Era 11: Messianic Fulfillment
Introduction to Messianic Fulfillment:
This era covers the Gospel of Luke
The Gospel of Luke
St. Luke was not an Apostle but a missionary companion of St. Paul (cf. Col 4:14).
The “beloved physician” is the only Gentile author in the New Testament and is also the author of the Acts of the Apostles, a continuation of his Gospel.
Since the Acts of the Apostles closes while St. Paul is under house arrest in Rome awaiting trial, it can be concluded that it was completed no later than AD 62, and, likewise, the Gospel of St. Luke must have been composed before that time.
St. Luke also makes no mention of the widespread persecutions of Christians that took place in Rome after AD 64, nor does he refer to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.
These events could not reasonably have escaped mention had St. Luke, such a careful chronicler, known of them at the time that he wrote his Gospel.
St. Luke addressed his Gospel to “Theophilus,” which means “beloved of God.”
It is not clear whether this Theophilus was an individual or simply a fictitious figure used as a literary device to indicate all of God’s faithful.
The skillful narrative appears written to appeal to both Gentile and Jewish converts, often using Greek instead of Hebrew or Aramaic terms and making more allusions to rather than direct citations of the Old Testament.
It is a Gospel for all Christians, whether in Judea or Samaria or dispersed throughout the Roman Empire.
St. Luke’s account is arguably the most elegantly written of the four Gospels and contains many unique details, particularly in its infancy narrative of the Birth of Christ and of his cousin, St. John the Baptist (cf. 1:5-2:52).
This Gospel is alone in describing the Annunciation, the Visitation, the prophecies of Sts. Simeon and Anna at the time of the Presentation of Christ, the finding of Christ in the Temple, and the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Zechariah.
St. Luke is the sole Evangelist to report the parables of the Good Samaritan and of the Prodigal Son.
St. Luke’s overriding theme is the catholicity of the Gospel message: Although Christ came to preach to the Jews first in fulfillment of the messianic prophecies of the Old Testament, his invitation to faith, repentance, and salvation extends to all people.
Within this mission, Christ issued a special call to the least members of society: the marginalized, the poor, the oppressed, the sick, the unclean, and to all sinners.
Amid the patriarchal society of his day, Christ elevated women.
St. Luke records the reception of the Gospel by several women including Sts. Elizabeth, Mary Magdalene, and the sisters Mary and Martha (cf. 10:38-42).
In particular, his highlighting of the person of the Blessed Virgin Mary inspires much of the Marian piety and theology that has developed since the earliest days of Christianity.
(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)
Welcome Jeff Cavins :)
Oooh today’s episode has a SPONSOR!!
THE HALLOW APP!!
Seriously, I love this App
Bishop Robert Barron!!
THOUSANDS OF MEDITATIONS!!
It literally feels like just yesterday we started all of this
Here we are in the New Testament
It is the FINAL GOSPEL of the four
WHAT AN ADVENTURE!!
What does Fr. Mike think of all of this?
This has been an INCREDIBLE journey
Every time Fr. Mike records or listens to an episode, he’s not just the “president, he’s also the client”
He’s referring to the Hair Club For Men commercial from the 80s
GEN X BABY!!! 😉
Perhaps we can talk about Luke
So Fr. Mike listens as well as reads
Fr. Mike is so grateful for The Great Adventure Timeline created by Jeff Cavins
Fr. Mike did undergrad in THEOLOGY then did 5 years in SEMINARY
He spent 9 years total studying THEOLOGY, PHILOSOPHY, and SCRIPTURE
When he went through the Great Adventure Timeline, that was the one class where he finally GOT IT
OH MY GOSH!! THAT MAKES SENSE NOW!!
