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Conversation on Luke 1

Welcome back to “Conversations!” In this week’s video we talk about Luke, chapter one. Here are some questions for you to consider. Watch the video here.

1. Why is it important to know that Luke spoke to eyewitnesses when he wrote this account?

2. What is unique about the conceptions of John, the Baptist and Jesus?

3. Compare both Mary’s and Zechariah’s songs with themes from the Book of Psalms: God considers the plight of the humble, deliverance from enemies, and God’s remembrance of His covenant with Israel.

4. Discuss the things said about John by the angel (verses 13-17) and Zechariah (verses 76-79). In Matthew 11:13-14, Jesus links John to the prophecy about Elijah (Malachi 4:5-6).



Brethren, friends, family, and anyone else interested in engaging in a conversation:

Here is the initial video on this series. I hope you like it and will tune in every week for a new conversation on the Gospel of Luke.

Here is the link:

Check back with us every Monday. We’ll have a new video up by the middle of the afternoon (EST).

Bob Weber

The Twins or the Only Son

In Acts 28:11 the narrator observes a detail about Paul’s journey to Rome that seems superfluous to the events of his arrest, shipwreck, and impending court appearance. Paul and his companions, shipwrecked on a small Mediterranean island, hunkered down for three months of idle activity, waiting for winter to end, have now found suitable passage on an Alexandrian ship.

We are told the figurehead on the ship features the twin gods, Castor and Pollux, alleged protectors of travel and sailing vessels, sons of Zeus, father of the gods. Until we grasp all the events of the last few chapters of the book, we might miss the significance of this detail.

All through the narrative of Acts, the Apostle Paul has emphasized the Kingdom of God and the resurrection of Jesus in his proclamations and his teaching. Implied in all of this has been a challenge to the pagan view of reality which suggested that the world was populated and controlled by a system of gods.

Riots in Ephesus (Acts 19), persecutions in various cities, and Roman officials unable to know exactly how to judge Christianity all point to the challenge these views created for the ancient world. The ship with these two gods may be one of the narrators final attempts to contrast the view of reality represented by them and the view of reality represented by Paul and others as expressed in Psalm 95:3-5,

For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
n his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hand formed the dry land.

During the height of their perilous voyage, an angel had visited Paul to tell him that all would be well, and even more, God was going to preserve the lives of the entire ship, crew, soldiers, and prisoners. It was this God, the creator and sustainer of all creation, who was the real mover and shaker in this story and the one who preserved their lives. His Kingdom was breaking into the world, instituted by His Son, Jesus Christ.

Over the last several chapters we have watched as Paul and his companions have come through violent storms safely, been treated well by people on foreign soil, and given hospitality in every place they came to. In all of this, it is the providence of this God who has protected them. The irony that Castor and Pollux were not available to them on their initial journey is not lost on the narrator of this story.

The Kingdom of God challenges the world’s view of reality, portraying one God and His only Son at the center of the universe, suggesting that the pagan gods weren’t really gods, teaching that Jesus is the master of history. Even today when many people seek to create their own view of reality, twisting human nature into knots, redefining the bond of marriage, turning morality on its head, this has rapidly become a challenge to their way of thinking.

The early church’s view of reality challenged Rome and her contemporaries just as it challenges us today: is reality represented truly by Castor and Pollux, or by the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and of Jesus, His Son?

– Bob –


Reality Check

In The Book of Acts, chapter 26, the Apostle Paul describes his early life, subsequent conversion to Christianity, and the purpose it gave his life. He spoke of his vision on the road to Damascus, his ministry of proclaiming deliverance from evil forces, the need for repentance, and his belief in a resurrected Jesus.

The significant feature of this chapter is the reaction of a Roman official, who engages in a familiar criticism. Festus blurts out in the middle of Paul’s speech, “Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind.”

We’ve heard this before. Jesus’ family thought he was “out of his mind” (Mark 3:21), and his critics accused him of being demon-possessed (John 8:48), a condition beyond losing all grasp of reality, an irresistible influence for evil, a category of people for whom no serious consideration should be given.

We might forgive Festus for his outburst, being unfamiliar with the things Paul spoke of, ignorant of the traditions of the prophets. However, the criticism of being crazy can take a more sinister twist. It is used by critics who feel threatened by but cannot disprove Paul’s view of reality.

They think Paul and other Christians need a reality check. I have claimed elsewhere (TLC blog) that this is a lazy man’s tactic, an attempt to discredit without argument, a desire to force a view of reality on the rest of us without any discussion, a modern day enforcement of political correctness: “Long live Big Brother!”

If you haven’t experienced this for yourself, I have some advice for you: get religion. I mean get a true conversion experience. Take your faith seriously. Go to church every week. Stop partying, carousing, and drinking.

Tell your friends you don’t do those things anymore. At the very least they will see you as a fanatic or freak (1 Peter 4:3-4); at worst they will think you need a reality check . . . or maybe even therapy. Don’t worry! You’re in good company.

- Bob -