Friday 18 October 2019

Bible Book:
2 Timothy

Only Luke is with me. (v. 11)

2 Timothy 4:9-18 Friday 18 October 2019

Psalm: Psalm 145


Today is dedicated to Saint Luke the companion of Saint Paul. So we depart from Matthew for one day and dip into Saint Paul’s letter to Timothy, which includes the line, "only Luke is with me".

It couldn’t have been easy being a friend of Saint Paul. He bristled with ideas and was always on the go. His companions were expected to face hard roads, rough seas and angry crowds. Some even had to share a prison cell with him. Despite all this he had a small band of friends and none were more loyal that Saint Luke. We don’t know quite where they were when Paul wrote this letter to Timothy, but it is clear that they were going through a really tough time; Demas has deserted them, Alexander has done "a great deal of harm". We can almost hear the great apostle buckling under the load. But not all is bad news, "Luke is with me".

Luke was a Gentile medical doctor and Paul a Jewish Pharisee. Yet this unlikely pair is bound by a love for Christ that accommodated their differences of language, nationality and background. In Christ they have more in common than what separates and together they offer complimentary roles. Paul is the leader who is full of confidence. He steers the early church forward, but behind is a support team that makes everything happen. He may be the formula one driver but he needs a team of mechanics and technicians.

In that team Saint Luke stands preeminent. It is he who crafts the book of Acts that tells of the Spirit alive in the church. It is he who writes a Gospel that alone tells us about Mary’s Magnificat, Anna and Simeon, shepherds at Christ’s birth, the Good Samaritan, Prodigal Son, lost sheep and the healing of ten lepers. These are unique to his Gospel. It is Saint Luke the loyal friend of Saint Paul that passes them to us. What a legacy!


To Ponder:

  • To read Luke’s Gospel in one go takes a couple of hours. Why not invite some friends around for a meal and have a go?
  • Saint Paul and Saint Luke have a deep friendship forged in Christ. Might you write a letter to a friend to express appreciation for what they mean to you?
  • Many of Saint Luke’s stories emphasise the importance of a practical faith. Are there ways that you can share good stories of Jesus changing situations for the better in a practical way?
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