Reflections: October 18, 2020
St. Luke, Evangelist
By Mark Buetow
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. Amen. What's in the Gospels? We call Luke an "evangelist" because he wrote one of the four Gospels. In that Gospel, he gives a careful account of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and tells of many things Jesus said and did. When the apostles went to the ends of the earth preaching Christ, they were preaching what Luke would later put in his Gospel.
The pastoral Office and the Scriptures go hand in hand. Preachers preach what is in the Bible. The Bible is what the preachers preach. And that's repentance and the forgiveness of sins in Jesus' Name, the Jesus who suffered and rose again for sinners (Luke 24:46-47).
Jesus sent preachers to all the places He was about to go. So your preacher also goes where Jesus is about to go. You hear the sermon and then Jesus arrives, there on the altar in His Body and Blood. Your pastor absolves and preaches Christ to you, and that same Christ will arrive on the Last Day to raise you from the dead. Your pastor, like the apostles and the seventy sent by Jesus, is a herald, proclaiming the arrival of the King of Kings to bestow forgiveness and mercy upon His people.
Luke's Gospel (written to a man named Theophilus) was written, as Luke himself explains, in order that there would be a record of the things that were being preached in the Church. One of the great themes that runs throughout Luke's Gospel is that of the Savior of sinners. Luke records the parable of the lost sheep and coin and the prodigal son. He tells of the Pharisee and the tax collector and the unjust steward. Luke's Gospel is full of stories in which Jesus demonstrates that He came, not for the righteous people, but for sinners.
We give thanks to God for Luke, who checked the facts and wrote them down in his Gospel so that we could hear it preached and read it and know the sort of God we have: One who saves sinners. 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, st.26)
-Rev. Mark Buetow is the pastor of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church and School in McHenry, Illinois.
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