NTB-3-LUKE-1 - Jesus, the Ideal Man (part 1)
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“Luke: Lesson 1”
Introduction by narrator accompanied by a cappella singing:
THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST. Spreading the soul-saving message of Jesus. And now,
"And Jesus increased in wisdom, in stature, and in favor with God and
man," Luke 2:52.
Welcome to our study of the gospel of Luke. As we think today about
Luke and his message of Jesus as the ideal person, we think about Jesus'
humanity and His deity combined as the Son of Man and Son of God,
bringing salvation to the world.
The Gospel of Luke is unique from Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
on several different levels.
As you remember, the New Testament can be broken down into four
unique categories. Matthew through John is what we refer to as the Gospel
accounts. They tell us about the life of Christ, who He is, what He did, and
how He ultimately suffered, died, and was resurrected for us.
The second category is the book of Acts. Acts is all about “what must
I do to be saved?” and how one becomes a Christian, a child of God.
Then that third category, Romans through Jude, tells one now that
you are a Christian, how do I live faithfully to the Lord? What is my daily
life? What are my decisions? How do I live for Jesus each and every day?
Then that fourth category Revelation tells one how to die victoriously,
and to ‘be faithful unto death’ (Rev 2:10).
Among the four accounts of the life of Christ, each of those is even
unique. For example, Matthew is written to a Jewish audience which he is
trying to convince, mainly from the Old Testament scriptures, that Jesus is
the fulfillment of prophecy and King of the new kingdom. Mark is unique in
that he is writing to a Roman audience and a Roman mind which is all
about action and power and majesty. Mark tells us that Jesus has done all
things well, He is that majestic one, Mark 7:37. John is different from
Matthew, Mark, and Luke, in that it is not a chronological picture of the life
of Jesus. It's more of a didactic. That is teaching gospel with the main
theme; Jesus is the Son of God and then hand-picked evidence to prove
Luke is unique in that Luke is writing to what we believe is a Greek
audience. The Greeks had this mentality of the ideal man. The Greeks
were searching for ideal human being in every way. Plato, Socrates,
Aristotle, Homer's The Oddysey, and many of the Greek statues all depict
great human specimens. The ideal human being for the Greeks was
considered in perfection as intellect or wisdom, stature or physique, and is
socially acceptable. Luke now adds another dimension to that. Luke writes
to show Jesus, not only meets their criteria, but exceeds them and adds
another dimension to the ideal human being. Jesus increased in favor with
Listen again to Luke 2:52: "Jesus increased in wisdom," there's
intellect or wisdom, "stature," physically, "favor with God," there's that
fourth dimension, "and man," socially. Luke adds that spiritual dimension in
just as well to show that Jesus exceeds the ideal human being from the
Greek standpoint and adds that spiritual dimension as well.
The keyword to the book of Luke is the word “Son of Man”. This
occurs 23 times. Jesus is often referred to as the “Son of Man” showing His
relationship, His humanity, and that "He was tempted at all points as we
are, yet without sin," Hebrews 4:15. Luke writes to show an orderly account
so that men may know the certainty of the life of Christ.
Luke 1:1-4, much like the beginning of Acts 1, here we have the
writer, writing to Theopolis to convince him of the certainty of the things
Jesus said and did, to prove His humanity and His deity for all mankind.
Key verses, Luke 2:49. Jesus has got lost from the crowd, separated
from the crowd, and even separated from his parents. They go searching
for Him. They find Him in the temple. In Luke 2:49, when they question
Jesus, in essence, ‘where have you been, why did you leave the family and
your parents?’ Jesus said, "Did you not know I must be about my Father's
business." That verse shows us the great mission and mindset of our Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ.
In Luke 19:10, Luke records Jesus saying, "The Son of Man has
come to seek and to save that which is lost." Combine these two ideas;
Jesus said I've got to be about the Father's business. Well what is the
Father's business? Seeking and saving the lost.
Friend aren't you glad today that Jesus was about the Father's
business? Aren't you thankful that Jesus came to seek and save the lost
because that includes you and me? All of us at one time or another have
indeed been lost.
