Luke, the Third Gospel, was written by “the beloved physician,” the companion of the apostle Paul. Only in Luke are found the Magnificat, the story of the birth of John the Baptist, the Christmas story of the shepherds, the parables of the Good Samaritan, the lost sheep, and the prodigal son, and the great hymns – The Gloria in Excelsis and Nunc Dimittis. Jesus is presented as the compassionate Savior, healer, redeemer, and friend of the weak. From this Gospel comes a special feeling of the mercy of God as Jesus made men understand it.
Two passages to look at:
Luke 1:3-4 – “it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.”
Luke 19:10 – “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Key Chapter: Luke 15
Captured in the three parables of the Lost Sheep, Lost Coin, and Lost Son (Prodigal Son) is the crux of his gospel record: that God through Christ has come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Observations about Luke:
– Luke, a physician, writes with the compassion and warmth of a family doctor as he carefully documents the perfect humanity of the Son of Man, Jesus Christ.
— Luke emphasizes Jesus’ ancestry, birth, and early life before moving carefully and chronologically through His earthly ministry.
— Growing belief and growing opposition develop side by side in the book of Luke.
— Those who believe are challenged to count the cost of discipleship.
— Those who oppose will not be satisfied until the Son of Man hangs lifeless on a cross.
— Thus, the book of Luke was written by a Gentile writer for Gentiles.
— Luke records many of Jesus’ parables not found in Matthew, Mark, or John.
– The Greek name Luke appears only three times in the New Testament.
a. Colossians 4:14
b. 2 Timothy 4:1
c. Philemon 24
– It is evident from the prologues to Luke and Acts (Luke 1:1-4; Acts 1:1-5) that both
books were addressed to Theophilus as a two-volume work.
— Luke is called “the former account.”
— Acts begins with a summary of Luke and continues the story from where the gospel according to Luke concludes.
– The physician, Luke may have been a Hellenistic Jew, but it is more likely that he was a Gentile. If so, this would make him the only Gentile contributor to the New Testament.
— In Colossians 4:10-14, Paul list three fellow workers who are “of the circumcision” (Jews) ( vs. 10-11) and then includes Luke’s name with two Gentiles (vs. 12-14).
– It has been suggested that Luke may have been a Greek physician to a Roman family who at some point was set free and given Roman citizenship.
– Tradition also says that Luke:
— Was from Syrian Antioch (Where the disciples were first called “Christians” Acts 11:26).
— Remained unmarried.
— Died at the age of eighty-four.
— We do know that he was a close associate of the apostle Paul.
— Paul referred to him as “Luke the beloved physician” (Colossians 4:14; Philemon 24).
— During his second Roman imprisonment, Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 4:1, “Only Luke is with me,” an evidence of Luke’s loyalty to the apostle in the face of profound danger.
– One thing for sure, Luke gives the most complete account of Christ’s ancestry, birth, and development
– Jesus alone fulfills the Greek ideal of human perfection.
Luke builds the gospel narrative on the platform of historical reliability. His emphasis on chronological and historical accuracy makes this the most
comprehensive of the four records of the gospel. Luke is also the longest and most literary of the four. It presents Jesus as the perfect man who came to seek and save sinful man.
There are four major divisions in the book:
Luke places a strong emphasis on the ancestry, birth, and early years of Jesus and of His forerunner John the Baptist. Their infancy stories are intertwined as Luke records their birth announcements, their advents, and their temple presentations. Jesus prepares over thirty years (summarized in one verse, Luke 2:52) for a public ministry of only three years. Luke traces Jesus’ ancestry back to the first man, Adam. His ministry commences after His baptism and temptation.
From Luke 4:14 – 6:49, Jesus demonstrates His authority over every realm, including demons, disease, nature, the effects of sin, tradition, and all people. All of these demonstrations are a prelude to His diverse ministry of preaching, healing, and the training and nurturing His disciples in preparation for His departure.
The dual response of growing belief and growing rejection has already been introduced in Luke 4:16 and Luke 16:11, but from this time forward the intensity of opposition to the ministry of the Son of Man increases. When the religious leaders accuse Him of being demonized, Jesus pronounces a series
of divine upon them (11). Knowing that He is on His last journey to Jerusalem, Jesus instructs His disciples on a number of practical matters including:
l. The second coming