Luke and Justification

In Luke 5 and 8, two stories are told that may shed some interesting light on the question of justification. In 5:17-26, men lower a man on a bed through the roof of a house so that Jesus can heal him. Verse 20 says “seeing their faith, Jesus said, ‘Man, your sins are forgiven . . . . Continue Reading »

Numbers in Luke 3

Another thought from Luke, this time chapter 3. The genealogy of Jesus in Luke 3 contains 77 names. Several commentators suggest that the names are arranged in 11 groups of 7, and that there is a pattern of 7s (groups of 2 and 3 7s) that provides an overview of history from Adam to Jesus. If this . . . . Continue Reading »

Simeon’s Song

In Simeon’s song in Luke 2, he says that Jesus will cause the “fall and rising” of many in Israel. “Rising” translates ” anastasis ,” the word for resurrection. That may help to explain the sequence (fall—rise, rather than rise—fall). Simeon is . . . . Continue Reading »

Exhortation, August 17

The exhortation from August 17, 2003: Ancient heretics tried to deny it, and modern heretics do the same, but Luke could hardly make it clearer that Jesus is the human God. Throughout the first chapter of Luke’s gospel, Luke uses the word “Lord” to describe the God of Israel. . . . . Continue Reading »

Shakespeare and Rome

Researching for a commentary on Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar , I came across the intriguing theory that Shakespeare’s Roman plays are as concerned about 16th-century Rome as ancient Rome. In Shakespeare’s day, of course, Rome was the center of Roman Catholicism, which was seen by . . . . Continue Reading »

Sermon Outline, August 17

Sermon notes for August 17, 2003: Savior and Lord, Emperor and King, Luke 2:1-52 INTRODUCTION Luke dates the story of John by reference to the reign of Herod the Great, king of Judea (1:5). But he dates the birth of Jesus by reference to the reign of Caesar Augustus, who has the authority to take a . . . . Continue Reading »

Terrorism & Piracy

There is a fascinating article in the current Atlantic Monthly about terrorism, business, and piracy on the high seas. William Langewiesche, who did a series of articles for the Atlantic on the aftermath of 9/11, tells some harrowing stories about the chaotic world that occupies a sizable portion . . . . Continue Reading »

Gage on John and Revelation

I had the opportunity this week to listen to a series of sermons by Warren Gage of Knox Theological Seminary in Fort Lauderdale. Gage is an Assistant Professor of OT, but he did his doctoral work at the University of Dallas on the politics of John and Revelation, and did a lot of structural . . . . Continue Reading »


Peter Stuhlmacher says in his commentary on Romans (Westminster/John Knox) that ” apostolos ” in Greek literature meant “one who leads a naval expedition” or “admiral.” Though he says this has nothing to do with the NT usage, I suspect that Luke is making some . . . . Continue Reading »

Sermon Outline, August 10

Sermon notes for August 10: A Forerunner Before the Lord, Luke 1:57-80 INTRODUCTION John the Baptist’s motto was “He must increase, I must decrease” (John 3:30). Though Luke does not quote this saying, the early chapters of his gospel are written to illustrate exactly this . . . . Continue Reading »