In this episode, Tim and Jon discuss the first six chapters of the gospel of Luke. Luke stands out among the other gospels because it is all about Jesus’ message being first for the poor and outcasts. This made the religious leaders of the day mad, and Jesus’ ministry was totally revolutionary in a culture that was all about status and wealth. Luke’s gospel is constantly calling back to the Hebrew Scriptures, and it emphasizes, again and again, that Jesus is the Messiah that the prophets talked about.
In the first part of the episode (02:01-11:10), the guys talk about the literary genius of the gospel of Luke. Luke’s account oozes with Old Testament allusions, and he did this so that his audience would see how connected Jesus is to Israel’s story and history.
In the next part of the episode (11:41-19:28), the guys spend a lot of time talking about why Luke included the story of Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River. The symbolism between Jesus’ baptism and the crossing of the children of Israel into the promised land is unmistakable! Jesus was making a bold statement. He was here to usher in a new age for Israel.
In the next part of the episode (19:59-25:55), the guys continue to talk about the unique quality of Luke’s gospel. Even the structure of the book is different than the other gospels. Luke continues to use Old Testament imagery, specifically the exodus motif, so that his audience can’t ignore the connection between Jesus and Israel’s story.
In the next part of the episode (26:25-42:14), Tim and Jon talk about Luke 4. This is the story of Jesus reading from Isaiah 61 proclaiming that he is the Messiah that the prophets talked about. This is another incredibly bold statement from Jesus. He goes on to describe this new age and his upside-down Kingdom that will mean freedom for the poor and oppressed.
In the final part of the episode (42:44-56:08), the guys discuss the honor/shame culture of Israel during Jesus’ ministry. It was this context that made his ministry to the outcasts so scandalous. This is the main point of Luke’s gospel. In Jesus’ new Kingdom, God’s mercy rules, and no person is exalted above another.