Summary: Year C Third Sunday After the Epiphany January 21, 2001

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Year C Third Sunday After the Epiphany

January 21, 2001

Lord of the Lake Lutheran Church

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By The Rev. Jerry Morrissey, Esq., Pastor


Text: Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21

Title: “Grace from Faith”

Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving me my sins and giving me eternal life. Empower me to be the kind of person you want me to be. Amen.

Jesus speaks his first recorded words in Luke proper, notwithstanding Chapter 2 verse 49, by reading from Isaiah in a synagogue service at Nazareth and proclaims the words he read to be fulfilled in their hearing of them.

This text gives us two introductions or beginnings. One is by Luke himself (1: 1-4). It is an introduction to the gospel. The other is by Jesus (4: 14-21). It is an introduction of the gospel.

In Luke Chapter 1 verses 1-4: Introduction to the Gospel according to Luke. Luke is writing for non-Christians, claiming a place for Christianity on the stage of world history. He begins in typical fashion for a work of serious literature in the Greco-Roman world, employing excellent Greek.

A narrative: The Greek, diegesis, means “orderly account.” He is claiming to write history, much like a Herodotus or Thucydides, who was a Greek historian; considered the greatest historian of antiquity.

Eyewitnesses: Luke is not an eyewitness. He has interviewed them and claims to be faithful to what they report seeing.

Ministers of the word: Only here is this term used to refer to those who preach the Christian gospel. Thus his “authorities” are not academic historians, but people who knew and lived by the word they preached.

Theophilus: This could refer to an actual patron who financed the project Side bar: It would be most politic to mention his name and quite customary. However, since the word means “lover of God” it also has symbolic import, referring to anyone reading his account with an open mind.

In Chapter 4 verses 14-21: Introduction of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Both the above and this introduction are formal and solemn. Both speak of things that have been “fulfilled.” Both represent a true beginning. This one contains the content of the gospel as Jesus himself preferred to present it. This is Luke’s understanding of what Jesus meant by “Repent, the kingdom is at hand” recorded as his first words in Mark and Matthew.

In verses 14 and 15: Jesus begins his ministry with his return to Galilee from the wilderness after his baptism and victory over temptation. He opens with a formal address in the synagogue of Nazareth, his hometown, before setting out on his journey south to Jerusalem where he will be crucified. This short summary tells of his debut as a teacher corresponding in content to Mark Chapter 1 verse 14 and Matthew Chapter 4 verses 12-17.

Initial acceptance turns to rejection. In Verses 14-21, this week’s reading, speaks of the acceptance of Jesus and his message of Old Testament fulfillment, while verses. 22-30, next week’s reading tell of rejection. Luke has deliberately put this story at the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus to encapsulate his entire ministry and the reaction to it.

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