Day 78 – December 12, 2023: Luke 1-6

The Gospel of Luke contains the most detail concerning the birth of Jesus and the events surrounding the birth. We find the story of John the baptist and his parents and how they were not able to conceive, but then, very similar to what happens to Mary, an angel appears and promises that John will be born and that he will be the one to announce the coming of the Messiah. Similarly Mary receives an angel in what is called the Annunciation, meaning that the angel announces the birth to be of Jesus. We then read about the birth and the corresponding visit of the shepherds, the three visits to the temple: circumcision, purification, and probably his bar mitzvah at 12.

Jesus chooses his discipes in this Gospel but not until after he has been tempted and done work in casting out demons and healing people. But Jesus has already done some pretty amazing things before the disciples are chosen. Throughout his ministry Jesus makes sure that people know that he is there to heal the sick and not to prop up those who are leaders in the community or those who already have the institutions in their favor. Look at the song of both Mary and of Simeon in the temple. The poor and the lowly are lifted up in both.

Beyond a shadow of a doubt Luke portrays those who follow Jesus, and really Jesus’ ministry as a whole, as a reversal of what culture and society normally attests. Those without power and the poorest and disenfranchised are the ones that Jesus singles out as his disciples and his children. Those who operate in this world with power and with reckless abandon are seen as enemies of Jesus. This is something to cause us pause today as we see many who understand their role in the world as shaking things up and driving people out in a way that is contrary to Scripture. God never acts in ways that contradict His word. The poor and the powerless are still the most favored by God.

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