Class Notes on Sacred History
Volume III: The Four Gospels
J. W. McGarvey (1893)
Table of Contents
- Part First. The Early Life of Jesus. Luke 1:1-4:13.
- Part Second. The Ministry of Jesus in Galilee. Luke 4:14-9:50.
THE EARLY LIFE OF JESUS.
i. 1-iv. 13.
§ I. THE BIRTH OF JOHN AND THE CONCEPTION OF JESUS. i. 1-80.
1. The Author's Preface. i. 1-4.
- What reasons given for writing? 1, 4.
- What implied as to the other narratives?
- Are our other Gospels included in these?
- What source of information does Luke claim? and what degree of accuracy? 2, 3.
- Who Theophilus, nationally and religiously? 3, 4.
- For what people, then, was this Gospel primarily intended?
2. The Birth of John Announced. 5-25.
- In the days of what Herod? 5.
- Meaning of, "course of Abijah"? 5; I. Chron. xxiv. 1-30.
- What relationship between Zacharias and his wife? 5.
- Why mention the character and age of this couple? 6, 7.
- Whence the name Elizabeth? Cf. Ex. vi. 23.
- At what hours was incense burned? 9; Ex. xxx. 7, 8.
- What was the custom of the people at these hours? and why? 10, 21, 22; Revelation viii. 3, 4.
- Why alarmed at sight of the angel? 12.
- What prayer heard? and when offered? 13.
- Why no wine or strong drink? 15; Num. vi. 1-8.
- In what sense filled with the  Spirit? 15.
- Connection of 17 with Mal. iv. 5, 6?
- What previously known of Gabriel, and what the meaning of his name? Dan. viii. 16; ix. 21-23.
- Why conclude that he had seen a vision? 22.
3. The Birth of Jesus Announced. 26-38.
- Did Matthew know of this early residence of Mary and Joseph in Nazareth? 26, 27, cf. Matt. ii. 23.
- Difference as to the origin of the name Jesus? 31; Matt. i. 21.
- Why David here called father of Jesus? 32.
- Did Mary believe at first? 34.
- Why is Jesus called the Son of God? 35.
- Relationship between Mary and Elizabeth? 36.
4. Mary Visits Elizabeth. 39-56.
- In what region did Zacharias live? 39, 40.
- Why this journey, and why in haste?
- How did Elizabeth know the condition of Mary? 42.
- Did Mary speak by inspiration in 48-54.
- What her circumstances? 48, 52, 53.
- At what time did Joseph discover Mary's condition? 56, cf. Matt. i. 18.
5. The Birth and Naming of John. 57-80.
- Why make signs to Zacharias? 62.
- Purposes of his dumbness? 65, 66, 20.
- To whom did the first part of Zacharias' prophecy refer? 68-75.
- Why say hath visited and wrought redemption? 68.
- What connection with the oath to Abraham? 73, cf. Gen. xxii. 16-19.
- Do God's words contemplate more than political deliverance? 74, 75.
- How knowledge of salvation to be given? 77.
- In what deserts did John live? 80.
- Did he become a priest? 
§ II. THE BIRTH AND CHILDHOOD OF JESUS. ii. 1-52.
1. His Birth. ii. 1-7.
- Who Cæsar Augustus? 1.
- For what purpose the enrolment?
- Why say, "this was the first enrolment"? Cf. Acts v. 37.
- Why every one to his own city? 3, 4.
- Connection of the inn and the stable? 7.
- How long did they stay in the stable? 7.
2. His Birth Announced to Shepherds. 8-14.
- At what season of the year? 8.
- To what people? 10.
- Titles applied by the angel? 11.
- Why give them a sign, and how could it guide them? 12.
- Meaning of the angel's words of praise? 14.
- Their appropriateness?
3. The Shepherds Visit the Child. 15-20.
- To whom did the shepherds tell their story? 17, 18.
- Meaning of, "pondered them"? 19.
- What kind of men were these shepherds? 20.
- What the ultimate design of this?
4. Jesus Circumcised and Named. 21.
- Why should he be circumcised? Cf. Galatians iv. 4.
- Connection of naming and circumcising?
5. Jesus is Presented to the Lord and Recognized by Prophets.
- Whose purification? and how many the days? 22; see Lev. xii. 1-8; xv. 19.
