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The Christmas Story: Luke 1-2


A Devotional Journey 
    led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
           Luke appears to have been the doctor (Colossians 4:14) of Paul who met him in Troas, just before he made his first trip to Europe.  Both the gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles are part of one complete work written for the benefit of a prominent gentile friend of the doctor’s, named Theophilus (1:3; see also Acts 1:1).
          Luke especially emphasizes: 1) the inclusion of gentiles in God’s plan; 2) the importance of prayer; 3) an obvious interest in the role played by women in Christ’s life; 4) special regard for sinners and the poor; 5) an emphasis on the love of God (as in the stories of the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son which are only reported in Luke’s gospel).
          Luke’s gospel is mainly divided by geography: 1) birth and preparation for ministry (1:1-4:13) ; 2) ministry in the area of Galilee (4:14-9:50); 3) ministry in the areas of Judea and Perea (9:51-19:27); 4) ministry in Jerusalem during the week before His crucifixion.
          Chapters 1 and 2 deal with the birth of Jesus as well as of His cousin, John (who would later be known as the Baptist).  The point is God’s clear orchestration of all the events, something which not only gives credence to Jesus’ ministry but also to that of John, and especially to John’s identification with the prophet Elijah.
          Luke alone records the presence of the poor shepherds at Jesus’ birth (Matthew adding the Magi).  Also the fulfillment of the prayers of the devout Jew named Simeon and the mention of Jesus’ early childhood is only mentioned in this gospel.
          As you read the opening chapters in Luke, notice what he establishes: first, that Jesus is sent by God; second, that all the details surrounding Jesus’ birth are overseen by God; third, that Jesus has a sense of His mission from the very beginning.

          In our lives as Christians, the same factors need to be in play: 1) we have been chosen by God for His purposes and we belong to Him; 2) He is involved in the workings of our lives – even when it does not seem so; 3) we were also given a mission from the time of our inclusion in His family – to go into the surrounding world and help other people meet and respond to His grace and love in Jesus Christ. 
          Today, ask God to renew in you a sense of His mission for your life.  Ask Him to show you the way(s) in which you can best serve Him and use your life.  Ask Him to lead you into a more effective witness in your family, with friends, at work or school and in other day-to-day contacts.  What the opening statement in the Campus Crusade for Christ witness tool says is true:  God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.  Let Him lead you to it and in it, today!

8 A. Eugene Pearson 2010