when it fell to him by lot, as the ritual custom was, to enter the Lord’s sanctuary and burn incense there. And at the hour of incense the whole congregation was outside, praying.
  • Words are important (
    It was so important that Zechariah not speak unbelieving words that the angel shut his mouth until he (Zechariah) could speak believing words.  If you notice in verse 12 it says that Zechariah  was shaken and overwhelmed with fear when he saw the Angel.  He would have spoken fear words, when he needed to speak faith words.
  • Thursday, 19 December 2013 : 3rd Week of Advent (Gospel Reading) (
    When his time of service was completed, Zechariah returned home, and some time later Elizabeth became pregnant. For five months she kept to herself, remaining at home, and thinking, “This, for me, is the Lord’s doing! This is His time for mercy, and for taking away my public disgrace.”

Nazarene Commentary to A Factual and Logical Statement

Luke 1:1-4 – A Factual and Logical Statement

LK1:1 Since many have taken their hand[1] to compile a statement regarding those facts[2] that are fully confirmed among us[3] – LK1:2 just as they have been handed down to us[4] from the original eyewitnesses[5] and attendants of the message[6] – LK1:3 it also seemed most fitting for me, having investigated everything[7] right from the beginning, to write to you most excellent[8] Theophilus[9] a factual account.[10] LK1:4 Thus you might become aware of the reliable information[11] about those matters in which you have been orally instructed.[12]

[1] Since many have taken their hand: Or, NEB: many writers have undertaken; BAS: as a number of attempts have been made. It is likely that by the time Luke began his research Matthew and Mark were already available. It appears that Luke is aware of “many” who have prepared records of Christ’s life and teachings.

[2] To compile a statement regarding those facts: Or, KJV: to set forth in order a declaration; ASV: to draw up a narrative; RSV: to compile; NEB: to draw up an account of the events. The Greek for “facts” here is PRAGMATON from which the English “pragmatism” comes. Luke is dealing in “facts” and not a fairy tale. As a doctor he is observant and knows how to listen to a person’s statement of events as an eyewitness. He is precise in his dating of matters, sympathetic to women, careful in his use of specific designations, and reliable as a historian.

[3] That are fully confirmed among us: Or, KJV: most surely believed; ASV: fulfilled among us; BER: that have certainly taken place among us; WEY: received with full assurance. [John 20:31] The period between 29 to 73 AD is called the “eye witness period” during which those who were present could testify what they heard, saw, and felt. [1 John 1:1-3]

[4] Just as they have been handed down to us: Or, KJV: even as they delivered them unto us; NEB: following the traditions; MOF: exactly; WEY: on the authority of those. When Luke was alive as a traveling companion of Paul’s in the 50s and 60s AD he had great opportunities to interview a wide range of witnesses as well as read other first hand reports and records of these events.

[5] From the original eyewitnesses: Or, WEY: who were from the beginning eyewitnesses. These amounted to at least 500 Christian believers as well as others who could confirm what Jesus said and did. [1 Corinthians 15:6] The integrity of these witnesses could also be observed and compared. [1 Peter 2:12; 5:1; 2 Peter 1:16] It is likely Luke interviewed at length the apostles, as well as the seventy disciples, and also those women who followed Jesus’ ministry closely. [Luke 8:3; Acts 2:32; 3:15; 5:32; 10:39, 41]

[6] Attendants of the message: Or, ministers, servants, subordinates.

[7] Having investigated everything: Or, KJV: perfect understand; ASV: traced the course of all things accurately; NEB: as one who has gone over the whole course of these events in detail; RIE: have kept in close touch with the whole course of these events. If we judge from Luke’s precision in Acts we can imagine that he was meticulous in his gathering of facts.

[8] Most excellent: Or, most mighty. Either an endearing designation or an indication of his position in life.

[9] Theophilus: Meaning “God’s Friend.” The Book of Acts is also written to him. [Acts 1:1] We may assume Luke and Theophilus having copies made of his Gospel.

[10] Factual account: Or, accurate, careful. The Greek is ACRIBOS from which comes “accurate.”

[11] Become aware of the reliable information: Or, KJV: know the certainty; NAS: exact truth; NEB: authentic knowledge; GDS: reliable information; MOF: solid truth; TCN: satisfy yourself of the accuracy of the story. Luke states the reason or his Gospel – logical and reliable facts regarding Jesus’ life and ministry.

