Gospel which begins with the births of John the Baptist and Jesus, and closes with Jesus' appearance on the road to Emmaus and the ascension.

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They  laid him in a manger
because there was no place
for them in the inn
(Luke 2:7)

Luke 1-2 recounts the births of Jesus and John the BaptistJohn is born to the priest Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth in their old age.  An angel announces that John is to be the forerunner of the Messiah.  Jesus is born to Mary, who is a virgin engaged to Joseph.  The birth takes place in a stable in Bethlehem and angels tell shepherds the news. When Jesus is twelve his parents find him in the Temple, which he calls his father's house.

Luke 3:1--9:50 relates his ministry in Galilee.  Jesus is baptized then tempted by the devil in the wilderness.  In Nazareth he proclaims that God's Spirit is upon him, but the crowds become angry and seek to throw him off a cliff. Jesus performs miracles and engages in controversy over sabbath laws. After Peter confesses that Jesus is the Messiah, Jesus foretells his death and resurrection, and briefly appears in glory in an event known as the "Transfiguration."

Luke 9:51--19:28 traces Jesus' journey to Jerusalem.   The journey comprises the central part of the gospel.  Jesus performs healings and tells parables about the Good Samaritan who helped a man in need; the Prodigal Son whose father welcomed him back; the Rich Man who went to Hades and Lazarus who went to be with Abraham. At Jericho, he befriended a tax collector named Zaccheus, who had climbed a tree to see him.

Luke 19:29--24:53 recounts his passion and resurrection.  Crowds praise Jesus when he enters Jerusalem on a donkey.  He drives merchants out of the Temple and teaches there.  He eats the Passover meal with his disciples and is betrayed by Judas.   After his arrest, Jesus appears before Herod Antipas, who hopes that he will do a miracle, and before Pilate, who pronounces Jesus' innocent. Jesus is crucified along with two criminals. One criminal asks Jesus to remember him, and Jesus replies that "Today you will be with me in paradise." The crucifixion culminates in Jesus' words "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit" and the centurion's confession that Jesus was righteous. On Easter, the risen Jesus appears to two disciples on the road to Emmaus. They did not recognize him until he broke bread with them, but later said that their hearts burned within them when he opened the meaning of the Scriptures to them. Jesus also appeared to disciples in Jerusalem, where he ate bread to show that he was not a ghost. From Bethany, a place near Jerusalem, he ascended into heaven and the disciples returned to the city blessing God.

Luke 4:16-30 - Sermon at Nazareth
Luke 15:11-32 - Parable of the prodigal son
Luke 23:26-49 - Jesus' death
Luke 24:1-53 - Resurrection


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Photo Craig Koester.

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