For just a few moments, let's highlight some of the ideas; let's show
some of the powerful passages, main images, and things that we find in the
book of Luke. The rest of the lessons we'll go in more in detail some of
What are some of the main ideas from Luke? Luke presents Jesus as
the eternal King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the One who is of David, and
fulfilled prophecy. Look in Luke 1:32-33. The scripture says of Jesus, "He
will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest the Lord God will
give Him the throne of His father David. He will reign over the house of
Jacob forever and of His kingdom there will be no end." Here we see
Jesus, of the lineage of David, this is the fulfilment of prophecy, (2 Sam
7:12-14). God promised and prophesied to David that one of his seed
would reign over the house of Jacob forever. Well who is that?
Friend it's none other than the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is of
the lineage of David, from Matthew 1; His Kingdom is that eternal Kingdom,
Revelation 11:14-15. "And currently, presently, He is King of all Kings and
Lord of all Lords," Revelation 19:16. "He is reigning at the right hand of the
throne of God," Hebrews 1:4. Luke presents Jesus from the outset as that
eternal King of the eternal Kingdom which is the Church of the Lord Jesus
Christ, Mathew 16:18-19, Acts 2:47, and Mark 9:1.
Another powerful lesson that we learn from the Gospel of Luke is
about the power of the Christian and his giving back to God. Stop for just a
moment and think about all that God has done for us.
James 1:17 puts it like this, "Every good and perfect gift comes down
from above, from the Father of Lights with whom there is no shadow or
variation of turning." Everything we have comes from the hand of almighty
God, and in view of that Luke encourages us to be good givers to God.
Luke 6:38 records Jesus as saying, "Give, and it will be given to you: good
measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into
your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured
back to you."
Here's a very graphic image about how we should give. The image
may be that of some farmer out with a bushel about to go pick something in
the field. For example, maybe you've been to a farm or a place where you
bought a bushel of peas, and when you go out to buy those peas they tell
you up front, "You take this basket, this bushel, and as much as you can
get in it is this price." Well how would you do that? Would you just fill the
bottom of it up? Well of course not, not and get your money's worth there.
Would you fill it halfway up? No, that wouldn't be right either. Would you
just put it almost to the top? No, you'd take that basket and you'd fill it up,
you'd press it down, you'd shake it together, and you'd get as much in there
as you can. That's the sense of how we ought to give.
“Give.” What do you mean? “Give and it'll be given to you. Press
down, shaken together, running over, but put back into your bosom.” This is
not a health and wealth gospel, but it shows that if we have the heart and
the attitude that we want to give as we've been prospered, 1 Corinthians
16:1-2. Be a cheerful giver, 2 Corinthians 9:6-7. Friend, you couldn't find
any better cause in the world to give to than the cause of Christ and God's
going to take care of his own who seek first the Kingdom, Matthew 6:33.
They're not going to have to worry about food, shelter, and clothing. Luke
encourages us to be good givers to the cause of Christ.
As we think about the book of Luke, we're also introduced to a very
unique passage about baptism. One that I rarely hear used when we think
about what about all these people who aren't baptized. What about those
who reject baptism? I hardly ever hear this passage used, but it is a
Look at Luke 7:28-30, the Bible records these words, "For I say to
you among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John
the Baptist; but he who is the least in the kingdom of God is greater than
he. And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors justified
God, having been baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and
lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized
What do I learn about baptism and its significance and importance
here? To fail to be baptized, correctly, for the remission of sins, Acts 2:38,
in the right way by emersion, Mark 1:9-11, or to be baptized at all is a
rejection of the will of God. Those who fail to be baptized, in this text we're
told, that they rejected the will of God. God had said it and in essence they
said, ‘no we're not going to do it.’ They were viewed as rebellious and
rejecters of God's will.
Friend, baptism is indeed an essential part in God's plan of salvation.
Jesus said, "He that believes and is baptized will be saved. He that does
not believe shall be condemned," Mark 16:16. Jesus said, "Unless a man is
born of water in the spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven," John
3:5. Peter said, "Baptism does now also save us," 1 Pet 3:21. In view of all
that the scripture teaches, and these are just a sampling of the passages,
but in view of everything the New Testament teaches, someone who says,
"I was saved before baptism," or, "Baptism has no significance," or, "You
can be baptized or not baptized, it doesn't make any difference." According
to Luke 7:30, just like the Pharisees, that person is rejecting God's will from
on high and will have to give an account of that on the day of judgement.
