St Luke: The Evangelist of Seeing Salvation 

and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” (Luke 3:6 quoting Isaiah 52:10)


St Luke, whose memory is honored today in the Orthodox Church, is clear that salvation is something plainly visible – salvation can be seen by all humans. Salvation is thus not merely a theological concept or something experienced by the heart or mind or even an event to be experienced by the many. Salvation is visible because it is a relationship with the Son of God. This is what St Simeon expresses in his prayer when he encounters the infant Christ in the Temple.- an event found only in the Gospel according to St Luke. Simeon sees Jesus and knows he is looking at God’s salvation. His prayer is sung at every Vespers in which the setting sun reminds us of the Son that never sets:


Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, 

according to your word; 

for my eyes have seen your salvation 

that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 

a light for revelation to the Gentiles, 

and for glory to your people Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32)

8062390079_f3ebff8e95_wSt Luke is clear that everyone in the world can see God’s salvation, both Jew and Gentile. And we are always to be seeking and searching for God because with the Lord we have a relationship that never ends, never grows old, never fades. Rather, we continually grow and come to see more and more of the infinite and eternal God.

This truly is the vision of God: never to be satisfied in the desire to see him. But one must always, by looking at what he can see, rekindle his desire to see more. Thus, no limit would interrupt growth in the ascent to God, since no limit to the Good can be found nor is the increasing of desire for the Good brought to an end because it is satisfied.” (St Gregory of Nyssa, THE LIFE OF MOSES, p 116)

We are enabled to see salvation because we have a natural relationship with God – we each are created in God’s image and likeness. God is not completely unknown to us for God has placed within each of us His image so that we can constantly see God if we have the eyes of faith to see.

We are ‘called to see God only because God is already present in us in a particular way by reason of our kinship with the Word, the perfect image.’ (B. Fraigneau-Julien quoted in ON THE MYSTICAL LIFE Vol 3, p 149)

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