Lukes story by faith alo.., p.1
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       Luke's Story: By Faith Alone, p.1
 

         Part #3 of The Jesus Chronicles series by Tim LaHaye
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Luke's Story: By Faith Alone


  Table of Contents

  Title Page

  Copyright Page

  Dedication

  PART ONE - THE SLAVE

  ONE

  TWO

  THREE

  FOUR

  FIVE

  SIX

  SEVEN

  EIGHT

  PART TWO - THE STUDENT

  NINE

  TEN

  ELEVEN

  TWELVE

  THIRTEEN

  FOURTEEN

  INTERVAL

  PART THREE - THE BELIEVER

  FIFTEEN

  SIXTEEN

  SEVENTEEN

  EIGHTEEN

  NINETEEN

  PART FOUR - THE SCRIBE

  TWENTY

  TWENTY-ONE

  TWENTY-TWO

  TWENTY-THREE

  TWENTY-FOUR

  TWENTY-FIVE

  TWENTY-SIX

  TWENTY-SEVEN

  TWENTY-EIGHT

  TWENTY-NINE

  THIRTY

  THE GOSPEL OF LUKE

  LUKE

  ACTS OF THE APOSTLES

  OTHER BOOKS IN THE JESUS CHRt Eyewitness

  Mark’s Story: The Gospel According to Peter

  PUTNAM PRAISE

  Published by

  G. P. Putnam’s Sons

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  Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

  Copyright © 2009 by LaHaye Publishing Group LLC and the Jerry B. Jenkins Trust

  All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed

  in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or

  encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the authors’ rights.

  Purchase only authorized editions.

  Published simultaneously in Canada

  Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

  LaHaye, Tim F.

  Luke’s story / by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins.

  p. cm.

  eISBN : 978-1-440-65946-1

  1. Luke, Saint—Fiction. 2. Bible. N.T.—History of Biblical events—Fiction. I. Jenkins, Jerry B.

  II. Title.

  PS3562.A315L

  813’.54—dc22

  This is a work of fiction based on characters and events depicted in the Bible.

  While the authors have made every effort to provide accurate telephone numbers and Internet addresses at the time of publication, neither the publisher nor the authors assume any responsibility for errors, or for changes that occur after publication. Further, the publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

  Scripture is from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

  http://us.penguingroup.com

  To

  FRANK LAHAYE and HARRY

  JENKINS,

  who await us at the Eastern Gate

  Mercy there was great, and grace was free . . . at Cv height="6" width="1em">“And you can thank Caesar Augustus for that,” Lippio said, “Quiescat in place.”

  “Yes, may he rest in peace. What? You don’t think I know Latin too?”

  Lipp

  io shook his head. “It shouldn’t surprise me, but that is all I know in Latin. I’d wager you are fluent.”

  Loukon flew into the main house, apologizing to one and all and demanding to know where the physician was. Someone pointed him to the parlor, where the elderly man was teaching the master’s grandchildren.

  “Lippio has been seriously injured and will be here shortly!”

  The physician, who had evolved into more instructor than doctor over the last few years, hobbled behind Loukon, breathlessly asking the details. As soon as the wagon breached the gate, three men carried Lippio in, his arm still raised.

  The mistresses of the house gathered the children as the physician ordered the men to deliver Lippio directly to his own chambers and called for water to be heated and aides to attend him.

  “If this man survives, Loukon,” the physician said, “you will have saved him.”

  TWO

  Loukon spent much of the day waiting outside the physician’s quarters, venturing back out to his duties only after learning that Lippio would indeed survive.

  “He’s going to be very sore for a long time,” the old physician said, “and I don’t know if the arm will ever return to full strength, but your quick thinking and action spared him.”

  “You taught me well.”

  “I recall advising you only on the care of the occasional lame animal.”

  Loukon shrugged. “I didn’t know what else to do.”

  THAT EVENING, as he sat in a tiny hovel with his parents over a meal of bread and bean soup, Loukon regaled them with the events of the day.

  His mother remained silent as his father shook his head. “That was risky, Luke. What if you had caused him more harm?”

  “No one else was doing anything, Father! It didn’t seem right to let him lie there and bleed.”

  “I suppose not. But did you have any idea what you were doing?”

  “All I knew was that doing nothing would have been wrong, and I had to act fast. You can imagine how scared I was.”

