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Luke, Our December Biblical Tradition

I don’t remember where I saw it first. I think it was probably a post on FaceBook that suggested during December to read a chapter of The Book of Luke per day. For the last few years, Andy and I have done that together and we continue to read The Book of Luke aloud as a family to our children every December. By reading a chapter a day starting with December 1st, we will have read through the entirety of Jesus’s life, and most importantly, by Christmas Eve, be reminded of the true meaning of Christmas.

I believe that the holiday season should be firmly rooted in honoring the life of Jesus Christ. Yes, there are Christmas trees, decorations, Santas, and gifts, but to me, those are just there. Jesus is the reason for the season. As Andy and I raise our children, we are both committed to teaching them about the life of Jesus Christ and why He matters today. My hope is they will grow to believe and experience a sense of security that comes from strongly rooted faith.

The story of Jesus’s life is told through four books collectively called The Gospels, which means “the good news.” Each of these books, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, were written to a different audience and highlighted events that would be most relevant to their particular audience. All of these books are valuable and there certainly is overlap; the overlap is interesting to me because it’s often the same event described from another perspective. Luke’s intended audience was the Greek Gentiles. Matthew, on the other hand, was written for a Jewish audience while Mark was written for a Roman audience. John was written primarily to highlight the divinity of Jesus Christ and is my favorite choice during the Easter season.

We choose The Book of Luke for our December tradition because the theme espoused by Luke, the “beloved physician” and author, is salvation gifted to humanity by the Son of Man. That phrase, “Son of Man,” is referenced throughout The Book of Luke, in contrast to “Son of God.” I believe that Luke, in writing this Gospel, tried to include as many references as possible to Jesus’s humanity. He is seen as a very special man walking amongst the people, not as a God, but as a man.

Of all the Gospels, Luke has the greatest accounts of Jesus healing the sick. This makes sense that Luke would be interested in Jesus’s healing powers because he was a physician. Between epilepsy, leprosy, paralysis, inexplicable bleeding, and other ailments (often attributed to demon possession), Jesus healed people physically and spiritually.

The following are a few of my favorite verses from The Book of Luke:

  • “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard” (Luke 1:13).

  • “For nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).

  • “Jesus answered, ‘It says: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test’” (Luke 4:12).

  • “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19).

  • “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:31).

  • All of Luke 6, but especially the following: “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you...” (Luke 6:27-31).

  • The woman with the alabaster jar (Luke 7:36-50).

  • The parable about the sown seed (Luke 8:4-25).

  • The bleeding woman and the sleeping child (Luke 8:40-56)

  • “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you—he is the greatest” (Luke 9:48).

  • The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37).

  • “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42).

  • How to pray (Luke 11:1-13).

  • “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened” (Luke 11:9-10).

  • “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” (Luke 12:25-26).

  • Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10).

  • “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet? It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have” (Luke 24:38-39).


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