The Luke Challenge Catch-Up

At the beginning of December, I started Year One of what I hope is a new tradition. I challenged myself to read the Book of Luke, an entire account of Jesus’s life, a chapter a day, leading up to Christmas. Below. My summaries. My interpretation follows. I’m no Bible scholar, just a regular person, trying to be better than the person I was yesterday. Maybe next year I’ll add to this outline. Maybe this year you’d like to join me for the last ten days of Luke.

  • Luke 1:
    • The angel Gabriel appears to Elizabeth’s husband and Mary (separately) to announce immaculate conceptions for both.
  • Luke 2:
    • Jesus is born.
    • Within the chapter he is twelve, listening and asking questions of temple teachers.
    • He grows in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.
  • Luke 3:
    • Genealogy of Jesus.
  • Luke 4:
    • Jesus is tested and rejected, and he heals the sick.
  • Luke 5:
    • Jesus call his first disciples.
    • He heals leprosy and forgives and heals a man with paralysis.
    • He eats with sinners.
  • Luke 6:
    • Jesus prays before choosing his disciples/friends.
    • He heals more and more people.
    • He teaches:
      • Love your enemies.
      • Do not judge and you won’t be judged.
      • Forgive and you will be forgiven.
  • Luke 7:
    • Jesus performs a resurrection.
    • He forgives a sinful woman.
    • He teaches with a story of debts and forgiveness.
  • Luke 8:
    • Jesus teaches with parables—the seed sower and the lamp on the stand.
    • Jesus chooses his family.
    • He calms storms.
    • He heals.
    • He resurrects.
  • Luke 9:
    • Jesus gives disciples the power and authority to heal and humbly spread news of God.
    • Jesus feeds five thousand, heals more people, and speaks about God’s kingdom.
    • Peter declares Jesus the Messiah.
    • Jesus, as son of man, says—
      • That he must suffer.
      • That he will be rejected and killed.
      • That he will be raised from the dead.
      • Follow me if you want to save your life (for everlasting life).
    • Peter, John, and James pray with Jesus on the mountain.
      • Jesus transforms and his face glows.
      • Moses and Elijah appear in glorious splendor and speak of Jesus’s departure.
      • A cloud descends and God speaks—“This is my son, listen to him.”
    • Jesus heals another person and predicts his death a second time.
      • He tells his disciples to get rid of their egos.
      • He says—Whoever is not against you is for you.
    • On the way to Jerusalem (to his death)—
      • Jesus isn’t welcomed by the Samaritans, and he moves on.
      • People say they will follow him, but they have excuses in the moment.
  • Luke 10:
    • Jesus sends out 72 to spread God’s word.
    • He teaches with the parable of the Good Samaritan.
    • At Martha and Mary’s house, Martha busily prepares to be a hostess.
      • Mary spends time with Jesus.
      • Martha is bitter about her self-imposed work.
      • Jesus tells Martha that Mary’s choice is better.
  • Luke 11:
    • Jesus teaches his disciples to pray:
      • Give thanks, ask for forgiveness and help in forgiving others and help with temptations.
      • Ask and it will be given, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.  
    • Jesus says that kingdoms and houses divided will fall.
    • Jesus says to let the light within you shine.
    • Jesus instructs us to be generous to the poor.
  • Luke 12:
    • Jesus says, “Whoever acknowledges me before others…will also acknowledge before the angels of God.”
    • “Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.”
    • Jesus teaches with the parable of the rich fool.
    • Jesus tells us we won’t prolong our life through worrying.
    • Jesus says, “Be ready…the son of man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
    • He says that there will be division in families and asks, “Why don’t you judge for yourself what is right?”
  • Luke 13:
    • Jesus instructs us to repent or perish and uses the parable of a man who has a fig tree that doesn’t bear fruit.
      • The advice to that man is—leave it alone for another year and see what happens.
    • Jesus heals a crippled woman who cannot stand straight.
    • Jesus uses the mustard seed and yeast parables for God’s growing kingdom.
    • Jesus says that the entrance into God’s kingdom is a narrow door.
    • Jesus hears that Herod wants to kill him. (This is a different Herod than Herod the Great who tried to have Baby Jesus killed).
  • Luke 14:
    • Jesus heals a man with abnormal swelling.
    • In a wedding feast parable, Jesus concludes, “Those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
    • In the parable of the great feast, the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame are invited.
    • Being a disciple costs you yourself. “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

