ScriptureReading: Luke 1:1-4; ESV
Who is Luke
Luke is the longest gospel andcontains more material, unique to him, than the other three.
7 Miracles & 17 Parables are exclusive to Luke.
Whatwe know about Luke:
· Hewas not an original disciple, nor an apostle, but was a close associate of the Apostles.
· Hehad a close relationship with The Apostle Paul. Paul makes mention of Luke in Colossians 4:14, Philemon 24 and 2 Timothy 4:11.
In his letter to Timothy, Paulshares how Luke was his loyal companion when everyone else had deserted him.
· Paulpresents Luke as a physician by trade and a Gentile believer..
· OneScholar (Lockyer) links him with Titus as his brother.
· Earlychurch tradition depicts Luke as a lifelong bachelor who lived to be 84 years of age.
· Finally,from the time Paul and Luke met… Luke became the constant companion and ministry partner ofPaul..
Why did He write a gospel
That’s a great question. Luke tells usthat many other accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry were already in existence.
There are four gospels recognized asinspired and canonical: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
There areother “so-called” gospels that have been found wanting… not always necessarily false, though some are, but not meeting thestandard to be recognized as inspired Scripture.
The following is a smallrepresentation:
· TheGospel of Thomas
· TheGospel of Marcion
· TheGospel of Mary
· TheGospel of Judas
· TheGospel of Philip
· TheGospel of Peter
· TheGospel of Eve
· TheGospel of Matthias
Without judgment or comment on thevalidity of these other accounts, Luke tells us why he is going to give anaccount.
Luke writes to an audience of 1,Theophilus, because he wants him to an “orderly,” “well researched,” “documentedaccount”,“... of the things that have been accomplished among us,” VS1 --- “that you may have certainty concerning the thingsyou have been taught.” VS4
“…things… accomplished among us…” = that which has been fulfilled in our time.
Luke is referencing OldTestament Messianic Prophecy, i.e.: the redemptive plan of God. He will show how Jesus is thefulfillment of those prophesies.
He begins with John The Baptist… showing how heis the fulfillment of the “forerunner” who would prepare the way for theMessiah… Isaiah 40:3-5
Then he turns hisattention to Jesusshowing how that He is the fulfillment of prophesied Messiah… Isaiah 7:14
Then he turns to the lifeand work of Jesus, highlighting His teaching, miracles, death on the cross andresurrection from the dead. Luke wants to help Theophilus see how God’sMessianic Plan, announced
in theOld Testament, has been accomplished in the life and ministry of Jesus.
Lukestates with absolute clarity the “WHY”of it all… “that youmay have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.”
Truth Point: Christianity is not based on “blindfaith”… someone said it and I’m supposed to believe it… it is built on real-time, observed,documented, facts. We are asked to bewhat is real, not what’s been made up.
This is why Luke writes his gospel
Who did Luke Write His Gospel Too
The words: “mostexcellent” in VS3are not Luke’s way of pumping up Theo’s ego… it is a title reserved for gentilegovernment officials…
This gives us a clue then thatTheophilus is likely a government official and that he is a non-Jew.
Theophilus needs discipling and Lukeis going to take on the task of helping him grow in his understanding ofChrist.
Theophilus is not a name that would be common toa Roman Gentile… it means:
· Loved by God.
· Lover of God.
· Friend of God.
This has led some to speculate that hetook this name after converting to Christianity. (Lockyer)
What do wehave here? We have a gentile, writing toa gentile about a Jewish Messiah. Luke is uniquely the gospel designed for thegentile mind.
How is Jesus Presented in Luke
Luke presents Jesus as uniquely human.He’s not God pretending like He is human, but He is God who became fully human.Luke traces Jesus’ linage back to first man, Adam. Luke 2:38
As a human, Jesus is presented as uniquely compassionate toward humanity, for thosewho are trapped in sin’s grip. Jesus is uniquely compassionate toward thosewhom the culture of day were not concerned about at all… women, children, thepoor, the slave, the sick, the disenfranchised.
Key to Luke’s presentation of Jesus ishow Jesus presented Himself… For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost. Luke 19:10
As we move through Luke’s Gospel, wewill be blessed time and again with documentation that shows Jesus doing thevery thing He announced as His mission.
The compassionate Savior who loves andpursues the lost.
Other themes that are prominent inLuke are:
· Joy…that is found in and through Jesus
· Theoverwhelming gloryof God when He reveals His presence to humanity.
· Theministry of the Holy Spiritis prominent, both in Luke and Acts
· Theprayer lifeof Jesus is also emphasized.