Gospel of Luke: A Biblical History
The Gospel of Luke is one of four Gospels in the Holy Bible and is the third book presented in the New Testament. The author of this Gospel, Luke, was an associate of the Apostle Paul and also the author of the book of Acts. Acts is the first book to follow the four Gospels in the Bible. Luke was a doctor and probably well educated according to the style of writing and structure of his text. The Gospel of Luke is specifically addressed to an individual named Theophilus and is focused on the complete story and history of Jesus Christ from His birth and ministry to His crucifixion and resurrection. Luke's Gospel focuses on Christ's teachings about salvation and Christ's fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies regarding the coming Messiah. It includes the beautiful birth story of the baby Jesus and the miracle conception by God. Bible scholars generally agree that the Gospel of Luke was written between 59 and 70 A.D. The author is referenced in Colossians 4:14 by the Apostle Paul.
Gospel of Luke: The Outline and Structure
The Gospel of Luke is organized into eight primary sections that describe the life, ministry and miracles of Jesus Christ. This Gospel is filled with details about history and surrounding events of the times. It is careful to include details about the political culture and the families surrounding Jesus during His earthly life. The first section begins with an introduction that explains the purpose of this Gospel from the writer. The second section, beginning in the fifth verse of Chapter One, describes the events surrounding the coming of Jesus Christ and John the Baptist. This section describes the birth of Jesus and some events of His childhood. The first quote of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke appears in the second chapter, verse 49. The third section details the events leading to the public ministry of Jesus, including His baptism (Luke 3:21, 22) and His temptation (Luke 4:1-13). The next four chapters comprise the fourth section of Luke's Gospel, including the beginning of Christ's ministry, choosing His 12 Apostles (Luke 6:12-16), and performing miracles (Luke 4:35, 4:39, 5:13). Throughout these chapters, Jesus displayed many powers that validated His authority given to Him by God, including the authority to forgive sins (Luke 5:20, 7:48), the authority to know our thoughts (Luke 5:22), the authority to heal people (Luke 6:8), the authority to bring peace to people (Luke 7:50), and the authority over nature by calming a storm (Luke 8:24). This section also describes many lessons and teachings of Jesus that are principles for living according to God's way of life.
The fifth section of Luke's Gospel begins with Chapter 9, verse 10, where Jesus performs the miracle of feeding five thousand people with five loafs of bread and two fish (Luke 9:10-17). The Apostle Peter confesses that Jesus is the Christ (also known as the Messiah) (Luke 9:20). In verses 9:28-34, the transfiguration is described in detail. The beginning of the sixth section outlines the ministry of Jesus in Judea starting in Chapter 9, verse 51. Jesus gives His followers instructions on how to help others through discipleship (Luke 10:1-17); Jesus teaches us how to pray effectively to God (Luke 11:2-4); Jesus warns people how not to act, including being hypocritical and judgmental (Luke 11:37-52); Jesus tells His followers not to worry about common concerns in life, but to trust God (Luke 12:22-34); and Jesus gives people a stern warning that we must repent (change from sinful ways) or perish (Luke 13:1-5). The seventh section of the Gospel of Luke runs from Chapter 13:22 through Chapter 19:22 and describes many teachings and miracles of Jesus. Jesus almost exclusively uses parables to give lessons about living. The eighth and last section of this Gospel describes the important details about the trial, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus again shows His authority by knowing everything around Him (Luke 19:30). Jesus gives many final instructions about how to live (Luke 21:19,34) and how to rely on God (Luke 22:40, 46). He again confirms His authority as the Son of God (Luke 22:70). Finally, Chapter 24 details the resurrection of Jesus and His ascension to heaven.
Gospel of Luke: What is the Significance?
The Gospel of Luke presents many important facts and significant lessons about Jesus Christ. First, the Gospel clearly establishes that Jesus Christ is the Messiah that was prophesied throughout the Old Testament. Second, it proves that Jesus is the Son of God as He claims. Third, it confirms that Jesus has complete authority over everything in the world, including overcoming evil (Luke 4:12, 35, 9:38, 11:14), controlling nature (Luke 8:22-25, 9:12-17, 5:4-11), overcoming death (Luke 8:41-42, 7:11-15), healing people (Luke 5:12-13, 7:1-10, 4:38-35, 5:18-25, 6:6-10, 18:35-43), the power to forgive sins (Luke 5:24, 7:48), the power to bless people (Luke 6:20-22), and the authority to give people eternal life in heaven (Luke 23:43). Jesus displayed the miracle of overcoming death through His own resurrection after being crucified on a Roman cross. The Gospel of Luke provides a first hand account of the events of Christ's life from the Apostles and other witnesses. The Gospel has absolutely survived the historical, geographical and archaeological scrutiny of the last 2,000 years. Of course, a summary of Luke's Gospel can only provide highlights to the actual text and cannot replace it. You are encouraged to read the Gospel of Luke to learn more about Jesus Christ and the miracles that He can do in your life!