Luke


The author of Luke wrote for a community which also awaited the arrival of God\'s Kingdom, but which was concerned about its life in another Kingdom.Tradition holds that the author of the gospel of Luke was a physician and a traveling companion of the apostle Paul. History offers no evidence to substantiate these claims, but the work itself suggests that it was composed by someone who lived in one of the cities where Paul had established his early churches. The composition and language of the work suggests that its author was well-educated, fluent in Greek, and possessed a keen sense of literary style. It has also deeply influenced how the later church came to imagine the birth of Jesus. For it is Luke who presents the familiar tale of his birth: "And in those days, a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed." (LK 2:1) Luke describes how Joseph and Mary journeyed from Nazareth, in the region of Galilee into Judea, to Bethlehem. Scholars speculate that he is placing the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem because Bethlehem is the city of King David; Luke is drawing a direct parallel between the first king of Israel and the new King, Jesus Christ.


Unlike Matthew\'s Jesus, who blesses the poor in spirit, Luke\'s Jesus simply blesses the poor. After a series of blessings addressing the peoples\' physical needs, Jesus offers advice on how to live a good life: (LK 6:27-31).


Luke\'s hopes for acceptance are reflected in the way he portrays the death of Jesus. His last words are "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (LK23:34) The Jesus of Luke dies with calm resolution: he knows that his death will be followed by the birth of the church.


Luke has a greater focus on individuals than do the other gospels. For example, Luke mentions thirteen women not found in the other gospels. It can also be said that Luke’s gospel has more comprehensive range than the others. It begins with the announcements concerning the births of John the Baptist and Jesus and ends with a reference to the ascension of Christ


There are thirty-five miracles specifically detailed in the gospels, twenty of which are found in Luke. Of the twenty in Luke, seven are unique to this gospel alone. there are some fifty-one ‘parables’ spoken by Christ. Needless to say, this number is not fixed, since there is much disagreement as to what constitutes a parable. However, of the fifty-one so classified, thirty-five are found in Luke, and nineteen of those are unique to this gospel.4


Luke, for example, informs us that “Mary treasured these things in her heart,” (Luke 2:51; cf. 1:29). The innermost thoughts, fears, and reflections of people are reported in this gospel, which are not recorded elsewhere.


Luke seems intent on presenting a carefully arranged sequence of events, from the very beginning, something which cannot be claimed by other gospel accounts. Furthermore, Luke, as a historian, deals with the “roots” of Jesus’ ministry. A comparative chart of the early chapters of the four gospels, included at the conclusion of this message, points out the unique contribution of Luke to the biblical record of the earliest events in the life and ministry of John the Baptist and our Lord.


Luke appears to be a Gentile, and to be writing his gospel to a Gentile, thus making this gospel unique in its Gentile perspective. As Gentile Christians, the gospel of Luke will therefore have a particular interest and importance to us.


For the final time, therefore, Paul announces a turn to the Gentiles with a ringing affirmation: the salvation from God has been sent to them, and they will listen! Luke\'s readers recognize this as the prophecy that has indeed taken place "among us" (Luke 1:1), and which has generated the question that made the writing of this narrative necessary in the first place: how did the good news reach the Gentiles, and did the rejection of it by the Jews mean that God failed in his fidelity to them? Luke\'s answer is contained in the entire narrative up to this point. In every way, God has proven faithful; not his prophetic word and power, but the blindness of the people has lead to their self-willed exclusion from