Summary: Introduction to the Gospel of Luke

The Gospel According To Luke

1. The Author of the Book - Luke - He was:

A. … modest, never using his own name, but being referred to by others as “Luke, the beloved Physician” (Col 4:4);

B. … a man of culture and high academic training as a doctor and faithful minister to Paul’s physical needs (2 Tim 4:9-16);

C. … a traveling companion of Paul (Acts 16:10; 20:6; 24:27; 27:1 - 28:31; Col 4:14; 2 Tim 4:11; Philem 24);

D. … a man highly esteemed by other Christians (2 Cor 8:18; cf. post script for 2 Cor);

E. … loyal to Paul when others forsook him (2 Tim 4:9-16)

F. … a man who wrote 2 NT Books - Luke & Acts (Lu 1:1-4; Acts 1:1-2; 16:10);

G. … a historian of great intellect, writing in exquisite style and finished form in both his Gospel account of the life of Jesus, and the Acts of the Apostles;

H. … not an eyewitness to the events recorded in his Gospel, but as he wrote under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he drew from written and verbal accounts of those who were eyewitnesses to His ministry;

I. … determined through careful investigation , to write an orderly account of the life of Jesus in order to provide a firm foundation for the faith of his friend Theophilus (1:1-4).

2. The Recipients of the Book

A. Written to Theophilus, Gr. “Friend of God”, a high ranking Roman official (Lu 1:1-4; Acts 1:1-2; 23:26)

B. Written to those with strong Greek influence to present Jesus as the perfect man.

3. The Date & Place of Writing

A. Date - Written around 60 AD:

· Written before Acts

· Acts written during Paul’s 1st Roman imprisonment.

· Paul was evidently released from prison, traveled between Asia & Spain and imprisoned a 2nd time in Rome; then executed in 68 AD.

B. Place - Tradition places the writing in Rome during Paul’s 1st imprisonment.

4. The Purpose of the Book

A. To record an accurate account of Jesus’ life (Lu 1:1-4)

Ø Matthew emphasizes what Jesus said;

Ø Mark emphasizes what Jesus did;

Ø Luke emphasizes who Jesus is.

B. To present a different perspective on what are essentially the same events covered by Matthew and Mark.

Ø Matthew presents Jesus as the King of the Jews;

Ø Mark presents Jesus as the Servant of Jehovah;

Ø Luke presents Jesus as the Perfect Man;

C. To present Jesus as the God/Man, emphasizing His perfect humanity. Among the aspects of this perfect humanity are:

Ø Christ’s human dependence on prayer;

Ø Christ’s human need for the Holy Spirit;

Ø Christ’s universal concern for humanity;

Ø Christ’s human poverty;

Ø Christ’s human sympathies;

D. To present Jesus as the Saviour (Lu 19:10; Acts 4:12)

5. Keys to the Book

A. Key Verse - 19:10

B. Key Words:

· Son of Man - 25 times

· Prayer - 34 times

· Salvation / save - 26 times

6. Special Features

A. Luke is the only Gospel addressed to a specific person – Theophilus (1:1-4)

B. Luke’s medical training is clearly expressed in his writing (4:18, 23, 38, 5:12, 17-18; 7:12; 13:3)

C. Luke gives the most complete details of the Christmas story (Luke 1 – 2)

D. Only Luke records the details of Jesus boyhood visit to the Temple (Luke 2)

Ø The announcement of the birth of Jesus;

Ø The song of Mary;

Ø The journey to Bethlehem;

Ø The inn, the birth, the manger:

Ø The announcement to the shepherds;

Ø The angelic song;

Ø The visit of the shepherds;

Ø The temple dedication / circumcision;

Ø The worship of Simeon & Anns;

E. Only Luke records the details of Jesus’ boyhood visit to the Temple. (Luke 2)

F. Only Luke records the natural development of Jesus as a child (Luke 2)

G. Luke records 20 miracles {6 of which are not found in the other Gospels}; and 23 parables {18 of which are not found in the other Gospels.

H. Luke’s largest section is his record of Jesus journey to Jerusalem, occupying 10 Chapters (9:51- 19:44). In this section he records 29 sayings, parables and incidents not found in the other Gospels.

I. Luke uses at least 30 names & titles of Christ.

Ø Lord (1:43) - used by Luke 103 times

Ø Jesus (1:31) - used by Luke 100 times

Ø Christ (2:26) - used by Luke 14 times

Ø Son of the Most High (1:32)

Ø Son of God (1:35)

Ø My Savior (1:46)

Ø Horn of Salvation (1:69)

Ø Most High (1:76)

Ø Rising Sun (1:78)

Ø Savior, Christ the Lord (2:11)

Ø Consolation of Israel (2:25)

Ø Son of David (3:23)

Ø Physician (4:23)

Ø Prophet (4:24)

Ø Holy One of God (4:34)

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