Tradition tells us that Luke was from Macedonia, perhaps Philippi.  We will be flying into Thessalonica and will visit Philippi which is not very far away. 

It is interesting that Luke refers to women in a more kindly light than any of the other gospel writers.  Even the birth of our Lord is from Mary’s point-of-view. He refers to Elizabeth, Anna, the widow at Nain, the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet in the home of Simon the Pharisee, Martha and Mary, and Mary Magdalene.

Why was he so sensitive to women?  It is probably because there was no other place in the ancient world where women were respected to a great degree and had liberties than Macedonia.

When we think of the liberating effect the Gospel had and has on women (in redemption there are no male or female distinctives) and see pictures of Muslim women in Afghanistan wearing the confining burqa, we can praise God for the liberating Gospel of Christ.

It is also interesting to remember that Philippi was named after Philip of Macedonia, the father of Alexander the Great.  It was Philip who united the Greek city-states and had his great son tutored by Aristotle.  Alexander believed that Greek philosophy and thought were so superior to any in the ancient world that he set out conquer the world and spread this knowledge.  Most significant to us would be the Greek language, common Greek to be exact, not classical Greek, which was the tool of the scholar.  It was this common Greek that the Jewish scholars in Alexandria, Egypt, used to translate the Old Testament into what was the lingua franca of the ancient world.  It was this Septuagint, as we call it, which was widely used in the synagogues of the Roman world and was largely used by our Lord during His ministry.

So, Greece, or Macedonia to be more exact, is very important to us as Christians.  We will be thrilled to be in this place that was so important to the spread of the Gospel.


Notes above were written by Dr. Earl Fries prior to his leading a Steps of Paul and John Tour.