All the little pieces he got from all the other classes and all these other schools made sense all of a sudden
So the Gospel of Luke is the one Jeff Cavins uses for the Great Adventure Timeline
It goes from the Gospel of Luke to Acts
Not Mark, Matthew or John to Acts
Here we are
Finally, after all these days, all this time, we are back here where we get to see the FULFILLMENT OF EVERYTHING WE HAVE BEEN LISTENING TO UP UNTIL NOW
The Great Adventure Study comes in an 8 PART VERSION as well as a 24 WEEK VERSION which is the long kind of journey through the ENTIRE BIBLE
It’s a great thing to do AFTER Bible in a Year if you are looking to go DEEPER
Start a group!
Join a group!
In the meantime, keep going through Bible in a Year again
SOAK YOURSELF IN SCRIPTURE
What’s happening WORLDWIDE with Catholics and the Bible is HISTORICAL
Catholics are studying the Bible MORE THAN EVER
Catholics are sharing Christ with people MORE THAN EVER
It’s just a great time to be alive
People always ask Jeff what his favorite Gospel is
He says, “Matthew, until I come to Luke. You know, it’s probably Luke.”
One of the reasons is that originally, Luke and Acts were ONE BOOK
And then they were divided up for the purpose of keeping John as the FOURTH GOSPEL
The SYNOPTIC GOSPELS are Matthew, Mark, and Luke
They all seem to come from the same source with the same view
Luke states his purpose in writing the Gospel very clearly at the beginning
He wanted to compile a carefully researched history of the Life of Jesus
So it’s like a biography, really, of Jesus
He’s got the pedigree too
Not only was he a PHYSICIAN
He was a companion of St. Paul
This is a good trivia question
Who is the most prolific author of the New Testament?
Jeopardy music playing….
I would guess….PAUL?
Is it really?
St. Paul has more letters yes
Back to Seminary, Fr. Mike!!
So St. Paul has more BOOKS
St. Luke has more CONTENT
So it was originally one book
It begins with St. Luke writing to someone named THEOPHILUS which means, “LOVED BY GOD”
MOST EXCELLENT THEOPHILUS (Hey, who knew that St. Luke knew Bill and Ted? 😉)
The question always comes up
Who is Theophilus??
Nobody knows but there are a lot of guesses
Even the guess that the name THEOPHILUS is addressed to generic Christians
People who Love God, this is to you
So we don’t know who Theophilus is, so just read it as if it’s addressed to YOU
WHICH IS A GREAT WAY TO READ THE BIBLE IN THE FIRST PLACE!!
What makes this Gospel different from the others?
It is part of the Synoptic Gospels
There are some things that make it different
For example, Luke REALLY focuses on JESUS THE MAN
JESUS THE IDEAL MAN
We know that He is GOD
We know that He is MAN
THE HYPOSTATIC UNION
That HUMAN NATURE is really brought out in Luke
The HUMANITY OF JESUS
It talks about Jesus GROWING IN WISDOM
It talks about Jesus GROWING IN STATURE
It talks about Jesus GROWING IN FAVOR WITH GOD
It talks about Jesus’ TEMPTATION
Jesus PHYSICALLY TOUCHES a leper
Sweat like DROPS OF BLOOD come from his head in Gethsemane
He even EATS A MEAL after the Resurrection
So there’s this real emphasis on the HUMANITY OF JESUS
St. Luke was a GENTILE DOCTOR
As a Gentile doctor, he seems to notice things that the other Gospel writers did not write about
Like the OUTSIDERS
THE UNEXPECTED PERSON IN THE NARRATIVE
Like Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
The Good Samaritan
The Prodigal Son
So for those that feel like maybe you’re an outsider, Luke is a GOOD BOOK
Luke will DRAW YOU IN and he will share with you the OUTSIDER’S VIEW and how they became a member of the HOUSEHOLD OF GOD
St. Luke has SO MANY PARABLES
There are parables in each of the Gospels
There are unique parables in Luke that aren’t necessarily found in the other three Gospels
There are TEN of them
The Two Debtors in Ch 7
The Friend at Midnight in Ch 11
The Rich Fool
Parable of Punishment
Parable of Barren Trees
Parable of Lost Coins
Parable of Shrewd Managers
Parable of Rich Man and Lazarus
Parable of the Persistent Widow
Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
It might be Ch 8 he even gives the meaning in why he is telling parables
It is for the INSIDER
It is for the people who are FOLLOWING HIM
THEY are going to get it
And to the people on the OUTSIDE it is a mystery
Parables were a VERY POPULAR WAY for Rabbis to teach in the first century
Parables draw everybody in to sit around to listen
By the time he gets done, you’re going to feel like he is only talking to YOU
Your next word is, “Why are you pointing me out here? You drew me in, you fooled me. You’re talking about me!”
