Starting Sunday, July 24, we will be starting a new teaching series through the Gospel of Luke. It was a blessing to teach through Revelation and view Jesus in His heavenly glory. I am anticipating a similar blessing as we look together at our Lord’s earthly ministry!
Luke’s Gospel is the most unique of the so-called “synoptics” (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) which all contain many of the same events. Synoptic means that they share a common view. Although there are parallels between them more than half of Luke’s Gospel (59%) contains material not found in any other.
Luke was a physician by training and a ministry partner of the Apostle Paul. He is mentioned by name in three of Paul’s letters (Col. 4:14; 2 Tim. 4:11; Philem. 1:24). You can see where he joined Paul’s team in Acts (also written by Luke). You can tell because he stops writing “they” when describing Paul’s travels (e.g., Acts 16:6-8) and starts writing “we” (e.g. Acts 16:11).
Luke was not an eye-witness to the resurrection of Christ or His earthly ministry. He made careful investigation into the life and ministry of Jesus. It is through his investigation that his material was collected and recorded.
This Gospel was likely completed around A.D. 58-60. This is seven to ten years before Paul’s death (c. A.D. 67-68).
Luke’s perspective focuses on Jesus as the Son of Man – which was Christ’s own preferred designation for Himself. Jesus referred to Himself directly or through citing passages about Himself as the Son of Man about 80 times in the Gospels.
Others referred to Jesus as the Son of God quite regularly. Rightly so. However, of the approximately 25 verses that refer to Jesus as the Son of God in the Gospels only a handful (less than five) are from Jesus’s own lips about Himself. Most of these few are contained in John’s Gospel – the Gospel that most emphasizes Jesus’ divinity.
Although all of the Gospels include Jesus’ divinity AND humanity it is fair to say that Luke focuses our attention on the Man, Christ Jesus. It would be wrong to think that Jesus’ divinity is hidden or denied by Luke, however. The only occurrence in all of the synoptic Gospels from Jesus’ own lips calling Himself the Son of God also happens to be in Luke’s Gospel (Luke 22:70-71) where Jesus plainly answers the question, “Are You the Son of God, then?” with a direct, “Yes I am.”
Luke wrote his Gospel primarily for a Gentile audience. They would not have been as familiar with the Jewish history, Law, and prophecies. Luke’s Gospel is the most directly written with the Gentile perspective in mind. Since we live in a non-Jewish culture this Gospel is perhaps most directly written for people like us who are not fully familiar with Jewish custom and expectation of the Messiah.
I am looking forward to spending time getting to know Jesus better through the Gospel of Luke. We would love for you to join us Sundays at 9:30am to join in praise and worship of our great God and Savior!