No matter what you believe about Jesus or Christianity, in Luke we see Jesus spreading good news and deeds, in a humble, non-preachy way. He’s a natural teacher, using stories that allow people to draw their own conclusions. He doesn’t judge, and he forgives. Satan tests him, others reject him, and he suffers. Such is life. I believe that he calms storms and heals people and resurrects the dead to show us perfection in the afterlife. I don’t know about you, but Jesus gives me hope—and shows that our struggles strengthen us, that better days lay ahead. I could use a little hope. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and good tidings to you!   

Photo by Rodolfo Clix on Pexels.com

34 thoughts on “The Luke Challenge Catch-Up

  1. Thank you for this post, Crystal. I feel Jesus is a guide I need to get reacquainted with. To be honest with my past I was fairly turned off with religion and lumped Jesus right there in the middle of it all. As I’ve grown spiritually I now see how his teachings are in alignment with many of my beliefs.😊

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    1. You’re so welcome, Dwight. I know quite a few good people who have been turned off by religion/the church/judgement, so I understand. Thank you for reading and sharing with me. I’m happy this post speaks to you.

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  2. You inspired me to read Luke! I am only on the third chapter though. I love how we can find so much inspiration there. I was struck by a line about how if you have two shirts you should give one to someone in need and if you have food you should also share that with those in need. That prompted me to do something I haven’t (strangely, since I run a food pantry) done in a while: go through my cupboards and find things to donate. I’m bringing it in to work this morning. Thanks Crystal!

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    1. That’s awesome, Rhonda! Thanks for sharing. I keep falling behind a few days at a time, and then I catch up. The blog has held me responsible to stay the course. Plus, I always seem to find something that encourages me somehow. And I feel like I’m making my mother proud.

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      1. You’re welcome friend! I plan on picking up on reading Luke before bed tonight. I have no doubt whatsoever you are making your mom proud 🙂

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  3. Love the summary that you laid out for us. Really good to read the main points of each of these chapters like this.
    We sure could use a little hope.
    Thank you Crystal and blessings to you 💙

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  4. Thank you for this summary. This year especially, we need to focus on the hope he brought to Earth, not what we have or have not. This post is a lovely re-centering. Merry Christmas to you and your family. 💕🎄

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    1. I’m happy for your appreciation, Collette. Thank you. This chapter puts a new spin on the question—WWJD? It’s all clear in Luke what Jesus did and what he would do. Merry Christmas! 🎄❤️

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  5. There it is! Half the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a nutshell summary. The bare bones, if you will. The details fill in with all the nuances of sight and sound. “Let not your heart be troubled” is exactly what my Daddy told me the summer he died, quoting from Luke. “I go to prepare a place for you . . .” And I’ve taken those words to heart ever since, shortly after my 18th birthday in 1959.

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  6. I’ve been enjoying Luke, I’m a little behind but I don’t want to rush. I love the infancy narratives, parables, miracles, acts of forgiveness, his focus on the marginalized and the poor, his desire that as disciples we understand, “And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Luke 11:9 His message is still valid today if not more important. Thanks for giving me the idea to read along with you during advent. C

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  7. “(N)o Bible scholar,” eh, Crystal? Your detailed and thoughtful analysis suggests you are. After all, “scholarship” involves serious study, penetrating analysis and intelligent conclusions. Your work here satisfies all three descriptions.

    Best of all, you’ve opened the discussion to others, and the ensuing conversations will lead to even more knowledge.

    Well done, and a perfect way to celebrate the reason for all of this. Not just the Christmas season, but this whole thing we call “civilization.”

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    1. Almost. I summarized the first 14 chapters. The reading in itself is a challenge. I read a few chapters to catch-up again today. I still have Luke 23 and 24 to go, and then I’m done. 🤗

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  8. Thank you for studying and sharing your insights about the gospel of Luke. You know, for me at least, anytime a situation or thought comes up that requires wisdom to make the right decision, I only have to look to Jesus as an example. I have yet to come across anything that He has not already answered.

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