The opening of Luke consists of Luke voicing his purpose, in which he says he hopes people will have confidence in what he has written. I found it interesting that in voicing his purpose Luke never once mentions Jesus. The first passage of Luke describes how Zechariah was approached by an angel and the angel told him his son John will be holy. The angel tells Zechariah that his son is not to drink wine or liquor. I thought this was an odd request to be made by an angel, it makes me think that perhaps God knew that John the Baptist could just as easily become a drunk if he had disobeyed the angel. The angel Gabriel visits Mary and tell her she is favored and will give birth to Jesus. The fact that Mary is favored in God’s eyes, makes me wonder what about her makes her favorable for God. I also wonder how God chose Mary and what qualifications she had that other women did not. In the Opening of Luke, God seems to be planning out where Jesus would be born. God uses an angel to inform of the impending miracles of birth. The start of Luke features two immaculate conceptions. This shows that John the Baptist was vital for God’s plan to be carried out. Without John’s outgoing teachings about the coming of Jesus perhaps God’s plan would have failed. I think the importance of John the baptist is often overlooked because people forget he was immaculately conceived.
It seems to me that some of the people in the Gospel of Luke are already confused as to what Jesus means. When Zechariah regains his ability to speak he praises Jesus as the promise of salvation for “abraham’s ancestors.” Zechariah thinks of Jesus more as a national leader, he believes that Jesus will help overcome the power of the enemies of Israel. Meanwhile, Simeon says Jesus is, “A light of revelation to the Gentiles and a glory for your people Israel.” Simeon sees Jesus as more of a universal figure and leader someone that all races can interpret. Anna is also a prophet who meets Jesus and seems to instantly know that he is someone special.
Jesus’s 12 year old adventure in the Temple showed that Jesus was no mere 12 year old. Luke mentions that he questioned the teachers in the temple and conversed with them. Jesus seems to already have the knowledge of a clergy member in the temple. The baptism of Jesus in Luke is quite short, only mentioning that the skies opened and God spoke. The fact that look leaves out the reactions of the members of society puzzles me. I would think a stronger faith would be had if Luke had described the reactions to the voice of God. I feel like God speaking would have been huge news in those days. After Jesus’ baptism he foes about finding disciples. I have always wondered how Jesus went about choosing disciples. Im sure some of them began following him on there own, but forthe ones Jesus’ decided to interact with he must have seen something special in them. Luke’s Gospel brings up a lot of questions of faith for me, not that it makes me question my faith but rather my understanding of the History of Jesus.