[12] Orally instructed: Or, informed, taught by word of mouth. In the beginning, before there were written accurate records of the Gospel, everyone learned by word of mouth, orally taught, though the prophecies in the Hebrew Bible could be examined.


Preceding article: The Advent of the saviour to Roman oppression


Nazarene Commentary to Zechariah and Elizabeth

Nazarene Commentary to An Angel Appearing to a Priest

Nazarene Commentary to Struck Dumb For Disbelief

Nazarene Commentary to Elizabeth Pregnant

Nazarene Commentary to Gabriel’s Appearance to Mary

Nazarene Commentary to Mary Visits Elizabeth

Nazarene Commentary to Mary Magnifies God

Evangelist Luke writing, Byzantine illuminatio...

Eyewitness and Evangelist Luke writing, Byzantine illumination, 10th century (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


  • The Nazarene. (
    There is no prophet in the Old Testament who states the Messiah will be called a Nazarene! Matthew also says that the birth at Bethlehem fulfilled “that which was spoken by the prophet.” A verse can be found where this is recorded in Micah 5:2. He also said that the flight into Egypt fulfilled “that which was spoken by the prophet.” That verse also can be found, it is in Hosea 11:1. But no verse in the Old Testament says “He shall be called a Nazarene.” Since Matthew knew that, then his words “which was spoken by the prophets,” indicate that there is no one prophet that makes the statement but when you put together the bits and pieces of the verses in the Old Testament about Nazareth and Nazarenes then the combination of those pieces make it plain that Jesus was to be called a “Nazarene.” Predicted, not by a prophet but by a compilation of “the prophets.”

    Of particular interest is Isaiah’s use of the Hebrew word “nazer”  or “branch” and of “nazeroth”  which is obviously identical with “Nazareth” in form. Isaiah uses other related forms of the same word which have meaning when seeing them in their connection to Nazarene fulfillment of “that which was spoken by the prophets.” The same passages when translated in different ways are mediocre in meaning but come alive when seen as mystical conveyances of eternal truth. We will notice them more fully later but first let us see how the passage in Matthew 2:23 fulfills “that which was spoken by the prophets.”

  • P1 The reliability of Luke’s Gospel and early church history testify about the Four Gospels (
    Luke opens his gospel by noting the types of sources that he used and the one Divine Source that led him to write what he wrote.a. Luke writes as a historian with a great concern for accuracy.                      The Greek words used to describe this first group of sources (πολλοὶ ἐπεχείρησαν ἀνατάξασθαι διήγησιν) would had been known to Luke’s reader Theophilus, who was Greek, being that the well known Greek historians of his day (like Thucycides) used such words to preface their historical records.
  • Luke 1.1-4 (
    Whereas Matthew is a gospel written primarily to a Jewish audience, the gospel of Luke is not. It is addressed to Theophilus, which means “friend of God.” He was evidently a Greek-speaking Gentile of some political power. You’ll note also that the inherent theme in Matthew is that the King has come and His Jewish family has rejected Him—this justifies the giving of the gospel to the Gentiles. The theme in Luke is directly flipped: the entire gospel is written to a Gentile audience and there is a special emphasis on those who were considered social outcasts in 1st century Jewish culture—the women, the poor, the Gentiles. Whereas Matthew presented Jesus as the King, Mark presented Him as the powerful but suffering servant Who acts for God. Luke’s chief presentation of Jesus is as the perfection of the Son of Man—the perfect man came to seek and save the lost and outcast.
    According to Mark Bailey, in Luke’s gospel there are 5 poems (hymns), 20 miracle accounts, 35 parables, and 586 out of the 1150 verses are quotations of Jesus. There are 250 words in Luke that are unique to Luke. He was a writer, and showed it.
  • P2 The reliability of Luke’s Gospel and early church history testify about the Four Gospels: Why it matters (
    Irenaeus of Lyons (180 ): “Matthew published his gospel among the Hebrews in their tongue, when Peter and Paul were preaching the Gospel in Rome and founding the church there. After their departure Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, himself handed down to us in writing the substance of Peter’s preaching. Luke, the follower of Paul, set down in a book the gospel preached by his teacher. Then John, the disciple of the Lord, who also leaned on his breast, himself produced his gospel, while he was living at Ephesus in Asia.”
  • RJ# 7: Luke 1: 1-4 “Theophilus” (
    Luke is telling the reader that he is one of many attempting to tell the story of Jesus. Luke is a credible source, though, because he has many eyewitness accounts and secondary reporters helping along the way.
  • God’s Private Investigators – Luke 1:1-4 (
    Like a private invesigator, Dr. Luke carefully examined everything about Jesus from the beginning in order to present a reliable case to his patron, Theophilus.
    Examine and scrutinize God’s Word using Bible study aids as needed, and then like Dr. Luke you can be certain of everything you have been taught and can accurately report your findings to others!