Let's turn our attention to another unique passage in the book of Luke
and this is where we learn about the power of God's word.
You know when you think about the Bible, there are several images
that show its power. For example, Hebrew 4:12 says, "The Word of God is
alive and powerful." Well what do you mean living and powerful? Sharper
than any two-edged sword, take a knife or a sword and sharpen that and
it'll shave the hair right off your arm, the Word of God's sharper than that
spiritually. The Word of God is that which by we're born again, 1 Peter
3:21-25. James said in James 1:21,"we're to receive with meekness the
planted Word, here's the power of it, which is able to save your soul." Paul
said the Gospel is God's power unto salvation.
Well how is it that the Word of God is so powerful? Here's how, the
Word of God is that seed from which the Christian and Christianity springs
forth. The scripture records of the Word of God very simply in Luke 8:11,
"Now the parable is this, the seed is the Word of God." We're talking here
about that which from life springs, that which from growth comes, that
which from something that was maybe dead springs up again. How does
someone who's lost in sin, Romans 3:23, someone who's headed down the
path, "You who were dead in trespasses and sins, he has made alive,"
Ephesians 2:4- How does that happen?
It happens by the seed being planted in a good and honest heart.
That's the context of Luke 8. You've got the four soils. The seed is the
Word of God. It must have a good and honest heart, and then it can bring
forth fruit to God in this life.
As we think about the Word of God, let's realize its power and
potential. Let's also realize we've got to have the right soil. I've got to have
a good and honest heart. I've got to be ready to receive it. I've got to be
willing to make changes. I've got to break up any fallow ground. I've got to
decide to put God first in each and every way in my life. Are we accepting
the Word of God, are we putting it to use in our lives, is our soil ready to
receive that which God gives?
Another powerful text in the book of Luke that kind of highlights one
of the great messages in this account we ask, "Are you a Mary or are you a
Now you're thinking what is a Mary or a Martha? Well let's hear the
story from Luke 10:38-42. Notice Jesus uses this example. The Bible says,
"Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village and a
certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had
a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word. But
Martha was distracted with much serving and she approached Him and
said, 'Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?
Therefore tell her to help me.' And Jesus answered and said to her,
‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one
thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part which will not be
taken away from her.’"
I hear this story, and I can see it from both sides. If you knew Jesus
was coming to your home, I know what we would need to do first. We might
want to straighten up. We might want to get something ready to serve Him.
We might want to make a jug of tea or have some cookies there, or make
sure everything's picked up in the house. Here you've got Martha, and she
is distracted with much serving. It's almost humorous. We learn that Mary is
sitting at the feet of Jesus learning. Martha has the audacity to come to
Jesus. Here you've got the sibling rivalry and some bickering going on.
Martha comes and she says, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left
me - in essence - in the kitchen alone? And I'm out here doing all this
serving. Tell her to help me also.’
Can you imagine saying that to Jesus? ‘Tell my sister to get up and
come in here and help me fix these cookies or help me straighten up a little
bit.’ Jesus said, " Martha, Martha, you're worried and distracted about many
things," now listen to this, "one thing is needful and Mary has chosen that
good part which will not be taken away from her."
Both of these things were good. It's good to serve. It's good to sit at
the feet of Jesus and study. If you could chose, which would you pick?
Jesus emphasized, "Martha, Mary's chosen the good part." Sitting
here, studying, learning about salvation, not being busy and distracted with
many things, that's not what's important. You need to focus on learning
about me, learning about the way of salvation, and really giving yourself to
the Word of God. Don't get so distracted by life, don't get so distracted
maybe even with good things, serving others that you forget to sit at the
feet of Jesus and learn from Him. That's the really important thing in this
Let's turn our attention now to another man in the Bible. There is
another individual in the Bible who made a very poor choice. We learn
about the rich fool in Luke 12:15-21.
Listen to these words, "Jesus said to him, 'Take heed and beware of
covetousness for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things
he possesses.’” Then He spoke a parable to them saying: “The ground of a
certain rich man yielded plentifully. He thought within himself, saying, ‘what
shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?' So he said, ' I will do
this: I will pull down, my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my
crops and my goods.’ I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid
up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry’ But God said
to him, “Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will
those things be which you have provided? So is he who lays up treasure
for himself, and is not rich toward God."
