Topic: Luke's Perspective of Jesus: Ch. 7 Study Notes
by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 7 Paragraph # 2 Study # 2 August 10, 2008 Lincolnton, NC
16 And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.
17 And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about.
1901 ASV Translation:
16 And fear took hold on all: and they glorified God, saying, A great prophet is arisen among us: and, God hath visited his people.
17 And this report went forth concerning him in the whole of Judaea, and all the region round about.
I. Luke's Record of "Fear".
A. Luke says fear "took" all of them.
1. This particular verb normally has the idea of "taking into one's grip".
2. This is the root of a legitimate beginning response of fallen man to God.
a. Luke highlighted this same reaction in 5:26 when Jesus made the issue of the "forgiveness of sins" a central focus of His abilities.
b. Hidden beneath a vast host of superficial issues in the heart of man is the issue of acceptance/rejection by God. Because it is intuitive for man to assume His enmity, man buries the real issues of life as deeply as he can so that he does not have to deal with them. He does this out of a sense of impotence: he knows that God is vastly superior to him in every imaginable way and that, given the enmity, a horror is ever lurking on the horizon.
3. It is not the ideal, nor the goal, of God's desire for man, but it is presented in the Bible as "the beginning of wisdom" (Proverbs 9:10) and "the beginning of knowledge" (Proverbs 1:7).
B. He goes on to say that they "glorified the God".
1. This is, again, a "right" response in the setting.
2. But, unless this response takes on a life of its own in the heart and mind of the person, it is inconclusive.
C. The "problem", as Luke records it, is the jumble of values/beliefs that occupy the hearts and minds of the people with most of the jumble upside down in terms of what ought to be. Lesser issues consume the attention, time, and effort and the more important ones get buried in the rubble. Even in this record, theraisingofadeadman, though it is a notable demonstration of power, isnotnearlyasvaluableastheforgivenessofsins.
II. Luke's Record of "Conclusions".
A. The people made two major statements.
1. A great prophet is (has been) raised up among us.
a. This is "true" enough and is a valid beginning point. Prophets are notably "authoritative truth speakers" and provide a foundation for "faith" and its explanation. But, given what Jesus has already said and done, this is anemic.
b. This is a far cry from the centurion's insight. Jesus is still looking for the faith of the centurion in Israel and is still not finding it.
2. God (has) visited His people.
a. Luke recorded Zacharias as saying that "God ... hath visited and redeemed His people ..." and that John was going to be the forerunner (1:68, 76).
b. He also recorded Zacharias as saying that "... the dayspring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness ... to guide our feet into the way of peace" (1:78-79).
c. Our present text is the third and last reference by Luke to this "visitation".
B. The report went out into Judaea as well as the surrounding region.
1. This use may well be like 23:5 where the focus is not upon the region, but upon the religious identity, but, if so, it is not the norm. It is more likely that Luke is telling us that Jesus' reputation is swelling to the point that it cannot be ignored or treated as a back-water enthusiasm that has no real meaning.
a. It is no accident that Luke used this term at the point of the record of 5:17-26 where the focus is upon the presence of the most influential men in religious Israel are present to hear Jesus declare His ability to forgive sins.
1) Luke used both the "fear" thesis and the "Judaea" thesis in this earlier text.
2) This is the next occasion for both of those theses to be placed side by side.
3) The implication is that Luke intended for us to look at the two events and their focus-points together.
b. Neither is it an accident that Jesus' presentation of the nature of the Kingdom in 6:20-49 was made in the presence of a vast host "from all Judaea and Jerusalem...".
2. The issue here is, as has been the case all along, that Jesus is forcing the issue of Israel's relationship to God.
a. They claim to be "...His people...", but they are not in the more realistic sense of Hosea 1:9-10.
b. The baggage of Israel is massive and the deceit is pervasive.