    “Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15, NLT)

  • Luke 1:1-4 (
    It is clear from verse 4 that Theophilus was already aware of who Jesus was, and what all had transpired years earlier, but Luke makes is a point to give him this ‘orderly’ account for his certainty on the matter.  Theophilus was most likely a Roman official of high rank, as indicated by the title ‘most excellent’.  His name means ‘lover of God’.  While no one knows exactly who he was, it is thought that this person was a convert to Christianity and in charge of distribution or publication of Luke’s writings. Luke was a doctor (Colossians 4:14), a fellow worker in advancing the Gospel (Philemon 24), and Paul’s companion before his martyrdom (2 Timothy 4:11).  Luke was also somewhat of a historian, writing not only the book that carries his name, but also the book of Acts which details the beginnings of the church.
  • Jesus in the Gospel of Luke (
    It is only in the four canonical Gospels that the Church has recognized the canonical picture of Christ, the true and original picture. It is certainly not by chance that these are also the four oldest accounts of Jesus that we have. The many other gospels, which without exception are clearly later, were not recognized by the Church as being genuine, even if there may be one or another original saying of Jesus in them. Almost every year, one of these numerous so-called apocryphal gospels is brought forward as a new sensation, as happened just recently with the gospel of Judas. Usually it is not mentioned that people have known about them for a long time and that the works have been studied by specialists. Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, for instance, talks about the gospel of Judas at the end of the second century and demonstrates that it is a late forgery.

    But what argues far more strongly in favor of the genuineness of the four oldest Gospels is their incomparable spiritual power. Jesus himself is speaking in them. His spirit, his heart, and his transforming power can be felt at work in them. They are not just human discourse and human wisdom. They are also that; but, shot through with the fire of the Holy Spirit, they are truly God’s word.

  • 12 Days of Christmas Devotional Day 2: Christmas His-Story (
    We often overlook the four verses that kick off Luke’s Gospel and precede the Christmas story. But they’re important. Like the beginning of any good book, movie or speech, the introduction sets the stage for what the writer is trying to accomplish.
    One is left to decide if it is, in fact, historical, but what one cannot do is say that Lukes’s Gospel is not written as if it IS history. It has marked differences between other ancient myth stories and religious texts of its time.  The historical accuracy of Luke’s detailed account of Jewish and Roman practices, places, politics and other details is impeccable. His faithful reporting of events that sometimes sheds an embarrassing or negative light on the apostles and early Christians also speaks to the integrity of his account.
  • “Eyewitnesses” in Luke-Acts: Not What We Think (
    There is a very good argument that the word for “eyewitnesses” in the preface to the Gospel of Luke (and by extension to Acts) does not refer to persons who literally saw the people and events that are found in the narratives.

    The argument by John N. Collins has been published in The Expository Times (June, 2010) and deserves far more attention than it appears to have received. Its implications are far-reaching and highly significant for any thesis that rests upon the view that Luke drew upon oral traditions or accounts of individuals who were known for having personally witnessed Jesus or other events found in the Gospel and Acts.
    The grammatical construction in verse 2 combines the “eyewitnesses” and “ministers/servants” as one and the same from the outset. That is, they eyewitnesses did not eventually go on to become servants of the word; whoever is spoken of here were both eyewitnesses and servants of the word” from the outset.
    “Eyewitnesses and servants of the writings” were those through whom the tradition was taught and passed on. They were the officials held responsible for guarding the “books” and ensuring the correct writings were being collected and passed on through reading and teaching.

14 Nisan a day to remember #2 Time of Jesus

14 Nisan a day to remember

Two days before the Passover

Two days after that Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple and Peter, James, John, and Andrew had asked him privately to tell them when the things of the end times would be coming and what the sign that these things are all about to be fulfilled would be, a woman anointed Jesus his body beforehand for the burying.

Brooklyn Museum - With Passover Approaching, J...

