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Christmas Reflections: Walk Through Luke - Chapter 15



The Gospel of Luke tells of the origins, birth, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ.


December 15

Day 15

Luke chapter 15

There are 24 chapters in this book

They bring us through the story of Jesus - the reason for this season.


I also include in the bottom or comments some “extras” like short videos and songs that you may have never heard (or artists you may not know) that resonate with me during this holiday time.


Each post will start with who is who so that you can get a solid understanding of what this chapter is about. I encourage you to read the chapter in your own Bible after you read this. If you don’t have a Bible there are lots of free apps. I use several versions in my studying to ensure I have a full understanding of what I’ve read.


This is my commentary.


Who was Luke?

A physician, a researcher, a traveling friend of Paul (mentioned in Colossians 4:14; 2 Timothy 4:11; Philemon 1:24), perhaps someone researching facts to help the legal case for Paul while in prison in Rome, a non-Jew, the only Gentile author of a book in the New Testament. He penned not only Luke, but also Acts.


New characters continue to be introduced - new in this chapter:

* Tax collectors and sinners

* Pharisees

* A shepherd, large flock, and friends

* A woman and her friends

* A dad, his two sons, and friends


This chapter highlights 3 parables.

You’ll notice the #3 continually significant throughout the Bible.


MIXED CROWD

The chapter starts with Jesus teaching - but this time with a mixed audience. The Pharisees (as much as they complain) always seem to be in the same places where they’re complaining about people or circumstances. There were tax collectors and other sinners gathered around listening to him. In those days tax collectors were not just IRS government workers. They were known for overcharging and bullying debtors. The Pharisees were grumbling about why Jesus was always around “those type of people” - so he proceeded to share 3 stories.


STORY 1

Imagine one of you owned 100 sheep and 1 became lost. Would you not stop what you were doing to go find the 1? When you find it - won’t you joyfully put it on your shoulders and rejoice? You might even call your friends and tell them to come rejoice with you since you found your lost sheep. Jesus said. “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one dinner than for the 99 righteous people who don’t need to repent”


There’s a beautiful song by Cory Asbury that references this story called Reckless Love. I encourage you to listen here. It is a beautiful song:


STORY 2

Imagine a woman has 10 silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she turn on the lights, sweep the house, and search diligently until she finds it? She might even call her friends and tell them to come rejoice with her since she found her lost coin. Jesus said. “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one coin found in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”


There’s an interesting song by The Fray called “You Found Me”. See how you think it applies by listening here https://youtu.be/xMlou7Q0GRE


STORY 3

There was a man with 2 sons and the youngest one asked the father if they could divide his estate and give his share to him. Not long after - the young son ventured off to another country and squandered all the money and lived a wild lifestyle. After he was broke, there was a severe famine in the whole country. Since he had nothing - he ended up taking a minimum wage slave job slopping pigs. He longed to have even a bite of the pig slop but nobody would give him a thing. He was hungry but finally came to his senses realizing that even his father’s servants were fed and would have food to spare, yet he was starving to death.


He decide to go back to his father and say:

* I’ve sinned against heaven and against you

* I’m no longer worthy of being called your son

* Will you hire me to be one of your servants?


So he started his journey home and even though he was a long way off - his father spotted him and immediately ran to him. The father was filed with compassion and wrapped his son in an embrace.

He told his father what he planned to say. His father ignored the words and told his servants to

1. quickly bring the best robe and put it on him along with the best ring and some sandals.

2. Bring a fattened calf to celebrate


Why?

He said “this son of mine was dead but is now alive again. He was lost and is now found.


While all this was going on, the eldest son was working in the field but heard some music playing. He asked servant what was going on and he told him his brother had returned home again and since he’s back safe and sound, The father hosted a big celebration.


The eldest was angry and refused to participate. His father pleaded with him to come and celebrate. He told his dad “look - i have been working hard for you all these years and never disrespected or disobeyed you. You never even gave me a simple birthday party to have with my friends. And yet this guy comes back after he squandered all your money making a fool of himself in the streets and he gets THIS kind of a homecoming welcome?”


The dad lovingly said - “‘son - it is true you’re always with me and everything I have is yours. But we also need to felt strongly and be glad because this brother of yours was once dead and is alive again. He was lost to the world and is now found. He’s back where he started and back where he belongs.”


There’s a wonderful son by Sidewalk Prophets called Prodigal. You can listen here: https://youtu.be/8LJsgFN2OeA


Tomorrow more to come with Ch 16.


—-


PRAYER

Lord thank you for your word and for stories and for the lyrics through songs. Thank you for always protecting and pursuing me no matter where I wander. Thank you for treasuring me. Thank you for seeking me when I fall and perhaps even get sort of lost on the floor. Every time you pick me up and remind me of my value and purpose. Your words and love are more valuable to me than anything material. Thank you for celebrating over me even in very small seemingly insignificant things. Help me to not be indignant when you want to also celebrate the prodigal son - and to also cherish that you’ve given me freedom to stay near you EVERY day to learn, love you, live with you, and help. Amen


MUSIC - the universal language

The song that resonates with me today beyond the ones shared above are:


EXTRAS:

Here’s a clip. It’s 5 min long. See what you discern from this short childrens book https://youtu.be/cRAAQ8EWzig


Here’s the clip from Jesus of Nazareth about the prodigal son https://youtu.be/w7c-XY695hk

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