  “But how did you know to bind him above the wound and keep his arm raised?”

  “It just made sense. Men of medicine believe blood originates from the heart, and all of his would have been spilt through the wound if I had not stopped it width="1em">A knock came at the door and Loukon’s father nodded to his mother. She quickly rose and opened it to a young maiden.

  “Your son’s presence is requested by the master,” she said.

  “The master?” Loukon’s mother said.

  “Theophilus himself,” the girl said, hurrying away.

  Loukon’s father raised his brows. “Go with haste,” he said. “And tell the truth.”

  THEOPHILUS WAS a robust man in his late forties, white-haired and dressed in brightly colored garments. He remained seated near a fire-place as Loukon was ushered in by an aide. Theophilus seemed to study him, finally gesturing toward a chair.

  Loukon bowed and sat.

  “I’m told I should be bowing to you, young man,” Theophilus said.

  “Oh, no, sir.”

  “You had adults doing your bidding during the emergency. You even cowed the marble seller! He had the rest of the lot delivered!”

  “I hope I didn’t offend anyone.”

  “You certainly didn’t offend me.”

  Loukon felt self-conscious as the man gazed at him. He wondered if he was expected to reply.

  “Your parents have
been with me since before they were married, when I moved here as a young man. I remember when you were born. May I call you Luke?”

  Loukon forced himself to merely nod rather than to gush, “You can call me whatever you please.”

  “You know why you’re here. I am thanking you for the valuable service you performed for me today. I have been told the details, but only secondhand. I shall procure the story from the victim himself when he is up to it, but I would like your account.”

  “My account?”

  “Tell me exactly what happened.”

  A few minutes later, Loukon concluded with, “And then you sent for me. I must say, Lippio nearly gave his life trying to protect your property.”

  Theophilus, who had sat smiling through much of the story, now gazed seriously at the young man. “I understand that, but we are talking about you just now. You are aware, I suppose, that many slave owners would restrict offspring from the many opportunities you have been afforded.”

  “Oh, yes, sir, I know. No one else I know, in my station I mean, is able to learn and to read and—if I may say—to be involved in so much that goes on around here.”

  Theophilus leaned forward and rested his elbows on his knees. “There are those who ’s mother had always had a lightness in her step, despite that her eyes bore a weary sadness. Neither of his parents had ever mentioned it, but the old physician had confided to Loukon that his mother had borne three children besides himself, none of whom had survived.

  “Two preceded you, Luke,” the old man said, as he was teaching Loukon about childbirth. “Born dead. The other lived about a week and died when you were a year old. Some women are just not destined to bear many living children. In the case of your mother, it was for the best.”

  “For the best? Why?”

  “They were all female offspring.”

  Loukon nodded. He would have enjoyed having a brother, even a sister. When he interacted with the young maidens on the property, he sometimes imagined them as sisters. Other times he imagined them as potential wives, of course. But the doctor was right: it was probably just as well his sisters had not lived. The world was no place for a woman.

  The joke around the place was that slaves had slaves too—their wives. While Loukon’s mother was most industrious and seemed to take pride in managing the tiny household—besides her all-day work in Theophilus’s gardens—her husband made all the decisions. Loukon had heard her counsel him and discuss things with him, and perhaps at times he listened to her and even deferred to her. Yet always the last word was his.

  “I’m sorry,” the physician said. “I assumed you knew. Please, let’s keep this between us.”

  Loukon nodded, afraid to ask if any of his sisters had merely been left to die. The more he learned, the more capricious seemed the nature of such decisions. Husbands were expected to pick up and hold a newborn as a ritual of accepting it into the family. Even slave husbands often merely looked at a newborn daughter and walked away, in essence sentencing her to death. If she was not welcomed by him, she was to be left outside, exposed to the elements, often to become prey. Mothers wailed, siblings sobbed, fathers bore the brunt of their anger, yet still men ruled their homes without question and held sway over life and death.

  Something deep within Loukon rebelled at this, though he could not imagine a thing he could do about it. He’d heard of deformed male babies and perfectly whole female babies left in the streets of Antioch. Might he someday organize other compassionate people and rescue these, raising them to be productive members of society? Oh, there were already those who scooped up these unfortunates and invested in them, feeding and clothing and housing them, even teaching them the rudiments of work. But they became mere chattel, tradable commodities.

