The heavens themselves have announced the coming of a hero. Demigods, messengers to the gods, have announced that their champion has been born on this planet, who will bring balance to life, and help end injustice for everyone. Kings and beggars hear of their birth and come seek out this Hercules, Achilles, or Hector; this hero.
The hero, however, must run and hide, because the king cannot have their power challenged. Evil does not wish to be usurped, and so it hunts down a child. The child and his family must live as strangers in a foreign land, guided by the demigods, to hide out as refugees. They stay refugees until the messengers tell them it is safe to return.
The hero grows up, unknown from the crowd, until one day he goes to the local temple. The boy who was a refugee stands in front of the demigod’s worshipers and reads an ancient prophecy. For centuries the crowd had been waiting for this prophecy, eagerly anticipating the day it would be fulfilled.
The hero declares that today is the day it is to be fulfilled.
Today, he says, this ancient text has become reality.
Years go by, and our hero has divided the nation. Some believe that he is the hero he declared himself, while others know he’s a villain. Some even want this liar and lunatic to die.
And they get their wish. The hero dies, leaving the prophecy unfulfilled, making fools of all who believed him a champion.
Then something incredible happens. The earth shakes. And the demigods announce that the hero has conquered death itself, fulfilling the ancient prophecy after all.
People will ask me as a pastor where a good place to start reading the Bible is. And that’s a tricky proposition, because it all depends on the person. So I want to highlight different perspectives about different books of the Bible.
The Gospel of Luke is the story of Jesus’ life on earth told from the perspective of a very well trained and educated Greek, very well versed in classics like the “Odyssey” and the “Iliad”. Luke didn’t grow up knowing about the messiah, who they were supposed to be, or what they were supposed to do. But Luke knew a hero when he heard about one.
Luke uses his Gospel to paint a heroic picture of Jesus (among other portraits). Jesus is a child whose birth is announced by the heavens themselves, and welcomed by the poor and foreigners, but not His own people, who instead try to kill Him. Jesus is forced to be a refugee for his early years, until He returns and declares Himself the messiah that everyone has been waiting for.
Luke uses his perspective to show that Christ isn’t just the hero of the Jews, but of the Gentiles (or Pagans) as well. The whole world has found a champion in Jesus, not just one nation.
Each one of the Gospels tells a different perspective (in fact they tell multiple perspectives). And it is important for us, as Christians and readers of the Gospels, to understand the author and their perspective, in order to more fully appreciate the stories themselves.
If you are a fan of heroic stories, the Gospel of Luke is a fantastic place to begin.