The Gospel According to Luke commonly shortened to the Gospel of Luke or simply Luke is the third and longest of the four Gospels. This synoptic gospel is an account of the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. It details his story from the events of his birth to his Ascension. The purpose of Luke is to write a precise and reliable history of Jesus’ Christ’s life, while bringing out the theological significance of the history. He is a Greek and the only Gentile Christian writer of the New Testament.
The language of Luke reveals that he is an educated man. We learn in Colossians 4:14 that he is a physician.
In this book Luke refers many times to sicknesses and diagnoses. Being a Greek and a doctor would explain his scientific and orderly approach to the book, giving great attention to detail in his accounts. He addressed his Gospel to the Greek people (a non-Jewish). The Gospel according to Luke is the first part of a two-volume work that continues the biblical history of God’s dealings with humanity found in the Old Testament, showing how God’s promises to Israel have been fulfilled in Jesus and how the salvation promised to Israel and accomplished by Jesus has been extended to the Gentiles.
The Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts are closely related. Written by the same author and for the same purpose, both were addressed to a Christian named Theophilus and were designed for the purpose of presenting to him a complete and well authenticated narrative of the early history of the Christian movement.
Luke was a faithful friend and travel companion of Paul. , who came to be known in Christian circles as the Apostle to the Gentiles,. He wrote the book of Acts as a sequel to the Gospel of Luke. Some discredit Luke’s Gospel because he was not one of the 12 disciples.
However, Luke had access to historical records. He carefully researched and interviewed the disciples and others who were eyewitnesses to the life of Paul’s interpretation of Christianity as a universal religion did much to eliminate the barriers between Jews and Gentiles. When Jews and Gentiles are contrasted in Luke, often the Gentiles are presented in the more favorable light. As nearly as we can determine, the Gospel of Luke was written toward the end of the first century, probably between the years 85–90 A.
D. By this time, Christianity was fast becoming a worldwide movement. The predominant theme in the book of Luke is the perfect humanity of Jesus Christ. The Savior entered human history as the perfect man. He himself offered the perfect sacrifice for sin, therefore, providing the perfect Savior for humankind Luke shows the broad humanitarian character of Jesus’ work that was manifested from the first in Jesus’ attitude toward the Samaritans and others whom the Jews regarded as their enemies.
Jesus never failed to commend those who had a humble and contrite heart and it made no difference whether they were Jews or Gentiles. Luke’s Gospel gives special emphasis to prayer, miracles and angels as well. Interesting to note, women are given an important place in Luke’s writings. The gospel closes with an account of the resurrection and the subsequent meetings of Jesus with the disciples and others. As two men are walking to the village of Emmaus, Jesus joins them, but the men do not recognize Jesus until he sits at a table with them and blesses the food that they are about to eat.
Later, Jesus meets with the eleven disciples in Jerusalem and overcomes their suspicions by showing his hands and feet to them. They cook some fish, and Jesus partakes of the food with them. Then follows a farewell discourse to the disciples, during which Jesus gives them instruction concerning what they should do. Afterward, they go together as far as Bethany, and after blessing the disciples, Jesus departs from them.