Hi, I'm Tim Coombs, co-pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Scotia, NY and a member of the network of biblical storytellers. To learn more about its mission, go to nbsint.org.
The Gospel according to Luke is the third gospel in the Christian canon, and it begins differently than the other gospels. It has an elongated birth story. First we're told the story of the birth of John the Baptist, who's Jesus' cousin, we believe, through Elizabeth and Zachariah. And then, the angel Gabriel comes to Mary and announces that she will be with child of the Holy Spirit. It leads to the story of the birth of Jesus, perhaps the story we know best from the Christmas story, where Mary and Joseph go to Bethlehem because of the census, and there they give birth to Jesus. And then there is the story of the shepherds, who were told by the angels about this birth, and then they come. From there we go to the adult ministry of Jesus. He is baptized, and what we find is a very compassionate Jesus, who is healing people wherever he meets them. And the interesting thing about how Luke lays this out is that he always parallels a story about a healing of a man with a healing of a woman, and all the way through the Gospel of Luke, we find a man's story, and a woman's story, all the way through. And Jesus is also the great parable teller in Luke's gospel. We have the famous parables of the Good Samaritan, and of the Prodigal Son. It's the longest of the gospels, given all of it's great information and stories that Luke is telling us. And then, of course, there is the Holy Week story, where Jesus is betrayed, and he is crucified, and raised, and there's the unique Lukean story of the Walk to Emmaus. And when Jesus appears to his disciples, though they don't know that it is him, until they break bread together, and their eyes are opened, and they recognized him. And that is Luke's gospel, his story of Jesus.