  Loukon hated nights like this when his mind remained engaged and he argued within himself about the inequities of the world. If he did not get his full complement of rest, study became difficult the next day. But what was he to do with the war within himself? On the one hand he was praised for being compassionate and told that this was one of the hallmarks of the physician. On the other, he was expected to merely accept that women and most slaves—except those fortunate enough to belong to the rs head of the family and expected to exercise his authority. As a slave, it was only behind these doors that he enjoyed such a role, so Loukon could hardly blame him.

  But lately his mother had plainly slowed. Her color had changed. Loukon feared it was more than fatigue or even melancholy over being one of few women her age with only one child. And yet his father had not seemed to notice.

  Loukon wished he could talk with her, ask her about herself, see if she would discuss the memories of her losses. But he had pledged to the old physician that he would not break his confidence.

  Loukon knew he must sleep. He must. His tutors had been very encouraging and had passed along to the master more reports of his academic excellence. Something deep within him told him that this was no time to be presumptuous, to assume that he was going to be automatically accepted at university. He wanted to continue to learn, to maintain rigorous study habits. But that required rest, and getting his mind to slow and drift was not easy.

  He crept outside and moseyed among the slaves’ quarters. The night was cool and the sky clear. As Loukon studied the expanse of stars he somehow understood how some could believe in a creator God. His intellect told him that the idea of monotheism was far-fetched, but was it not possible that a supreme being was behind all this and existed far beyond the stars?

  As the lad returned to his bed, just when he believed he was getting drowsy, he heard coughing from his parents’ room. Then a sigh, and a moan. To Loukon’s amazement, the sounds of distress were coming not from his mother, but from his father. Soon he heard him rise and rush from the house, vomiting. When Loukon rose to see if he could help, he met his mother at the door. She was bearing a lamp.

  “I will tend him,” she said. “Get your rest.”

  “Give him some of the soothing root extract,” Loukon said. “But not too much.”

  “I could use some too,” she said.

  “Truly? How long has your stomach been sour?”

  “Since this morning. Both of us.”

  “Has anyone else complained?”

  She nodded. “It wouldn’t surprise me if others were suffering. Many seemed slower today. But few said anything.”

  Loukon’s father dragged back in, scowling. “I’m fine,” he said. “Perhaps just something I ate.”

  “Luke thinks we should take some—”

  “I said I’m fine. Suit yourself if you need something, but I need quiet. The night is now short.”

  As his father scuffed back to bed, Loukon’s mother found the extract. “Just a sip,” Loukon told her, “and take some with you. Father may need it after all.”

  Within half an hour Loukon heard both of them moaning, then hour preserving you, along with the rest of us. Do not make me order you to come. Simply comply.”

  “You would make me?”

  “I would.”

  Loukon wanted to lash out, to spit that the master was proving he was anything but the Greek ideal of the perfect man. What would happen if he simply returned to his parents’ hovel? Would it be the end of his status with the master, the end of his dream and his future?

  An adult slave moved near him and whispered, “Do what he says, son. He could have you put to death.”

  Theophilus? Never. Legally, yes, it was his prerogative to do as he pleased with his own slaves, but Loukon could not imagine he had ever acted upon it.

  The adviser returned and whispered to the master.

  “Oh, no,” Theophilus said. “We must go. Loukon, gather your papyrus. Anything else you need, we will provide at the seashore.”

  “Wait! What is happening? Are my parents all right?”

  “They are grave, son, but the physician himself has fallen ill.”

  “Then I must stay! I cannot go! Who else will look after the peopl
e?”

  “You would be supervising a mass burial, Luke. Now I must insist that you ride with us.”

  “I want to stay.”

  “Enough,” Theophilus said, not unkindly. “I have spoken. You will thank me one day. Now get your things and do not delay.”

  Loukon knew he had no options. At least gathering up his stuff would take him home, if only briefly. He could peek in on his parents. He ran to the row of slave quarters, aware of more people writhing, much wailing and groaning.

  “Do not come near me!” the physician called out as Loukon looked in while gathering his schoolwork. He grabbed an extra tunic, but it was all he could do to not get near his doctor/mentor. The man looked terrible, slumped on the bench next to the bed where Loukon’s parents lay, now deathly pale and motionless.

 
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