You can imagine this scenario. Well what's the problem with this
man? His failure to factor God and his own soul into his decisions. He said,
"I'll tear down my barns and build bigger barns." What did God say to him?
"Fool! This night your soul will be required of you."
What was the point? Like Martha, this man was distracted. He was
distracted by his farming. He was distracted by his great crop year. He was
distracted pulling down barns and building barns. You know what he forgot
to do? Take care of his own soul. Here's the point Jesus makes, “So is he
who lays up treasure for himself, but is not rich toward God."
Friend, there's a very, very powerful lesson here, and it's this: my
soul, your soul, Martha's soul, the rich man here's soul- that's the most
important possession and treasure you've got.
Do you remember what Jesus said in Mark 8:36-37? "What will it
profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?" or, "What
shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"
Friend, let's think honestly for a minute, I believe some people like
Martha and like the rich fool intentionally busy themselves with so much
stuff and junk in their lives that they just say: ‘I don't have time to think
about that right now. I don't have time to study the Bible. I don't have time
to think about my soul. I don't have time to think about eternity.’ God says
to them, "You fool. And how do you know your soul won't be required of
you tonight?" James 4:14 says, "What is your life? It's but a vapor that
appears for a little while and then vanishes away."
We desperately need to make sure that we're right with God. The
things of this world cannot please us in the end.
Do you remember the rich, young ruler in Mark 10? He came to
Jesus and he said, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
Great question in essence, what do I need to do to be saved? Jesus said,
"Keep the law. Do not murder, do not steal, do not commit adultery, honor
your father and mother.” "All these I have done since my childhood." "One
thing you lack." What is that? "Go sell what you have, give to the poor, and
come follow me." You know the rest of that story? The Bible says the rich
young ruler went away sorrowful for he had great possessions. He let his
stuff, junk, and possessions keep him from having eternal life.
Friend, don't let that be you today, don't let the things of this world,
the joys, the pleasures, the busyness that we all have, don't let that get in
your way of going to Heaven.
More than anything God wants you, we want you, and Christians
want you to obey the Gospel.
I want you to think about yourself- Are you a Mary, who's ready to sit
at the feet of Jesus, put everything aside, put first things first and learn from
him? Or are you like Martha? Martha was a good person. She was serving.
She was doing good things. She was so distracted by serving and life and
all the other busy things that she overlooked the most important. Or are you
like the rich fool so busy building up treasure here and taking care of stuff
here and busy with the day to day tasks here that you fail to think about
your own soul?
Friend, I can promise you this, if the time is not made now to think
about your soul, when will you make it? You won't make it on the other
side, eternity is forever, and this is your one and only chance. We urge you
to make it right.
What does the message of Luke teach us? It teaches us the power of
Jesus' humanity, what He did for us, and how that we can have the hope of
eternal life through Him.
If Jesus came to seek and save that which is lost, I need to realize
that I am, you are, we are that which was lost.
All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23.
There is none that is righteous no not one and thank God that he came to
save us, and friend let's think about our own soul.
What must I do to be saved? You've got to hear the word of God
(Rom 10:17). You've got to believe Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life
(John 14:6) (John 8:24). You've got to be willing to repent and turn back to
God (Lk 13:1-5). You must make that good confession and be immersed in
water for the forgiveness of your sins.
On the day of Pentecost they asked, "Men and brethren what shall
we do?" And here's the answer, "Repent and be baptized for the remission
of your sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
If you've never done that, why not do it today? Why not put first
things first, take care of your soul, let the rest fall into place, and make sure
more than anything make sure that you're right with God.
Study Questions for: “Luke: Lesson 1”
1. According to Luke 2:52, what 4 things increased in Jesus?
2. How many times do the key words “Son of Man” occur in Luke?
3. According to Hebrews 4:15, how did Jesus respond to temptation?
4. In Luke 2:49 when Jesus was questioned by his parents, how did He
5. According to Luke 19:10, why did Jesus come?
6. What does Luke 1:32-33 tell us of Jesus’ reign?
7. Where is Jesus according to Hebrews 1:4?
8. According to James 1:17, where do good things come from?
9. What does Luke 6:38 tell us to do? Why?
10. According to Luke 7:28-30, how do we reject God’s will?