By: By Sigrid Fowler
All writers in Op Ed are here to inform and acknowledge issues of importance to our communities, however these writings represent the views and opinions of the authors and not necessarily of The Advertiser.
We know the most famous prophecies about a Messiah, prophecies we hear at Christmas. What people said about Jesus during his lifetime is equally revealing. The following is a list from the Gospel of Luke, testimonies about Jesus as stated by those who encountered him–the names, titles, descriptions, as well as questions, some sarcastic.
•Angels to a group of shepherds—“For there is born to you this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2: 11).
•Simeon, an old man, blesses the Child, brought by his parents to be presented in the temple. Simeon prays to God: “My eyes have seen your salvation / Which you have prepared before the face of all peoples. / A light of revelation to the Gentiles / And the glory of your people Israel” (Luke 2: 31-32).
•Teachers in the temple, listened to and questioned by a twelve-year-old Jesus. They are “astonished at his understanding and answers” (Luke 2: 46-47).
•John the Baptist quotes Isaiah about the Messiah, “The glory of the LORD shall be revealed” (Isa 40: 5). Then he says: “One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Luke 3: 16).
•God the Father speaks from heaven when Jesus is baptized—“You are my beloved Son. In you I am well-pleased” (Luke 3: 22).
•Satan—“If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread” (Luke 4: 3).
•A demon Jesus casts out—“I know who you are, the Holy One of God!” (Luke 4: 34).
•Peter after a huge catch of fish—“Depart from me for I am a sinful man, Lord!” (Luke 5: 8).
•The crowd when Jesus raises a widow’s son in the middle of his funeral—“A great prophet has risen up among us!” and “God has visited his people” (Luke 7: 16).
•Disciples John the Baptist sends to ask Jesus, “Are you the Coming One?” (Luke 7: 20).
•A Pharisee’s dinner guests—“Who is this who forgives sins?” (Luke 7: 49).
•“Some,” speculating about who Jesus is, say, “John, risen from the dead” or “Elijah” or “one of the old prophets” (Luke 9: 7-8).
*Jesus asks: “Who do you say I am?” and Peter says “The Christ of God” (Luke 9: 20).
•A person in a crowd calls Jesus “Teacher” (Luke 12: 13). Many give Jesus this title–“a certain ruler” (Luke 18: 18); Pharisees (Luke 19: 39); priests (Luke 20: 21); Sadducees (Luke 20: 28); scribes (Luke 20: 39).
•A blind man outside Jericho—“Son of David” (Luke 18: 38, 39).
•The crowd bringing Jesus into Jerusalem—“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD” (Luke 19: 38). If silenced, “the stones would cry out,” Jesus tells a Pharisees who wants him to silence the praise (Luke 19: 39-40).
•Elders, chief priests, and scribes ask: “Are you then the Son of God?” Jesus answers, “You rightly say that I am” (Luke 22: 70).
•Pilate asks, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus replies, “It is as you say” (Luke 23: 3). Pilate later states to the chief priests, rulers and people: “You have brought this man to me as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined him in your presence, I have found no fault in his man concerning those things of which you accuse him; no, neither did Herod . . . and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by him” (Luke 23: 14-15).
•Sign posted on the cross—“THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS” (Luke 23: 38).
•A crucified thief—“Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Luke 23: 42).
•A Roman centurion at Jesus’ death—“Certainly this was a righteous man!” (Luke 23: 47).
•Angels to the women—“Why do you seek the living among the dead?” (Luke 24: 5)
•Men from Emmaus—“Didn’t out hearts burn within us while he talked with us on the road and while he opened the Scriptures to us?” Jesus, unrecognized, had joined them on the road, been invited in to eat, and breaking bread had made himself known to them (Luke 24: 31).