| || |An Alphabetical Analysis Volume 10 - Practical Truth - Page 111 of 277 INDEX | |
Besides this, his trials, scourgings, perils, shipwrecks, prisons and
'deaths oft' demanded either perpetual miracle or loving ministry, and while
he shared with Paul the rigours of pioneer evangelization, Luke, the
physician, would never be long without a patient. Luke was also of
invaluable service to the apostle in another sphere. He is the writer of the
Gospel that bears his name. An examination of the 'things that differ'
between the Gospels of Luke and Matthew shows the eminent suitability of
Luke's Gospel for supplementing and supporting Paul's message to the
Gentiles. It is Luke that traces the genealogy of the Lord to Adam. It is
Luke that records such parables as 'the Good Samaritan' and 'the Prodigal
Son', and the fact that he had 'perfect understanding of all things from
above' (Luke 1:3) renders his witness authoritative. Luke, moreover,
compiled the narrative known to us as the Acts of the Apostles, which
abundantly shows the intense interest which he took in the life story of Paul
with whom he had served. There are but three actual references to Luke in
the New Testament:
'There salute thee ... Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my
fellowlabourers' (Philem. 23,24).
'Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you' (Col. 4:14).
'Demas hath forsaken me ... only Luke is with me' (2 Tim. 4:10,11).
In each, Luke's name is found with that of Demas, as though the
fickleness of the one is used as a foil to the faithfulness of the other.
The order, too, in which the references are given is suggestive. In
the first, Luke is one of Paul's 'fellowlabourers', in the second, he is 'the
beloved physician', while in the third, all titles are dropped, and, in the
hour of his trial, when all had forsaken him, Paul speaks of Luke as the only
one who was 'with him'.
So we see that Luke was with Paul at that critical moment in Troas,
when the call came to preach the gospel among the Greeks; that he was with
him once more when he left Philippi for Jerusalem, and that he was with him
during his shipwreck and imprisonment at Rome. And so he continued with him,
through sunshine and shade, until Paul needed an earthly physician no more.
What the Christian church owes to this faithful friend cannot be computed.
We honour him for the work he did in giving us both the Gospel and the Acts,
but perhaps we love his memory most when we think of his unselfish
faithfulness and loving ministry to the great apostle to the Gentiles.
Aquila and Priscilla, or 'Greater love hath no man than this'
Some of the apostle's companions were definitely called by the Holy
Spirit and acknowledged by the church, as was Barnabas (Acts 13:2,3). Some
possessed qualifications which practically forced them into the breach that
opened before them, as Silas (Acts 15:26,27,32,40). In the case of Aquila
and Priscilla two very different and remote causes worked together for their
good, for Paul's consolation and our lasting benefit. These were the edict
of a Roman Emperor, and the teaching of the Talmud.
'After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; and
found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from
Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded
all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them' (Acts 18:1,2).