Luke ... an artist at work

Most men have hobbies, and it would be easy to believe that Dr. Luke was no exception to the rule. Undoubtedly he was a very busy man, yet in his spare time he developed a love for writing. His gospel account is the longest and the more detailed of the other three gospel writers.

Some of the pictures he paints with he words hang alone in splendid isolation; they need neither supporting pictures nor the commendation of man.

Yet, others are strangely and uniquely related. They seem to hang together, for none are complete without the others. Their production, and even their place in the collection, exhibit genius.

Bob Jones University has a world famous art collection of the world’s greatest paintings but no one are like those of Luke.

I. Earth and Its MADNESS - Luke 14:16-24

The great hall was lavishly decorated; the tables were prepared for a feast that would make history! The host was satisfied. He had planned to honor his guests, and no expense had been spared in supplying the best his wealth could offer.


The invitations went out.


Come simply.

Come surely.

Come presently.


The plans have been made. The provisions have been prepared. The invitations are sent out. However, the invitations were not only extended, but they are eluded. Notice verses 18-20.

They each made up an excuse not to come to the great supper. Everything had been provided. All they had to do was show up but, they each made an excuse not to come.

1. The first man offers what I call the excuse LAND.

“I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.”

2. The second man offers what I call the excuse of LABOR.

Notice verse 19.

This man’s excuse put off his coming because he was too busy.

3. The third man offers what I call the excuse of a LADY

The master frowned! An inspection of land; a testing of common beasts; the company of a woman causes you not to come. What folly!

In considering this picture, Luke was intrigued. God in Christ provides a meal of eternal magnificence beyond our comprehension, but the fact that sinners should invent excuses to refuse God’s invitation of salvation, suggested madness!

II. Heaven and Its GLADNESS - Luke 15: 11-24

The night was still; the stars were serene and beautiful. Across the fields, the windows of a farmhouse glows in the darkness. The laughter of the guests announced this to be a night of rejoicing. A long lost son had been found; the wanderer in a far country was home again. Oh, joy!

The father’s face is glowing; he constantly lingers alongside the boy for whom he had waited so long for.

The guests are still remembering the glad cry which echoed from his lips, "Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat and be merry. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found."

Luke carefully placed this picture on

the walls of the scriptures as he remembered the words of the Lord Jesus: "Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth " (v. 10). It is shouting time in Heaven when a sinner who lost is found.

While men may be mocking over a conversion of a sinners, heaven is rejoicing. Who could be happier than the God who planned salvation, prepared for salvation, and provided salvation for us?

I wonder if this verse explains how the angels are made aware of conversions? The scene beggars description.

The Son rejoices, and the Father rejoices, and the angels catch the rapture of it.

On November 14, 1998 thousands were watching on TV the Kansas State Wildcats and the Nebraska Cornhuskers play football in Manhattan, Kansas. Kansas has not beaten Nebraska in almost 30 years and when the game was over and the Wildcats of Kansas had won.... there was great rejoicing.

The commentator for ABC, Keith Jackson, said while wrapping it up and signing off, "Goodnight from the happiest place on earth, Manhattan, Kansas." While I pondered his words I can’t help but think of the words of our text about joy in heaven over one sinner who gets saved. If you are here and have not accepted Christ, you have the opportunity to set off a celebration in heaven that will make the one at Kansas State look like a neighborhood party.

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