Life-Study of Lukeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In the previous message we pointed out that the subject of the Gospel of Luke is the Man-Savior and His salvation in the highest standard of morality. We have seen that the Lord Jesus as the Man-Savior was conceived of the Holy Spirit with the divine essence and born of a human virgin with the human essence. Therefore, He possesses both the divine nature with its divine attributes and the human nature with its human virtues. In this message we shall go on to consider what it means to say that the Man-Savior’s salvation is in the highest standard of morality.
The Man-Savior’s salvation, which is in the highest standard of morality, is a salvation in His human virtues with His divine attributes. Such a salvation is illustrated in the gospel parables and shown in the gospel cases recorded in Luke.
The parable of the good Samaritan in chapter ten is an excellent example. When we come to this chapter, we shall see that this Samaritan signifies the Lord Himself, who was slandered by being called a low and mean Samaritan (John 8:48; 4:9) by the self-exalting and self-justifying Pharisees.
According to this parable, a “certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who having stripped him and beat him, went away, leaving him half dead” (10:30). Both a priest and a Levite observed him and then passed by on the opposite side. Then a certain Samaritan came down to him and was moved with compassion (v. 33). “And coming to him, he bound up his wounds, pouring on them oil and wine. And placing him on his own beast, he brought him to an inn and took care of him” (v. 34). In this simple story, which even children may appreciate, we see that the Man-Savior lived in the highest standard of morality. He cared for the wounded man, brought him to the inn, and said to the innkeeper, “Take care of him; and whatever you spend in addition, when I return, I will repay you” (v. 35). This is not only a matter of love; it is also a living in the highest standard of morality.
The three parables in Luke 15 also illustrate the Man-Savior’s salvation in the highest standard of morality. These three parables form a full set. The good shepherd signifies God the Son as our shepherd, the woman signifies the Holy Spirit, and the loving father, of course, signifies God the Father. Hence, in these three parables we have the Trinity working together to seek, save, and receive a repentant sinner. The good shepherd loves the lost sheep, the woman treasures the lost coin, and the loving father receives the prodigal son when he returns.
Some readers of the Gospel of Luke may regard these parables merely as illustrating love. But we need to realize that it is Luke’s intention in his narration to portray the Divine Trinity full of the divine attributes shown in human virtues. In these parables we see not only the divine attributes, in particular, the attribute of love; we also see the divine attributes in human virtues.
The Man-Savior’s salvation in the highest standard of morality is also shown in the gospel cases recorded in Luke. In 7:36-50 we have the case of the Lord Jesus forgiving a sinful woman. This woman was despised by the Pharisee who had invited the Lord Jesus to eat with him. As we read this portion of the Gospel of Luke, we see that in dealing with this sinful woman, and also with the Pharisee, the Lord lived according to the highest standard of morality.
Another case that reveals the same high standard is the case of Zaccheus (19:1-10). Although Zaccheus, a tax collector, was an evil person, he was seeking the Man-Savior. Because he was seeking Jesus, “he ran on ahead and climbed up in a sycamore tree that he might see Him” (v. 4). The Lord Jesus responded to Zaccheus, saying, “Zaccheus, hurry and come down; for today I must stay in your house” (v. 5). The Man-Savior’s response must have far exceeded all that Zaccheus could have hoped for. The Man-Savior was not held back by the fact that Zaccheus was a despised man, one rejected by society. The Lord went with Zaccheus and stayed in his house. In His dealing with Zaccheus, the Man-Savior lived in the highest standard of morality.
Even when the Man-Savior was on the cross, He acted in the highest standard of morality in relation to the two criminals who were crucified with Him. One of the criminals said to the Lord Jesus, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom” (23:42). Immediately the Man-Savior answered, “Truly I tell you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise” (v. 43).
In these three cases we have a portrait of the Man-Savior with the highest standard of morality. This is a crucial matter in the Gospel of Luke. This Gospel depicts a Man who possesses the divine nature with all the human virtues. In the Man-Savior the divine attributes are mingled with the human virtues as one unit. Therefore, the Lord’s human virtues, according to this Gospel, are strengthened and enriched by the divine attributes.
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