Reflections: St. Luke, Evangelist

Today’s Reading: Luke 10:1-9

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

“Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’” (Luke 10:9)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Before Luke became a missionary and an evangelist, he was a doctor. He bandaged wounds, set broken bones, and prescribed medicines. He did his best to make bodies whole and to extend temporal lives.

When Jesus preached, He also healed the sick, not with bandages and medicine, but with a word or a touch. He gave that power to the Twelve, and then to the 72, and after Pentecost to many other Christians, especially to those who held some office in the Church. Since Luke was a companion of Paul and an evangelist, he probably received that same spiritual gift.

And what a gift, especially for a physician! I am sure Luke had dreamed of having such power, so that he could cure any patient that came to him. What fame and what fortune! A doctor who can heal you with a touch would go down in history as the greatest doctor of mankind!

Of course, Luke was not given such a gift so that he could continue his practice, nor was he to use it for fame and fortune. The miraculous healings of the New Testament served a specific purpose: They advertised that Jesus possesses and distributes the final cure for death.

We see this in Luke 5:30-32, where Jesus compared Himself to a physician: “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.”) Then, He explains that He is talking about sinners. Jesus comes to heal the soul by taking away our sins. After making us right with God on the Cross, Jesus steps out of the grave to grant us eternal life. “With his wounds we are healed,” (Isaiah 53:5).

 Ministers are not given the gift of healing today. Your pastor cannot take away your cancer with a touch, but he can take away your sins with a word! Like Luke, he is a physician of the soul, for he carries on his lips the Good News about Jesus. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Almighty God, our Father, Your blessed Son called Luke the physician to be an evangelist and physician of the soul. Grant that the healing medicine of the Gospel and the Sacraments may put to flight the diseases of our souls that with willing hearts we may ever love and serve You; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for the Feast of St. Luke)

-Pastor Alexander Lange is pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Albany, Oregon.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.