Today we are observing the Feast Day of St Luke, Evangelist and Martyr. He is known as Luke the physician, obviously an educated man, a storyteller, probably a Pastor to an emerging eclectic Jewish Christian community and co-worker with Paul. He did not know Jesus and his Gospel was written in the closing or last decade of the first century, probably after the fall of Jerusalem to the Romans in the year 70. As with all the Gospel writers, Luke did not simply transmit the story of Jesus’ life and teaching as he received it. He was aware of the needs of his own community and his writings are coloured by the conditions of his time. He recognised the need to make sense of the story of Jesus for the people of his generation. Throughout his Gospel, Luke is seeking to engage his reader in the drama of salvation, embracing the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. In this story there is hope of liberation from the bondages of our day so that we can be truly the people of God in today’s world.
Some recent scholarship suggests that in writing to his community, Luke is encouraging them to be good citizens while under Roman occupation, but to use their skills and faith to challenge those parts of the Roman ethos that were inconsistent with God’s rule. Likewise, we are called to be participants in the world in which we live while objecting to and challenging the forces that disadvantage and discriminate, and striving to be a positive force for justice and mercy.
Rev’d Canon Dr Ray Cleary AM
Locum Vicar, All Saints
A lifelong advocate for many of the most disadvantaged groups in society