In Acts 1:1, Luke uses the word Theophilus, which means Theos = God, philos = friend, or friend of God. Some scholars say this was a pseudonym for an actual person who it would have endangered to name in a letter. Others say that it was a name for all readers.
In Luke 1:3, Luke adds "most excellent" to the front of that word, making it an "honorific":
(3 it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.) This is further evidence that Theophilus was a real person instead of a name for all readers. (I personally don't agree, but I'm no Bible scholar, so, you know).
Beth mentions that Luke focuses on friends and friendship more than anyone else in the Bible (or the New Testament or the Gospels... not sure which or if it matters).
Luke 7:31-39, and skip down to 47
31"To what then shall I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another,
"'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.'
33 For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, 'He has a demon.' 34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, 'Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' 35 Yet wisdom is justified by all her children."
36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume.38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. 39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
The pharisees accused Jesus of being a friend of sinners, and yet they were the ones who were truly sinners in this scenario because they were self righteous. And yet, Jesus is a friend of sinners, so he was still a friend of the pharisees as well as a friend of the sinful woman. In the realm of Christianity, outcasts become insiders. Luke was an outcast before - he was a gentile.
Beth then spoke about Luke's viewpoint of Christ and that God used his physician perspective to emphasize all of the healing and to use doctor's language and really bring out that dimension of Christ's ministry.
In Luke 13:10-16
10 On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” 13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.
14 But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, "There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day." 15 Then the Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it? 16 And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?"
This section was especially powerful as Beth talked more about her past and how she "could not straighten up" no matter how hard she tried. She needed Christ to put his hands on her and she needed to be under his authority (following his will, working with him rather than trying over and over to do what nobody can do alone). This is where she says that memorizing scripture and using it when your struggle arises is the way to freedom. Ask God what verse you need to combat your particular problem and then memorize it and bring it to mind when you see potential to encounter that problem. Over time (or even immediately) this will purify your mind so you will no longer have the same struggles!
Also, you can ask God "what preceded my defeat?" Try to find out your triggers so you can deal with them or avoid them. You have to let God get to the root of things and show you in his timing how to overcome the problem. It's not about treating symptoms, it's about getting complete healing. Don't be like the pharisees and make up a bunch of rules around healing. It can happen any time any place and to any degree, including miraculous, sudden healing. But don't make it up to be a certain way in your head and don't restrict it, whatever you do.
And as far as our struggles go, we have to take them one day at a time. God gives us grace for each day, and we are NOT to worry about the future. (Matthew 6 has a good section about this that really helps me to stave off anxiety).
At this point, Beth showed a picture of a baby squirrel. It was curled up in the palm of a woman's hand and it was naked and really ugly. A cat dragged it in and the Beth's friend saved it. Seeing the squirrel picture made a question come up for Beth: "What did we look like?" Then she read Ezekiel 16:4-7:
4 And as for your birth, on the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. 5 No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you, but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on the day that you were born.
6 "And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, 'Live!' I said to you in your blood, 'Live!' 7 I made you flourish like a plant of the field. And you grew up and became tall and arrived at full adornment.
Point #4: Jesus became a friend of sinners so we could become a friend of God.
And thank God he did!
Beth also made the point here that we need to make sure we aren't making ourselves bent over from bitterness and unforgiveness by withholding grace from other sinners. The word forgive in the Greek means to "send something forth" - to let go. If we don't do that then our unforgiveness becomes a lifestyle and eventually becomes who we are. We have to give things up to God because he can and will deal with them in time.
Even more than that, we have been called to overcome through LOVE. Don't you know that some people enjoy having power over you? If you don't give in, it will make them furious and it will set you free. Being kind to somebody who treats you badly is God's will and it will really throw that person off.
One last point Beth made for this section was that we shouldn't be afraid to be a little vulnerable. She realized that it's so much easier to say "love you" or "love ya" than to say "I love you." We are afraid of rejection, but it's ok if the love doesn't come back to us because God always always loves us and He is enough for us. We were made to love. Take ownership and don't do it casually!