- Why the doves or pigeons? 24.
- Give the whole law concerning the firstborn. 23, cf. Ex. xiii. 11-13; Num. iii. 11-13; xviii. 15, 16.
- Meaning of, "the consolation of Israel"? 25. 
- Why the revelation to Simeon? 26.
- How a light to the Gentiles and the glory of Israel? 32.
- Why the parents astonished? 33.
- How for the fall and rising again? 34.
- How a sword through Mary's soul? 35.
- Was the tribe of Asher still known? 36.
- How did Anna know Jesus? 38.
6. The Family Returns to Nazareth. 39, 40.
- How reconcile this with the visit to Egypt? Matt. ii. 13-15.
- How Nazareth and Bethlehem each, "their own city"? 39, cf. 3, 4.
7. Jesus Attends the Passover. 41-52.
- Why go so far without him? 44.
- How account for his conduct? 43, 46, 47.
- Why his parents amazed? 48.
- Meaning of his answer? 49.
- Why the answer not understood? 50.
- Why did the mother keep all these sayings? 51.
- From whom did Luke obtain them?
- How could he increase in favor with God? 52.
§ III. JOHN'S MINISTRY AND THE BAPTISM OF JESUS. iii. 1-22.
1. Time of John's Beginning. iii. 1-6.
- Who Tiberius Cæsar? 1.
- Political changes in Judæa since the birth of Jesus?
(1). At death of Herod, his kingdom was divided as here indicated, except that Judæa was given to Archelaus.
(2). In tenth year of Archelaus, he was deposed, and Procurators put over Judæa. Pilate, the fifth of these, appointed twelfth year of Tiberius.
(3). Annas lawful high priest, but deposed by Valerius Gratus, Herod's predecessor, and Caiaphas, appointed in his place. See Josephus, Ant., B. XVIII. C. viii. 13; B. XVIII. C. ii. 2. 
- Why these changes not described by Luke?
- Extent of the region of John's preaching? 3.
- Meaning of baptism of repentance? 3.
- Explain the figures in 4 and 5.
2. John Demands Fruits of Repentance. 7-14.
- What the fruits?
- Explain the figure of the axe and the trees. 9.
- Why the special answers? 10-14.
3. John Announces the Christ. 15-17.
- Why the question whether John was the Christ? 15.
- What the latchet of his shoes? 16.
- What the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and what in the fire? 16.
- Explain the figure of the fan and the threshing-floor. 17.
4. John Imprisoned. 18-20.
- What, "good tidings" did he preach? 18.
- What reproof about Herodias? 19; Matt. xiv. 4.
5. The Baptism of Jesus. 21, 22.
- At what stage of John's ministry? 21.
- What new information in this account?
- The whole account?
§ IV. THE GENEALOGY OF JESUS AND HIS TEMPTATION.
iii. 23-iv. 13.
1. His Genealogy. iii. 23-38.
- His age at his baptism? 23.
- Age of John?
- Is his genealogy traced to David, as in Matthew?
- How far beyond David?
- Through what son of David is it traced?
- What known of Nathan? II. Sam. v. 1-6.
- What difference in this from  Matthew? Matt. i. 6.
- What descendants of David are common to this list and Matthew's? 27; Matt. i. 12.
- How could Shealtiel descend from David through Nathan and also through Solomon?
- How could Neri and Jechoniah both be father of Shealtiel? 27; Matt. i. 12.
- How could Joseph descend from Zerubbabel through Rhesa (27) and also through Abiud (Matt. i. 13)?
- How could Joseph be son of Heli (23) and also son of Jacob (Matt. i. 16)?
- As Matthew's is the line of inheritance, is it the paternal, or some other?
- Was Joseph, then, grandson of Heli, or son-in-law?
- If the former, of what value to Jesus is this list?
- What, if the latter?
- What difference between Luke's list and Genesis? 36, cf. Gen. xi. 10-13.
- How this difference accounted for? See Septuagint, Gen. xi. 10-13, where Cainan is found. [Luke, being a Greek scholar and writing for Greeks, followed the Greek Version].
- What coincidence between the two genealogies?
2. His Temptation. iv. 1-13.
- Into what wilderness? 1.
- How tempted forty days? 2; Matt. iv. 2.
- In what kind of order does Luke give the three temptations?
