Today is the Feast Day of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke. He was a a physician, an iconographer, St Paul's right hand man and one of the 70 Apostles sent out by the Lord to proclaim the good news. He was also a Gentile, and the only Gentile to write one of the gospels of the New Testament.
The Gospel reading today, Luke 10:16-21, concludes with, "At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, 'I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.'"
Jesus Christ is joyful that the Father hid His truth from the wise and educated, but revealed Himself to babes - to humble and simple people with little standing in the eyes of the world. When we consider the historical context of the time, it is easy to identify those who do not have the respect of the wise and learned - for instance, the Gentiles, the poor, the sick, and women.
St. Luke presents the ministry of our Lord in a way that makes clear that the blessings of the Kingdom extend to all, and that the lowly and despised are often the ones most ready to receive the good news of Christ because of their humility.
For example, it is from Luke’s gospel that we know of the Virgin Mary’s obedient acceptance of the calling to become the Theotokos. She sings the Magnificat in response, singing of a God who has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly, who has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty. A simple, unknown virgin girl miraculously became the living Temple of God and gave birth to the Humble Saviour in a manger.
According to Orthodox Tradition, St Luke was the first iconographer and he painted an image of the Holy Mother of God in her earthly lifetime. When we remember that St Luke was a Gentile, it reminds us once again that God chooses to reveal Himself based on His wisdom, not based on human wisdom. St Luke's Gospel speaks to a Gentile audience, with few references to Old Testament, explanations of Jewish tradition and an inclusive message. He was the perfect person for the job, even if others may have had prejudices against him.
As we celebrate St Luke's feast day, consider what you find more inspiring - the wisdom and knowledge of a scholar, or the humility and purity of a child?