Reading 2,23 - 24 Chapters - 1,151 verses - 25,944 words

Vital Statistics

 Purpose: To present an accurate account of the life of Christ and to present Christ as the perfect human and Savior  
 Author:  Luke - a doctor (Colossians 4:14), a Greek, and Gentile Christian. He is the only know Gentile author in the New Testament. Luke was a close friend and companion of Paul. He also wrote Acts, and the two books go together 
 Original audience:  Theophilus ("one who loves God"), Gentiles 
 Date written:  About A.D. 60 
 Setting:  Luke wrote from Rome or possibly from Caesarea 
 Key verses:  "Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (19:9, 10)
 Key people: Jesus, Elizabeth, Zechariah, John the Baptist, Mary, the disciples, Herod the Great, Pilate, Mary Magdalene
 Key places:  Bethlehem, Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem
 Key features:  This is the most comprehensive of the Gospels. The general vocabulary and diction show that the author was educated. He makes frequent references to illnesses and diagnoses. Luke stresses Jesus' relationships with people; emphasizes prayer, miracles, and angels; records inspired hymns of praise; gives a prominent place to women. Most of 9:51-18:35 is not found in any other Gospel 


    The author's name does not appear in the book, but much unmistakable evidence points to Luke. This Gospel is a companion volume to the book of Acts, and the Ianguage and structure of these two books indicate that both were written by the same person. They are addressed to the same individual, Theophilus, and the second volume refers to the first (Ac 1:1). Certain sections in Acts use the pronoun "we" (Ac 16:10-17; 20:5-15; 21:1-18; ac 27:1-28:16), indicating that the author was with Paul when the events described in these passages took place. By process of elimination, Paul's "dear friend Luke, 'the doctor" (Col 4:14) and "fellow worker" (Phm 24), becomes the most likely candidate. His authorship is supported by the uniform testimony of early Christian writings (e.g., the Muratorian Canon, A.D. 170, and .„ the works of lrenaeus, c. 180). Luke was probably a Gentile by birth, well educated in Greek culture, a physician by profession, a companion of Paul at various times from his second missionary journey to his final imprisonment in Rome, and a loyal friend who remained with the apostle after others had deserted him (2Ti 4:11). Antioch (of Syria) and Philippi are among the places suggested as his hometown. 

Recipient and Purpose

    The Gospel is specifically directed to Theophilus (1:3), whose name means "one who loves God" and almost certainly refers to a particular person rather than to lovers of God in general.The use of "most excellent" with the name further indicates an individual, and supports the idea that he was a Roman official or at least of high position and wealth. He was possibly Luke's patron, responsible for seeing that the writings were copied and distributed. Such a dedication to the publisher was common at that time. Theophilus, however, was more than a publisher.The message of this Gospel was intended for his own instruction (1:4) as well as the instruction of those among whom the book would be circulated. The fact that the Gospel was initially directed to Theophilus does not narrow or limit its purpose. It was written to strengthen the faith of all believers and to answer the attacks of unbelievers. It was presented to displace some disconnected and ill-founded reports about Jesus (see 1:1-4). Luke wanted to show that the place of the Gentile Christian in God's kingdom is based on the teaching of Jesus. He wanted to commend the preaching of the gospel to the whole world. 

Date and Place of Writing
    The two most commonly suggested periods for dating the Gospel of Luke are: (1) A.D. 59-63, and (2) the 70s or the 80s. The place of writing was probably Rome, though Achaia, Ephesus and Caesarea have also been suggested. The place to which it was sent would, of course, depend on the residence of Theophilus. By ts detailed designations of places in the Holy Land, the Gospel seems to be intended for readers who were unfamiliar with that land. Antioch, Achaia and Ephesus are possible destinations. 


    Luke had outstanding command of the Greek language. His vocabulary is extensive and rich, and his style at times approaches that of classical Greek (as in the preface, 1:1-4), while i at other times it is quite Semitic (1:5-2:52)---often like the Septuagint (the pre-Christian Greek translation of the OT), 

    The third
Gospel presents the works and teachings:of Jesus that are especially important for understanding the way of salvation. its scope is complete from the birth of Christ to his ascension, its arrangement is orderly, and it appeals to both Jaws and Gentiles. The writing is characterized by literary excellence, historical detail and warm„ sensitive understanding of Jesus and those around him. 

    Since the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) report many of the same episodes in Jesus' life, one would expect much similarity in their accounts.The dissimilarities reveal the distinctive emphases of the separate writers. Luke's characteristic themes include: (1) universality, recognition of Gentiles as well as Jews in God's plan (see, e.g., 2:30-32 and notes on 2:31; 3:6); (2) emphasis on prayer, especially Jesus' praying before important occasions (see note on 3:21); (3) joy at the announcement of the gospel or"good news" (see note on 1:14); (4) special concern for the role of women (see, e.g., 8:1-3 and notes); (5) special interest in the poor (some of the rich were included among Jesus' followers, but he seemed closest to the poor; see note on 12:33); (6) concern for sinners (Jesus was a friend to those deep in sin); (7) stress on the family circle (Jesus' activity included men, women and children, with the setting frequently in the home); (8) repeated use of the Messianic title "Son of Man" (used 25 times; see 19:10; Da 7:13 and notes); (9) emphasis on the Holy Spirit (see note on 4:1); (10) inclusion of more parables than any other Gospel (see chart, p. 2130); (11) emphasis on praising God (see 1:64; 24:53 and notes). 


