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
"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
- The events reported by Luke are especially important
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)