In the Gospel of Luke, Luke portrays Christ in His fullest humanity by devoting more of his writings to Christ’s feelings and humanity than any other gospel. Captured in the three parables of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and Lost Son is the crux of this gospel: that God through Christ has come to seek and to save that which was lost.
From an infant who could do nothing on his own, Jesus grew to become completely able to fulfill his mission on earth. He was fully human, developing in all ways like us. Yet he remained fully God. He took no shortcuts and was not isolated from the pressures and temptations of life. There are no shortcuts for us either as we prepare for a life of service to God.
Jesus taught great crowds of people, especially through parables, which are stories with great truths. But only those with ears to hear will understand. We should pray that God’s Spirit would help us understand the implications of these truths for our lives so we can become more and more like Jesus.
The Savior of the world was arrested and executed. But death could not destroy him, and Jesus came back to life and ascended to heaven. In Luke’s careful, historical account, we received the facts about Jesus’ resurrection. We must not only believe that these facts are true, but we must also trust Christ as our Savior. It is shortsighted to neglect the facts, but how sad it is to accept the facts and neglect the forgiveness that Jesus offers to each of us.
The author does not identify himself by name, but he does tell us a good deal about himself. An educated man with the best command of Greek of any New Testament writer, he counts among his acquaintances a person of high social standing, the “most excellent” Theophilus, to whom he addresses both Luke (1:3) and Acts (1:1). As a gentile, the author is interested in Gentiles; he is equally disinterested in matters purely Jewish. Later tradition identifies the author as Luke. the companion of Paul.
The Gospel of Luke was probably written during the two years that Paul was in his own hired house in Rome (A. D. 61-63), continuing to preach the kingdom of God (Acts 28:31). Written from Rome, with Paul.
The Gospel of Luke, the most universal in outlook of all the gospels, portrays Jesus as a man with compassion for all peoples. Luke is also the most socially-minded of the gospels. Jesus blesses the poor, the hungry, those who weep, and then excluded (6:20-23). In his parables he takes the side of a beggar who sits outside the gate of a rich man (16:19-31) and celebrates a tax collector who shies away from the Temple because of his sinfulness (18:9-14). Jesus reaches out to a widowed mother who had lost her only son (7:11-17) and to a sinful woman (7:36-50). In another parable the hero of mercy is a despised Samaritan (10:25-37); and after a healing, a Samaritan is praised for his gratitude (17:11-19). The open arms of the Father, as in the parable of the Prodigal Son (15:11-32), await all who return to Him.
The purpose of the Gospel of Luke was to present the Lord Jesus Christ as God’s perfect Man.
Luke traced Christ’s bloodline from Adam to Mary. Although Luke was not present with Christ during His earthly ministry, he stated that he had perfect knowledge of all things pertinent to his subject, thereby claiming inspiration. Luke set forth Christ as the Son (representative) of man, the only one whose sinless shed blood could be accepted as the payment for the sins of all mankind.
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