    Although Luke acknowledges that many others had written of Jesus' life (1:1), he does not indicate that he relied solely on these reports for his own writing. He used personal investigation and arrangement, based on testimony from "eyewitnesses and servants of the word" (1:2)—including the preaching and oral accounts of the apostles. His language differences from the other Synoptics and his blocks of distinctive material (e.g., 10:1-18:14; 19:1-28) indicate independent work, though he obviously used some of the same sources (see essay, P.1943). 


    Luke's account of Jesus' ministry can be divided into three major parts: (1) the events that occurred in and around Galilee (4:14-9:50), (2) those that took place in Judea and Perea :9:51-19:27), and (3) those of the final week in Jerusalem (19:28-24:53). Luke's uniqueness pis especially seen in the amount of material devoted to Jesus' closing ministry in Judea and Perea This material is predominantly made up of accounts of Jesus' discourses.Twenty-one of the 28 parables that occur in Luke are found in 10:30 - 19:27. Of the 20 miracles recorded in Luke, only 5 appear in 9:51 - 19:27. Already in the ninth chapter (9:51), Jesus is seen anticipating his final appearance in Jerusalem and his crucifixion (13:22). The main theme of the Gospel is the nature of Jesus' Messiahship and mission, and a key verse is 19:10.  

How to read Luke

    Each gospel has its own particular flavor as each author portrays unique aspects of Jesus’ life and ministry. Luke, one of Paul’s disciples, was a non-Jewish physician from the Roman province of Macedonia. He did not experience the gospel events first-hand, but carefully researched the facts from those who had been eyewitnesses (Luk 1:1-3). His keen investigation brings to light some priceless stories that are not told in the other gospel accounts. Luke wanted to be sure he told the full story, including rich details of Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection.

    Luke’s is a very personal gospel. We observe many individuals meeting one-on-one with Jesus in transformational encounters—people who were often marginalized and cast off by religious society: women, foreigners, the sick, the lost, the broken, the poor, the needy, the suffering, the powerless, and the despised. Only Luke records the parable of the Good Samaritan. Only Luke includes three more parables and places them at the heart of his story, in chapter 15. They are the parables of a lost coin, a lost sheep, and a lost son. All three highlight the central message of the book that can best be summed up in the words of Jesus: “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luk 19:10).


Luke Interpretive Challenges

Luke, like Mark, and in contrast to Matthew, appears to target a Gentile readership. He identifies locations that would have been familiar to all Jews (e.g., 4:31; 23:51; 24:13), suggesting that his audience went beyond those who already had knowledge of  Palestinian geography. He usually preferred Greek terminology over Hebraisms (e.g., “the Skull” instead of “Golgotha” in 23:33. The other gospels all use occasional Semitic terms such as “Abba” (Mk 14:36), “Babbi” (Mt 23:7, 8; Jn 1:38, 49), and “Hosanna” (Mt 21:9; Mk 11:9, 10; Jn 12:13) —  but Luke either omits them or uses Greek equivalents.

Luke quotes the OT more sparingly than Matthew, and when citing OT passages, he nearly always employs the LXX, a Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures. Furthermore, most of Luke’s OT citations are allusions rather than direct quotations, and many of them appear in Jesus’ words rather than Luke’s narrations (2:23, 24; 3:4-6; 4:4, 8, 10-12, 18, 19; 7:27; 10:27; 18:20; 19:46; 20:17. 18. 37, 42, 43; 22:37).

Luke, more than any of the other gospel writers, highlights the universal scope of the gospel invitation. He portrays Jesus as the Son of Man, rejected by Israel, and then offered to the world. As noted above, Luke repeatedly relates accounts of Gentiles, Samaritans, and other outcasts who found grace in Jesus’ eyes. This emphasis is precisely what we would expect from a close companion of the “apostle to the Gentiles” (Ro 11:13).   

Yet some critics have claimed to see a wide gap between Luke’s theology and that of Paul. Ot os true that Luke’s gospel is practically devoid of terminology that is uniquely Pauline. Luke wrote with his own style. Yet the underlying theology is perfectly in harmony with that of the apostle’s. The centerpiece of Paul’s doctrine was justification by faith (Ro 3:24). Luke also highlights and illustrates justification by faith in many of the incidents and parables he related, chiefly the account of the Pharisee and the publican (18:9-14); the familiar story of the Prodigal Son (15:11-32); the incidente at Simon’s house (7:36-50); and the salvation of Zacchaeus (19:1-10).   


