Saint Luke the Evangelist

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Daily Reading for October 18 • Saint Luke the Evangelist

Our tradition has always been that the author of the third gospel and Acts is “Luke, the beloved physician.” This title comes, however, from a letter written by one of Paul’s disciples to the Colossians (Col. 4:14). The tradition is appropriate and—though we can never prove it—it may even be true. As we do, our forebears could see that the third gospel has more emphasis upon Jesus’ ministry of healing than Matthew, Mark, or John. Luke’s healing stories stand out, then and now. In our time, however, we can see even more evidence for the tradition. Luke uniquely distinguishes among “caring,” “curing,” and “healing” with his Greek vocabulary. Much of this language occurs nowhere else in the New Testament, but does have parallels in the medical journals and records of the first century.

For Luke, the life and work of Jesus of Nazareth is healing for the world. For Luke, the power of God’s Holy Spirit and the incarnation of God in Jesus is healing for the world. For Luke, the power of evil in the world is overcome by the power of God’s Spirit in the person of Jesus and in the life and work of the faithful. This is true, he says, before and after the resurrection. This is true, Luke claims, from the moment of Gabriel’s good news for Zechariah until this very day. The healing embrace the writer of Luke–Acts offers describes a creation that is healed when God and creation love each other in return.

From One to Watch, One to Pray: Introducing the Gospels by Minka Shura Sprague. A Seabury Classic from Church Publishing. Copyright © 2004. Used by permission of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY. www.churchpublishing.org

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