- Show the force of each.
- Was Satan's claim true? 6.
- What practical lessons in the temptation? 
THE MINISTRY OF JESUS IN GALILEE.
iv. 14-ix. 50.
§ I. BEGINNING OF HIS WORK IN GALILEE. iv. 14-v. 16.
1. He Reads in the Synagogue of Nazareth. iv. 14-20.
- How, "in the power of the Spirit"? 14, cf. iii. 22.
- Relation of 15 to the rest of the paragraph?
- His posture in reading and in speaking? 16, 20.
- Is the passage quoted literally? 18, 19, cf. Isa. lxi. 1; xi. 2.
- Mode of handling the book? 17, 20.
- Why all eyes fastened on him?
2. He Speaks on the Passage Read. 21-30.
- How was that scripture fulfilled? 21.
- Effect of this part of the speech? 22.
- What had he done in Capernaum? 23. See Jno. iv. 46-54.
- Point in, "Physician, heal thyself"?
- In the allusions to Elijah and Elisha? 24-27.
- What enraged the people so? 28.
- How was Nazareth situated? 29.
- Is there such a "brow" at this time?
- With what feelings did Jesus depart?
3. He Teaches and Heals in the Synagogue at Capernaum.
- Why say, "a city of Galilee"? 31.
- What most astonished these people? 32, 33.
- What is, "a spirit of an unclean devil"?
- How did the demon know Jesus? 34, 41.
- Had Jesus wrought miracles there before? 36, 37. 
4. He Heals at the House of Simon. 38-41.
- Where was Simon's house? 36.
- Why wait for sunset? 40, cf. 38.
- Why not suffer the demons to tell who he was? 41.
5. He Departs to Other Synagogues. 42-44.
- For what purpose did he go to a desert place? 42. See Mark i. 35.
6. He Calls Four Fishermen. v. 1-11.
- What addition to the account in Matthew? Matt. iv. 18-22.
- How did he see the fishermen as stated in 2, and yet as stated in Matthew iv. 18. See 5.
- Why say, "Depart from me"?
- How could James and John when called be in their boat mending their nets (Matt. iv. 21) consistently with 7, 11?
7. He Heals a Leper. 12-16.
- Why think Jesus could heal him? 12.
- Why show himself to a priest, and where would one be found? Lev. xiv. 1-10.
- What offerings to be made? Lev. xiv. 1-10.
§ II. DISCUSSIONS WITH PHARISEES, AND INSTRUCTION OF
THE DISCIPLES. v. 17-vi. 49.
1. Discussion about the Power to Forgive Sins. v. 17-26.
- Meaning of doctors of the law? 17.
- Why so many from a distance?
- What kind of roof? 19.
- Show that his proof was conclusive? 23-25.
- Effect on the people?
2. Levi's Feast, and Discussion Thereon. 27-39.
- Point in the new argument? 39. 
3. Discussion about Sabbath-breaking. vi. 1-11.
- Grounds of the charge?
- What the points of his defense?
4. The Twelve Selected, and Many Persons Healed. 12-19.
- Why all night in prayer? 12.
- How many disciples to choose from? 13, 17.
- Why the title apostles? 13.
- Who, Judas son of James? 16, cf. Matt. x. 2-5; Mark iii. 18; Jno. xiv. 22.
- Came down whence? 17, cf. 12, 13.
- Was this the place of the Sermon on the mount? Cf. Matt. v. 1.
5. A Speech to the Disciples. 20-49.
(1). Four beatitudes and four woes. 20-26.
- Are these beatitudes those of the Sermon on the mount?
- Are these beatitudes and woes universal or special?
(2). The duty of love enjoined. 27-35.
- How does this division compare with the Sermon on the mount? See Matt. v. 43-45, 38-42; vii. 12; v. 46, 47.
(3). Mercy, justice and liberality. 36-38.
- Meaning of, "give into your bosom"? 38.
(4). Brief parables. 39-45.
a. The blind guide. 39.
b. The disciple and the master. 40.
c. The mote and the beam. 41, 42.
d. The tree and its fruit. 43-45.
(5). The necessity for obedience. 46-49.
- What signified by the rock and the earth? 48, 49. 
§ III. SOME MIRACLES AND DISCUSSIONS. vii. 1-50.