I. The Preface (1:1-4)

II. The Births of John the Baptist and Jesus (1:5-2:52)

A. The Annunciations (1:5-56)

B. The Birth of John the Baptist (1:57-80)

C. The Birth and Childhood of Jesús (ch.2)

III. The Preparation of Jesus for His Public Ministry (3:1-4:13)

A. His Forerunner (3:1-20)

B. His Baptism (3:21-22)

C. His Genealogy (3:23-38)

D. His Temptation (4:1-13)

IV. His Ministry in Galilee (4:14-9:9)

A. The Beginning of the Ministry in Galilee (4:14-41)

B. The First Tour of Galilee (4:42-5:39)

C. A Sabbath Controversy (6:1-11)

D. The Choice of the 12 Apostles (6:12-16)

E. The Sermon on the Plain (6:17-49)

F. Miracles in Capernaum and Nain (7:1-18)

G. The Inquiry of John the Baptist (7:19-29)

H. Jesus and the Pharisees (7:30-50)

I.  The Second Tour of Galilee (8:1-3)

J. The Parables of the kingdom (8:4-21)

K. The Trip across the Sea of Galilee (8:22-39)

L. The Third Tour of Galilee (8:40-9:9)

V. His Withdrawal to Regions around Galilee (9:10-50)

A. To the Eastern Shore of the Sea of Galilee (9:10-17)

B. To Caesarea Philippi (9:18-50)

VI. His Ministry in Judea (9:51-13:21)

A. Journey through Samaria to Judea (9:51-62)

B. The Mission of the 72 (10:1-24)

C. The Lawyer and the Parable of the Good Samaritan (10:25-37)

D. Jesus at Bethany with Mary and Martha (10:38-42)

E. Teaching in Judea (11:1-13:21)

VII. His Ministry in and around Perea (13:22-19:27)

A. The Narrow Door (13:22-30)

B. Warning concerning Herod (13:31-35)

C. At a Pharisee’s House (14:1-23)

D. The Cost of Discipleship (14:24-35)

E. The Parables of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin and the Lost Son (ch.15)

F. The Parable of the Shrewd Manager (16:1-18)

G. The Rich Man and Lazarus (16:19-31)

H. Miscellaneous Teachings (17:1-10)

I.  Ten Healed of Leprosy (17:11-19)

J. The Coming of the Kingdom (17:20-37)

K. The Persistent Widow (18:1-8)

L. The Pharisee and the Tax Collector (18:9-14)

M. Jesus and the Children (18:15-17)

N. The Rich Young Ruler (18:18-30)

O. Christ Foretells HIs Death (18:31-34)

P. A Blind Beggar Given His Sight (18:35-43)

Q. Jesus and Zacchaeus (19:1-10)

R. The Parable of the Ten Minas (19:11-27)

VIII. His Last Days: Sacrifice and TRiumph (19:28-24:53)

A. The Triumphal Entry (19:28-44)

B. The Cleansing of the Temple (19:45-48)

C. The Last Controversies with the Jewish Leaders (ch.20)

D. The Olivet Discourse (ch.21)

E. The Last Supper (22:1-38)

F. Jesus Praying in Gethsemane (22:39-46)

G. Jesus’ Arrest (22:47-65)

H. Jesus on Trial (22:66-23:25)

I.   The Crucifixion (23:26-56)

J. The Resurrection (24:1-12)

K. The Post-Resurrection Ministry (24:13-49)

L. The Ascension (24:50-53)


Luke Horizontal

1:1- Theophilus


1:5 - Savior’s birth

Birth & Identity


2:41 - Savior’s identify - Son of God

as the Son of God


4:31 - Authority of the Savior


5:27 - Savior of New Order

Savior’s Ministry


7:1 - Responses to the Savior

in Galilee

8:4 - Continued Authority of the Savior

9:51 - Kingdom of the Savior

11:1 - Principles of the Kingdom


12:1 - Cost of discipleship


Set His

15:1 - Savior seeking the lost

Face Toward

16:1 - More teaching and warnings


19:29 - Entry, Temple teaching things to come


22:1 - Passover, trial, death


24:1 - Savior’s resurrection


God's character in Luke

  1. God is accessible - 23:45
  2. God is holy - 1:49
  3. God is long-suffering - 13:6-9
  4. God is merciful - 1:50, 78
  5. God is powerful - 11:20; 12:5
  6. God is promise keeper - 1:38, 45, 54, 55, 69-73
  7. God is provident - 2:1-4; 21:18, 32, 33; 22:35
  8. God is wise - 16:15  

Christ in Luke 

    Luke , a physician himself, present Jesus as the Great Physician (5:31, 32; 15:4-7, 31, 32; 19:10). Luke examines Jesus' interaction with tax collectors, women, children, Gentiles, and Samaritans, demonstrating His unique ministry to the outcasts of society. Luke also describes Jesus as the Son of Man, emphasizing His offer of salvation to the world.