Who is Jesus? A study in the gospel of Luke          Week 2


I.  What authority does Jesus claim? (Luke 5:12-28; 9:23-25)

A.  Authority as God’s servant (Luke 4:17-21)

1.      In the Old Testament, God promised to provide a Messiah to save Israel

2.      In Jesus’ time, many Jews looked forward in hope to the coming of the Messiah

3.      Jesus declared himself to be this promised Messiah

4.      “Christ” is a title, not a last name.  The Greek word Christos translates the Hebrew “Messiah” which means “God’s anointed”


B.  The authority to heal (Luke 5:12-16)

            1.  Jesus’ healing of the sick are recorded in all four gospels

            2.  Jesus’ healings were motivated by his compassion for the suffering

            3.  Jesus pointed to his healings as a testimony to his identity


C.  The authority to teach (Luke 5:17)

1.  Jesus taught in the synagogues as well as in towns and in the countryside

2.  His teaching frequently brought him into conflict with the religious authorities

3.  Jesus never introduced his teaching with the formula “Thus says the Lord…”, as had earlier prophets.  He referred either to Scripture or to his own authority.


D.  The authority to forgive sin (Luke 5:18-25)

1.  Many times during his ministry, Jesus forgave sin

2.  This claim was always shocking and blasphemous to his contemporaries


E.  The authority to command allegiance (Luke 9:23-25)

1.  Jesus demanded that his followers put him first in their lives, before the demands of family, friends, work, or even personal safety

2.  Yet Jesus promised that the way of surrender to him is also the way of ultimate joy and glory


















II. Whom did Jesus come to call?  (Luke 5:27-32)


            A.  The tax collectors were social and religious outcasts

1.  The Roman Empire had conquered Israel and was viewed with contempt and hatred by many 1st century Jews

2.  The tax collectors were Jews who were employed by the Romans to collect taxes

3.  They were know for their greed and were expelled from the synagogue


            B.  Jesus frequently ate with tax collectors and prostitutes

1.  Eating was considered a sign of fellowship and friendship in the ancient world

                        2.  Jesus’ actions scandalized the religious authorities


            C.  Jesus declared that his actions are consistent with his mission

1.  Jesus does not ignore or redefine sin – he recognizes that these people are sinners

2.  Jesus affirms the need for repentance

3.  Jesus says that he came to heal and rescue sinners


Suggested discussion questions:


1.  Why did Jesus usually refer to himself as the “Son of Man” rather than the “Messiah”?

2.  Isn’t it possible that Jesus was just a very good moral teacher or a prophet?

3.  What did Jesus mean when he said that his followers must take up their cross daily?