With Passover Approaching, Jesus going up to Jerusalem

“1 Now after two days was [the feast of] the passover and the unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him with subtlety, and kill him: 2 for they said, Not during the feast, lest haply there shall be a tumult of the people.” (Mark 14:1-2 ASV)

“12 And on the first day of unleavened bread, when they sacrificed the passover, his disciples say unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and make ready that thou mayest eat the passover? 13 And he sendeth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him; 14 and wheresoever he shall enter in, say to the master of the house, The Teacher saith, Where is my guest-chamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? 15 And he will himself show you a large upper room furnished [and] ready: and there make ready for us. 16 And the disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover. 17 And when it was evening he cometh with the twelve.” (Mark 14:12-17 ASV)

Like all other Jews Jesus and his disciples went to prepare the Passover.  When evening came, Jesus arrived with the twelve at the upperroom. While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, “I tell you the truth; one of you will betray me — one who is eating with me.” They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, “Surely not I?”  “It is one of the Twelve,” he replied, “one who dips bread into the bowl with me.  The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”

The disciples knew this was preparation day for the Passover celebration! It was not the Passover itself but the preparation, one day before Passover, but part of the celebration days! That evening Jesus did something remarkable which made the 14th of Nisan even more special. While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.” Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it.  “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. “I tell you the truth; I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God.”

“21 For the Son of man goeth, even as it is written of him: but woe unto that man through whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had not been born. 22 And as they were eating, he took bread, and when he had blessed, he brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take ye: this is my body. 23 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave to them: and they all drank of it. 24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Verily I say unto you, I shall no more drink of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God. 26 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out unto the mount of Olives.” (Mark 14:21-26 ASV)

Knowing the hour had come, Preparation Day and the Breaking of the Bread

Later on the apostles remembered that day and also took the breaking of the bread as an action to be done in remembrance of Jesus.

“23 For I received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which he was betrayed took bread; 24 and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, This is my body, which is for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 In like manner also the cup, after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood: this do, as often as ye drink [it], in remembrance of me. 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink the cup, ye proclaim the Lord’s death till he come. 27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat the bread or drink the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man prove himself, and so let him eat of the bread, and drink of the cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh, eateth and drinketh judgment unto himself, if he discern not the body.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-29 ASV)

File:1578 Meister des Hausbuchs Das Abendmahl anagoria.JPG

The Last Supper (outside of a wing from Speyer Altar) – Master of the Housebook (fl. between 1475 and 1500)

“Now before the feast of the passover, Jesus knowing that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto his Father, having loved his own that were in the world, he loved them unto the end.” (John 13:1 ASV)
“They lead Jesus therefore from Caiaphas into the Praetorium: and it was early; and they themselves entered not into the Praetorium, that they might not be defiled, but might eat the passover.” (John 18:28 ASV)
“Now it was the Preparation of the passover: it was about the sixth hour. And he saith unto the Jews, Behold, your King!” (John 19:14 ASV)
“The Jews therefore, because it was the Preparation, that the bodies should not remain on the cross upon the sabbath (for the day of that sabbath was a high [day]), asked of Pilate that their legs might be broken, and [that] they might be taken away.” (John 19:31 ASV)

Since the disciples knew that Nisan 14 was “preparation day,” that is why they came to Jeshua after sunset, at the beginning of Nisan 14, and asked him where he wanted them to prepare for the upcoming Passover, which would of course be Nisan 15, after the Passover lambs were slain in the “evening” of Nisan 14, toward sunset, “at the going down of the sun” [as it descended in the afternoon sky present tense, not past tense] (Deuteronomium 16:6).

“but at the place which Jehovah your god shall choose to place his name in, there you shall sacrifice the passover at evening, at the going of the sun, at the time that you came out of Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 16:6 MKJV)

If Passover was indeed the beginning of Nisan 14, then the disciples waited until the very “Last Minute” to even ask Jeshua about making preparations for the Passover! Such a theory does not make sense and would not be according the Jewish custom. Mary (Miriam, Maria), the mother of Jesus belonged to the Essenes, a sect of Second Temple Judaism, which was very devout. They had a strong the belief in communality and commitment to a strict observance of Sabbath and holy days. The Essenes chose not to possess slaves, but served each other and held communal meetings, meals and religious celebrations. The Nazarean – they were Jews by nationality – acknowledged Moses and believed that he had received laws which all had to be observed and taken seriously. Jeshua the Nazarene (better known today as Jesus) brought up by his mother was also used to keep those holy days and took the preparation for them also serious.