Is Jesus talking about you?
Yes he is!
A couple other POWERFUL things in the Gospel of Luke
In Ch 1 we have one of the stories of the Visitation
It’s really important when it comes to the Rosary
Luke is MASTERFUL when he writes about the Visitation with Mary visiting Elizabeth
He is showing you something on the surface...Mary visiting Elizabeth
If you really look under the hood here, you will see that he is MIRRORING 2 Samuel Ch 6
This is where David brings the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem for the FIRST TIME!!
So you have almost IDENTICAL STATEMENTS in Ch 1
Luke 1:39, “In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country…”
2 Samuel 6, “David arose and went to the hill country…”
“The child leaped in her womb (John the Baptist)”
“David leaped before the Ark of the Covenant…”
Elizabeth says, “And why is this granted me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
David says of the Ark, “How is it that the Ark of the Lord has come to me?”
And the FOURTH PARALLEL is that she (Mary) stayed with Elizabeth for 3 months
In 2 Samuel Ch 6 The ARK stayed at the house of Obed-Edom for 3 months
So Luke is saying, “Guys!! She IS the New Ark of the Covenant. Out of her womb comes the Living Word, The Word Incarnate, and the Great High Priest.”
The THREE THINGS that were in the Ark of the Covenant
So St. Luke is MASTERFUL at this
You don’t have to squint or cock your head to the side to see this
This is a CLEAR FULFILLMENT of the Old Ark of the Old Covenant
It is now FULFILLED in this NEW ARK of the NEW COVENANT
IT IS INCREDIBLE!!
You’re in there
When you read the New Testament, ALWAYS KEEP IN MIND the Old Testament
All of Scripture is CHRISTOCENTRIC
When we really get down under the literal meaning of what the author wanted to say, we are looking for the ALLEGORICAL SENSE
HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO JESUS AND HIS FAMILY?
This is one of the great examples of it
In light of everything that is happening in the world right now, the Gospel of Luke more than the other Gospels, has such a tremendous emphasis on the role of WOMEN in the Bible
The Blessed Virgin Mary
They’re PROMINENT FIGURES
They’re mentioned as people who supported Jesus financially in his ministry
There is such a role for women here
Anna, the prophetess, upon seeing Jesus really becomes the first evangelist to shout out the GOOD NEWS of deliverance in his name
She’s like a prophetess
Women play such a great role in the Gospel of Luke
So heartening and encouraging
For those who accompanied him, or supplied for his needs, there are a number of women mentioned
Not only that, but Luke is also interested in those who are on the FRINGES
Just like Jesus was interested in those who were on the fringes
Jesus was interested in going to those people who would not be normally comfortable or acceptable when it came to the normal religious practices
It keeps coming back again and again
If Jesus is the fulfillment
And John the Baptist is a prophet
But Jesus is definitely a PROPHET as well
He is identified as a prophet
He is going to have some PROPHET LIKE WORDS for people and he does
We spent 90 days going through the prophets in Bible in a Year
So we know what prophets sound like
Sometimes they give encouraging words
But they also give the words of truth that need to be spoken so that people can hear and repent
Jesus offers those words here in the Gospel of Luke
It’s GOOD FOR US TO HEAR
Sometimes, we have our particular “version” of Jesus
That “version” can agree with everything I agree with
He doesn’t “Like” tht things that I don’t like
He “likes” the things I do like
As opposed to REALLY LISTENING TO THE REAL JESUS here in the Gospels
All of us can say, at one time or another, that we were on the FRINGE
On the OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
It is a place of HOPE
For people who have sons and daughters who are far away from the Lord
That’s probably one of the most popular questions
“My son or daughter left the Church. What do I do?”
