St. Luke, Evangelist

Today's Reading: Luke 10:1-9

Daily Lectionary: Deuteronomy 17:1-20; Matthew 14:1-21

After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. (Luke 10:1)

In the Name + of Jesus. We call St. Luke the Evangelist because he is one of the four Gospel writers (Along with Matthew, Mark and John). The word "Gospel" means "Good News" (from the Greek: "Evangel" which means "glad tidings.") That there are four Gospels recalls the Lord's promise to proclaim this Good News to the ends of the earth (think north, south, east and west).

During His earthly ministry, Jesus sent preachers ahead of Him to announce His arrival. Today, pastors proclaim that Jesus is on His way. He will show up on the Last Day, to be sure. But He also comes now, in His church, through the preaching of the Word and through the water of Baptism and the bread and wine of His Supper.

But how do pastors know what to proclaim? What is there to say about Jesus? What do we tell people? St. Paul, as he traveled the Mediterranean, was often accompanied by Luke. Luke knew what Paul was preaching: Jesus Christ and Him crucified and raised from the dead the third day to save sinners.

No wonder, then, that St. Luke has so many stories from Jesus' life that focus on saving those who need saving: the lost sheep and coin, the prodigal son, the good Samaritan, the thief on the cross who is saved. This is such Good News to poor sinners who are lost and yet found by God in His everlasting grace in Christ.

So St. Luke wrote it down. He interviewed the people who saw and knew Jesus and wrote down what they had seen and heard. And so our pastors preach, and we hear read and proclaimed, this Jesus who was born to save sinners, who gave His life for them on Calvary and who rose again on Easter and taught them how all the Scriptures pointed to Him. St. Luke's Gospel is a treasure and gift because it delivers Jesus! In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

For that belov'd physician All praise, whose Gospel shows The Healer of the nations, The one who shares our woes. Your wine and oil, O Savior, Upon our spirits pour, And with true balm of Gilead Anoint us evermore. (By All Your Saints in Warfare, LSB 518:26)

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