Preceding article: 14 Nisan a day to remember #1 Inception

Next: 14 Nisan a day to remember #3 Before the Passover-feast

Dutch version / Nederlandse versie: 14 Nisan een dag om te herinneren #2 In Jezus tijd


Please do find also to read:
  1. 1 -15 Nisan
  2. Pesach
    Pesach, or Passover, is a major holiday in Jewish tradition, and is one of the three pilgrimage holidays, along with Sukkot and Shavuot.
  3. Korban Pesach
    The Passover sacrifice (Hebrew: korban Pesakh קרבן פסח ), also known as the “sacrifice of Passover“, the Paschal Lamb, or the Passover Lamb, is the sacrifice that the Torah mandates to be brought on the eve of Passover, and eaten on the first night of the holiday with bitter herbs and matzo.
  4. Around the feast of Unleavened Bread
  5. Observance of a day to Remember
  6. A new exodus and offering of a Lamb
  7. Day of remembrance coming near
  8. Bread and Wine
  9. Jesus memorial
  10. Anointing of Christ as Prophetic Rehearsal of the Burial rites
  11. A Great Gift commemorated
  12. Servant of his Father
  13. Slave for people and God
  14. A Messiah to die
  15. Manifests for believers #4 Eucharist
  16. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  17. Not making a runner
  18. Worship and worshipping
  19. Peter Cottontail and a Bunny laying Eastereggs


  • Preparations for the Passover Meal – Luke 22: 7-13 (
    The story of the preparations for the Passover Meal is itself introductory to the account of the Last Supper in Luke 22: 14-23.
    The sacrificing of the Passover lamb (Lk 22: 7b) was not done on the first day of the Unleavened Bread (that is, on 15th of Nisan) but on the previous day (that is, on 14th of Nisan). In Luke 22: 7a therefore, “the day of Unleavened Bread” by itself would mean “the first day of Unleavened Bread,” namely, 15th of Nisan, but the addition in Luke 22: 7b would point to 14th of Nisan.
  • Conspiracy of Jews against Jesus – Luke 22: 1-2 (
    Luke identifies the feast of the Passover with the feast of the Unleavened Bread; and the Lukan time reference is more generic as compared with the Markan precise dating. The Passover feast, which was celebrated on 14th – 15th of Nisan, was the solemn, yearly commemoration of the Exodus of Israel from Egypt. The feast of the Unleavened Bread, originally a harvest festival, was held from 15th to 21st of Nisan. Eventually these two feasts were closely linked together and were virtually identified, and the celebration lasted from 15th to 21st of Nisan.
  • Yeshua’s One Year Ministry. (
    Yeshua’s ministry on this earth was approx. one year-long {or possibly even exactly 70 weeks going by the book of Daniel prophecies} and not the 3.5 years that many churches claim. The premise for this is that the Passover Lambs were to be 1-year-old and lamb’s are born in the spring. One year later they would still be young and in the prime of their life, when they are sacrificed. 3.5 year old male sheep are called Rams, not lambs. ;)  Now Yeshua was not a 1-year-old when he was executed, but His ministry was. And you couldn’t be a “Rabbi” until you were in your 29th year of age. (Eastern cultures your count age from birth, so you are born 1-year-old. And with Yeshua’s birthday being Nisan 1, he would be in his 29th year when He became a Rabbi and called disciples to follow Him.)
    Events of Yeshua…

Yeshua’s had the seder and Pesach meal with his disciples in the upper room, on the proper day given by God! Which began at sunset that Tuesday night. Yeshua was then taken from the Gathsemene, tried at night (illegally), brought before Pilate,  flogged and beaten.

Passover: In Bible Times

  • Red Letter Year: 2/25 (
    On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go to prepare the Passover meal for you?”
    Sharing this meal with Judas shows us what loving one’s enemy looks like, what the Gospel itself looks like when put into practice.
  • Symbols and Signs – The First day of the Year # 9 (
    An eight-day celebration staring with the sacrifice, the feast of unleavened bread is to be celebrated forever, and as a memorial to mark this festive event. It is to be a  mark of the past and the symbol of the future laid out for the nation, upon the return of their King.  It is a show of victory in the face of their enemies that there is a God in Israel, a God capable of delivering His people from the most powerful of enemies.
    Signs and Symbols — Passover # 2

    It was God’s shadow of an event to come in the far future, one they were to prepare for, when God would send to die on behalf of the world a son according to the promise made to Adam. The day and date of this event was never to be forgotten, for upon the fulfillment the day, the nation were to recognize the man and savior God sent to die on behalf of the world.

  • Knowing what is when no one else does (
    Jesus did a “word of knowledge
  • Matthew 25-26 (
    And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.

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