This Sunday, after three years, we are finishing our study through Luke’s gospel. It has been a thrilling study for us displaying the glorious Jesus of Nazareth the Son of God who now sits on the throne of heaven alongside God the Father. Luke wrote to ‘most excellent Theophilus’ (1:3) to give him an orderly account of the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. He did this so Theophilus would be certain about what he had heard and believed about Jesus the Savior. Jesus is the king who is bringing His kingdom. As Theophilus could be certain, so could any who read Luke’s account. We can review Luke by answering two questions. Who is it that now reigns alongside the Father in Heaven? What is the significance to us?
Luke wanted to give an account of all the was “accomplished among us” (1:1). The first truth about Jesus that Luke wants to anchor in comes from this phrase. ‘Accomplished’ is a word meaning fulfilled that refers to fulfilled prophecy and promise from the Old Testament. Luke wants us to know that Jesus’ entire life and ministry was a fulfillment of the Old Testament. We see this begin even with the announcement of the birth of John the Baptist who was the promised forerunner to Jesus. This carries through the birth accounts, the ministry of Jesus, and especially his death, resurrection, and ascension.
The one who reigns in heaven is a Savior of humble sinners and a judge of proud opponents. The theme verse for Luke could well be this, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). From the first of his ministry, Jesus was healing, casting out demons, cleansing lepers, and showing compassion to humble outsiders. People who knew they had no claim to any blessing of God were the very people Jesus came to save and forgive. But proud ‘insiders’ were constantly warned of their legalism and self-righteousness and a pending judgment. When Christ brings the kingdom to earth it will begin with judgment of the wicked (Luke 17:20-37) and then he will establish a perfect reign of righteousness and peace.
The way in which he secures salvation is through his death, resurrection, and ascension. From early in Luke it was apparent that Jesus came to die and rise (Luke 9:21-22). Jesus taught in the Lord’s supper that his death would be the atoning sacrifice for sins and his resurrection would prove that his sacrifice was accepted. As the ascendent king, Jesus has provided all that his people need for forgiveness and reconciliation.
You and I must repent, trust and worship Jesus because he is the one God promised to send to save his people. He is good and just—good to save, just to judge. He is merciful and gracious. The miracles, the forgiveness, the compassion toward suffering sinners beckon unworthy sinners to come and keep coming to Jesus. He is bringing His kingdom and all those who refuse His loving rule will find themselves under his just judgment. This is a time for continual repentance, trust and worship of Jesus. As we do this we are sent on mission to proclaim Him. What a Savior to proclaim!