Luke is called a Gospel, which means good news, from the old English godspell, and a translation of the Greek euangelion. It was a new form of writing developed by Christians to record the "good news" about Christ.There are four gospels in the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and are composed of scenes and sayings from Jesus' life remembered by His disciples and passed on, probably word for word.
"Oriental disciples learned by committing their masters' words and actions to memory for imitation" (The Navigators)

  • The theme of the Gospel of Luke is the nature of Jesus' Messiahship and
  • The key verse is 19:10 - "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save
    what was lost."
  • The key word is "Son of Man". "The term "Son of man" is used 26 times.
    It speaks of more than just the Lord's humanity in contrast to His deity,
    "Son of God." It means He is the perfect, ideal Man, the true
    representative of the whole human race." (Windell Gann)
  • The purpose of Luke was to write a historically accurate and chronologically correct account of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, from the forerunner of the Messiah to His ascension into Heaven, so that his readers should be well grounded in their faith, "so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught".
  • The author is Luke, Paul's beloved Physician, probably a Gentile by birth,
    well educated in Greek culture, and a companion and friend of Paul. Probably a Gentile by birth from Antioch in Syria, he most likely went to school in the nearest university which was in Tarsus, Paul's home town. Luke was well educated in Greek culture, and a companion and friend of Paul (Colossians 4:10-14).
  • Luke uses medical terms for illness in Luke 5:12 and 14:2, and included sayings in which Jesus compared himself to a Physician (4:23, 5:31). Luke was also fond of the words salvation and saved, which in Greek also mean healing and healed (1:71, 2:30' 7:50 etc). Over 400 Greek medical terms have been identified that were used either exclusively or more frequently by Luke.
  • Luke may have been a former slave, who was trained as a physician and then freed by his master. Names ending in as (Lucas) were particularly common among slaves. He may have even been born in the household of Theophilus, a wealthy government official in Antioch. One of Luke's themes is the poor and suffering, which may be a reflection of such a childhood.
  • Along with the book of Acts, addressed to most excellent Theophilus,
    "lover of God", who was a wealthy Roman patron of Luke and publisher
    and distributor of this work.
  • It is dated between A.D. 59 and 80, with 62 AD being the preferred date as no event in it takes place later than 62 AD. The place it was written was
    probably Rome.
  • The events reported by Luke are especially important for the
    understanding of the plan of salvation and appeals to Jews and Gentiles
    alike. . "…Luke crafts his account of the Son of Man, the Savior of the Word, to be both meticulously accurate and also captivating for a cultured Greek audience." (Nav, 12) He presents Jesus as the perfect man, the goal of Greek culture.
  • As a historian, Luke relates his gospel to Gentile history and events, to show how the Gospel relates to all nations and all times.
  • "BACKGROUND: Luke was a historian who carefully researched his
    material (Luke 1:1-4). He consulted eyewitnesses for information ( Luke
    1:2). He may have gathered certain details, such as facts on Jesus' birth
    and youth from Mary herself (cf. 2:51). Luke also seemed to have had
    contacts with the Herodian court (cf. Luke 3:1, 19; 8:3; 9:7-9; 13:31;
    23:7-12). All of Luke's writing was done under the inspiration of the Holy
    Spirit." (Windell Gann)

Outline of Luke

The Preface (1:1-4)

The Coming of Jesus (1:5-2:52)

Jesus' Preparation for Ministry (3:1-4:13)

Ministry in Galilee (4:14-9:9)

Withdraw to Galilee regions (9:10-50)

Ministry in Judea (9:51-13:21)

Perean Ministry (13:22-19:27)

Last Days, Crucifixion, Resurrection

On Line Resources
Luke Study Aids


Luke - Walking through the Bible with Windell Gann
NavPress. A Life-Changing Encounter with God's Word from the Book of Luke, vols. 1 & 2. 1987.

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