Luke is a good Gospel because we have people who are like the son or daughter
Zacchaeus or the Prodigal Son
IN A MOMENT…
THEIR LIVES CHANGED!!
THEY RETURNED TO THE FATHER’S HOUSE
THEY CAME AND HAD DINNER WITH JESUS!!
THEY ENTERED THE DRAMA
Like the Good Samaritan
So be encouraged
Another theme that really sticks out is the picture of JESUS IN PRAYER
Jesus in prayer, more than in any of the other Gospels
He prays at the beginning of his ministry in Ch 3 and its close in Ch 23
He prays all night before selecting the Apostles
He prays when he is exalted
He prays when he is humiliated
The Lord prays when he is confessed and Peter denies him
You can go on and on
As the result of this, in Ch 11 the disciples are begging him, “Teach us how to pray! We want to pray like you pray!”
Take note of that and you too ask God, “TEACH ME TO PRAY!!”
It’s always good to use the example of Jesus in prayer and adopt that into our own lives
Even the example of the disciples asking Jesus to teach them to pray
There are a bunch of students who maybe got this out of Scripture itself, when asked to lead in prayer one of the first things that come often out of their mouth is, “Come, Lord Jesus. Teach us how to pray.” or “Come Holy Spirit, teach us how to pray.”
That instinct that asks, just like the disciples asked Jesus, “Lord, teach us how to pray.”
Every time we begin prayer, it’s so powerful to be reminded that we are in that place of beginners
In that place of learning and knowing that it is the HOLY SPIRIT who teaches us how to pray because we don’t pray as we ought
Also PRAY FOR YOUR ENEMIES!!
In Luke Ch 8 Jesus makes a statement that is really eye-opening
“My family is comprised of those who hear my word and do it. These are my mother, my brothers, my sisters.”
That is so powerful to know that we are drawn closer in a FAMILIAL way to Jesus by not only hearing his Word, but by DOING his Word
If you want to get closer to Jesus then DO HIS WORD
LISTEN TO HIS WORD
It’s not just listening and doing
IT IS MOVING CLOSER TO HIM
How many people ask the question, “How do I feel closer to the Lord?”
The answer is not just a feeling
But, those who HEAR the Word and ACT on it ARE FAMILY
REGARDLESS OF FEELING
REGARDLESS OF EMOTION
REGARDLESS OF ALL THOSE OTHER SUBJECTIVE FACTORS
It’s just like in the Gospel of John, “If you love me, you’ll keep my Commandments.”
DO WHAT I ASK YOU
DO WHAT I SAY
Then in Luke Ch 9 it even moves further down the road from family to DISCIPLESHIP
The PRICE or the COST of discipleship
That PRICE of not only being FAMILY but being a DISCIPLINED FOLLOWER of Him is that you have to PICK UP YOUR CROSS and FOLLOW HIM
That is not 24-karat
That is the CROSS
How HE lived, YOU live
How HE suffered YOU suffer
The obstacles that HE faced, YOU are going to face
How HE was treated, YOU are going to be treated that way as well
For students at college, that is a great truth to take to heart
Luke Ch 14, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.”
He doubles down, “Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.”
When Fr. Mike first read this as a teenager, it just struck him
PICK UP YOUR CROSS
This is what HAS to be part of MY life if I’m going to be a DISCIPLE OF JESUS
Fr. Mike wasn’t necessarily overjoyed about it
But at the same time it was very clear
That gave him a lot of consolation
PICK UP YOUR CROSS
The first two are important and obviously necessary
The THIRD part
To be WANTED BY THE LORD
TO HEAR HIM SAY, “I WANT YOU TO FOLLOW ME.”