1. Healing the Servant of a Centurion. 1-10.
- Why send the elders? 3, 7.
- How did his great faith appear? 9.
- What other traits of character? 4, 5.
- Show the points of difference between this account and Matthew's.
- Combine the accounts in one.
2. Raising a Man from the Dead. 11-17.
- Where is Nain?
- Was it walled? 12.
- What distance traveled since the miracle of the previous day? 1, 11. [Twenty-seven miles].
- Why the conclusion of the people? 16.
3. A Message from John the Baptist. 18-23.
- How could John's disciples have access to him? 18, cf. iii. 20.
- Ground of John's doubt?
- Why not answer, yes?
- What stumbling referred to? 23.
4. A Speech Concerning John. 24-28.
- What the purpose in his questions? 23-26.
- In what respect, "more than a prophet"? 26, 27.
- How is one little in the kingdom greater than John? 28.
5. Conduct of the People toward John, and Remarks Thereon.
- In what sense justify God?
- The sin of rejecting baptism? 30.
- Meaning of the closing remark? 35.
6. Another Discussion about Forgiveness of Sins. 36-50.
- Why the invitation? 36.
- What prompted the woman's  course? 38, 47.
- Was she a strumpet?
- Ground of the Pharisee's criticism? 39.
- Why had he omitted the kiss, the water and the oil?
- How the application proper when the woman was not yet forgiven? 47.
- How was Simon's second objection met? 49, 50.
§ IV. SOME PARABLES AND MIRACLES. viii. 1-56.
1. The Companions of Jesus. 1-3.
- Why the ministrations of these women? 2.
- Is Mary the woman of the last paragraph?
- What the office of steward? 3.
- What the pecuniary condition of these women? 3.
2. Parable of the Sower. 4-15.
- Explain the reason for speaking in parables. 9, 10.
- What the connection of the honest and good heart? 15.
3. Parable of the Lamp. 16-18.
- Points of analogy?
4. Remark about His Mother and Brothers. 19-21.
- Meaning of the remark?
5. Stilling a Tempest. 22-25.
- Why say the storm, "came down"? 23.
- Why the demand, "Where is your faith"? 25.
- Why say, "Who then is this"? 25.
6. Casting Out a Legion of Demons. 26-39.
- How did he know the exact nature of Jesus? 28.
- Why was he so strong? 29.
- Into what abyss? 31.
- Why wish him to depart? 37.
- Why tell the man to publish it? 39. 
7. Raising the Daughter of Jairus, and Healing an Afflicted
- How could the people be waiting for him? 40.
- How did her faith make her whole? 48.
- Why say, "she is not dead"? 52.
- Why something to eat? 55.
§ V. SOME LESSONS TO THE TWELVE, AND SOME MIRACLES.
1. The First Mission of the Apostles. ix. 1-6.
- In what way to preach the kingdom? 2, cf. 6; Matt. x. 7.
- Why shake off the dust? 5.
2. Herod's Perplexity Concerning Jesus. 7-9.
- How reconcile with Matt. xiv. 2.
- Whence Luke's knowledge of this? See viii. 3; Acts xiii. 1.
3. The Five Thousand Fed. 10-17.
- Whence had the apostles returned? 10, cf. 6.
- Which Bethsaida? 10, cf. Mark vi. 45, 52.
4. Conversation about Opinions of Men, and His Own Death.
- What was he doing just before this conversation? 18.
- Difference from Matthew in treatment of this subject? Cf. Matt. xvi. 13-23.
- Meaning of save life and lose it? 24.
- How can one lose himself? 25.
- How see the kingdom of God? 27.
5. The Transfiguration. 28-36.
- Difference as to the time? 28, cf. Matt. xvii. 1.
- For what  purpose did he go up?
- The subject of conversation? and why? 30, 31.
- Was it day or night? 32, 37.
- Purpose of the incident?
- Why did they tell no man? 36. See Matt. xvii. 9.
6. An Obstinate Demon Cast Out. 37-45.
- Why the exclamation against that generation? 41.
- Why did the demon convulse the child as he drew near? 42.
- Why were all amazed? 43.
- Why say, "sink into your ears"? 44.
7. Ambition and Jealousy Rebuked. 46-50.
- How was the least among them great? 48.
- Force of John's reasoning? 49.
- Whence had the man obtained power to cast out demons?