It helps the first two become palatable or even capable of doing that
If Jesus asks you or me, or our friends to FOLLOW HIM, maybe following anybody else on Instagram or anything else is not important
I’ve got the one who I’m following here
He’s my KING
He’s my LORD
Luke Ch 24 the Emmaus Road Experience
It’s the ONLY GENTILE writer explaining the inner workings of the MASS
The Liturgy of the Word
The Liturgy of the Eucharist
You have Cleopas and somebody else
They are walking away from Jerusalem
They don’t know that Jesus has risen from the dead
Their heads are hung low
By the way my friends, if your heads are hung low maybe you have not noticed that HE IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD
HE IS LORD
HE IS ON THE THRONE
So they are walking away and then Jesus joins them
So does God have a sense of humor?
“Hey, what are you guys talking about? Are you the only ones who don’t know?”
“About Jesus of Nazareth?”
And then what does he do?
He sits down and gives them the Bible Study of ALL Bible studies
Luke Ch 24 is the CD set we wish we had
He goes through the Old Testament and explains WHY the Son of Man had to SUFFER
Of all the themes that he would spend that entire day teaching on, he teaches on SUFFERING
Which goes back to Luke Ch 9 and the Cost of Discipleship
So Jesus has a meal with them
The breaking of the bread is the same as the Liturgy of the Eucharist and THEN their EYES ARE OPENED AND THEY SEE HIM
That is SUCH A BEAUTIFUL MESSAGE FOR US TODAY
In the EUCHARIST just like in Luke Ch 24 if you want your EYES OPENED GO TO MASS
You want to see life how it REALLY IS?
GO TO MASS!!
Do you want to know the TRUTH?
GO TO MASS!!
It will TRANSFORM YOU like the couple that was walking the Road to Emmaus
And then they returned to Jerusalem
So everyone who is listening and if you are walking away, go back and meet Jesus in the Eucharist
Every third summer there is this camp for junior high students
They walk through Luke Ch 24
The whole week is this journey with Cleopas and Mrs. Cleopas
Maybe that’s who he was travelling with
The person is unnamed after all
We experience a brokenness in our lives
We are DEJECTED
They were so disappointed
We had hoped he would be the one to redeem Israel
We HAD hoped
Not we ARE hoping
Not we are GOING to hope
But we USED to
We HAD hoped
Now there is hope no longer
And Jesus has this incredible surprise for them
It’s not merely the surprise of ONE TIME MEETING
A ONE TIME being able to encounter and see him again
It is this SURPRISE that they will RELIVE EVERY SINGLE SUNDAY
EVERY SINGLE LORD’S DAY
WHENEVER THEY ARE ENCOUNTERING THE MASS
In our HOPELESSNESS
In our BROKENNESS
What does Jesus do?
He shows up
He breaks open the WORD
Then the WORD is made FLESH and GIVEN TO US in the EUCHARIST
Looking at the differences in the four Gospels
Except for a little mention at the end of Mark, Luke is the Gospel that really brings us into that mystery of the Ascension of Jesus
He goes into some detail there
In fact, that is where Ascension got their name...there it is!!
The Ascension acts as a BRIDGE from the Gospels to Acts
Because Luke originally wrote it all together and the Church split it in two
Right from that chapter we launch right into Acts so it is seamless
One day it is Luke Ch 24
The next day it is Acts Ch 1
We can keep our eyes and ears attuned to all these elements
Women in the Gospel
So many nativity stories come from Luke
The extra parables
The extra teaching
The high call for discipleship
If we were going to have one way of listening DIFFERENTLY to Luke’s Gospel than we listen to the other three, what is one filter we need on our ears?
Listen for THIS piece that is MORE emphasized in Luke’s Gospel?
There are a couple things