Introduction Luke was not a Jew, but a gentile. He was aphysician who loved people. The nature of Lukes Gospel is indicated by therole of those from whom he got his materials. They were ministers of theword (7,Laymans). The book was written for a man named Theophilus, who waspart of the Roman Government. Lukes words touched Theophilus, drawing himcloser to Jesus and who he was. The depths of Lukes Gospel are to be plumbedby the response of faith (7,Laymans). This Gospel was written with a point ofview in mind, symbolized by the calf, which to Luke meant that Jesus wassacrificed for he world to be save from heir sins. Luke emphasized that Jesusnot only wanted the Jews to know the word, but also the gentiles, because hewants everyone to know about salvation and his love for us. Luke was loved byeveryone and was thought to be a skilled painter. Luke also wrote the Book ofActs, which is said to be the sequel to the Gospel. Buttrick et al. (1952) saysthe book of Luke explains what Jesus dealt with, all that Jesus began to doand teach, until the day when he was taken up to heaven. Lukes Gospel isone of the easiest and clearest to read. It is written in the literary form ofsecular Greek historians, and has a quality of language that reveals author tohave been a man of learning. Luke was setting out to preach the Christianmessage in a form that would capture the attention of the intelligent gentilemind of the first century. Body Of Presentation Authorship The Gospel accordingto Luke carries no direct statement about who wrote it. However, there are manyindications that it was written by the one whose name bears: Luke, the doctorcompanion of Paul (14, Laymans). Luke accompanied Paul on his journey tospread the word after the ascension of Jesus. According to Buttrick et al.
(1962) Luke writes Iraneous. According to the Interpreters Dictionary of theBible (1962) it is confirmed that Luke was the author of the we sections,because they are written in first person plural. These sections show that Paulis being accompanied by someone who could possible be Luke. This in itself showsthat the same person wrote the Book of Acts, because of the writings and thestyle in which it was written. Luke was a gentile, for Paul lists him among hisgentile friends. We know that Luke was a doctor for Paul calls him the thebeloved physician(15, Laymans). Several arguments arise about authorship,although it falls short of proof, it is clear that there is nothing in the workthat a physician could not have written. Luke fulfills the requirements forbeing the author of the Gospel. Date The date of the Gospel is not quite clear,but the Interpreters Dictionary (1962) states that it could be somewhere around80 A.D. The reason behind this date is believed that the book of Acts waswritten shortly after Pauls imprisonment. There are four factors all scholarstake into account when considering the date for Lukes gospel: The date ofMark and Lukes relationship, Date of Acts, Reference to the destruction ofJerusalem in Chapter 21 and The Theological and Ecclesiastical tone of Luke-Acts (Liefeld, 1984). The four factors lead all historians to same period oftime, which ranges from A.D. 70 to 80. Fortunately the worth of the Gospel forus in no way rests on this point. Intended Audience Luke intended the Gospel tobe the first part of a larger book, for the Book of Acts is clearly a sequel toit. In Acts chapter one verse one he explains that In the first book hehas dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach until the day he wastaken up(Buttrick1962). Readership of the Gospel must be drawn primarily fromthe prologue (Luke 1:1-4) and secondarily from the conclusions about the purposeof the Gospel. From a brief survey of theories about Lukes purpose, it wouldappear that while Luke-Acts had an appeal to the Non-Christian, Luke expectedand desired it to be read by Christians, specifically new converts. According tothe Expositors Bible there are several characteristics of the Gospel such as itsorientation to the secular world, its references to Judaism, its septuagentisms,along with the prominence of the God fearers the made it plausible for those whodid not have faith in the Lord. It is impossible to say Lukes writing werestrictly for God-Fearers, but definite that he wrote with them in mind. PurposeThe purpose of Lukes writing according to Buttrick et al. (1962), is thatLuke is writing to confirm what we have already been taught, specifically in theChristian community. By this he affirms everything from his from his sources,oral traditions, and certain material that outline the life, ministry, thedeath, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Luke spoke of sin, like Paul didand he also spoke f forgiveness and reconciliation. His interests arehistorical. He is trying to tell what Jesus had said and done in the light ofcertain definite interests of his own (181, 1962). Forgiveness is an exampletheme when he says Let it be known to you therefore, brethrer, that throughthis man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone thatbelieves is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the lawof Moses (Acts 13:38.69). By writing the Luke-Acts book, he was able to makeChristianity appealing to the Roman Court. The crucifixion of Jesus is animportant theme in the Gospel of Luke. Pilate declared three times that Jesuswas innocent, but sentenced him anyway. These men had to live with this wrongdoing forever. There are several purposes proposed by the Gospel likeEvangelism, Personal Assurance, History, Conciliation, Instruction, Socialproblems, and many more. The primary purpose of not only the Gospel but of thebook of Acts as well, providing enough information about Jesus to supplement theinstruction Theophilus already had to assist in confirming his faith (Liefeld1984). If we dissect the Gospel one can assume Luke wrote to bring the Gospel,and the assurance of salvation that follows its acceptance, to a larger audiencethan Theophilus. In addition to winning converts, Luke is focused on promotingthe Christian Movement. Luke brings together all the data and addresses, allissues he deems necessary to advance Christs cause (Liefeld 1984). Outline ofContents The Gospel of Luke begins with a preface, the only one of the synopticGospels with this type of introduction. He speaks of predecessors, Thingswhich have been accomplished among us (1952 Buttrick). Basically he speaks innarrative about things that have occurred, and the evangelists who performedthem, including him. Luke then discusses narratives about the birth and infancy.
He speaks of the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth (John), his conception, birth,and circumcision. Luke balances every point with a series concerning Jesus. Lukewanted to let people know that what he writes was a creation of the literatureof Jesus. In the beginning Christians had to control its community activitiesand develop its institution because of the way the Romans acted toward religiouscults. When Christianity began it was seen as a Jewish sect. They (Romans) couldnot see the difference between the church and the synagogue. The book of Lukefocuses on social relationships. Social relationships were a concern for thepoor, which addressed finance. Jesus showed more sympathy to the poor becausethey were more open to his word and true believers. The rich were taking fromthe poor and Jesus hated that. Luke talked a lot about Jesus concern forwomen and illustrates this with the Virgin Mary, and her immaculate conception,Elizabeth and her son, the harlot, and many more. The Holy Spirit is greatlyemphasized on in the Gospel of Luke. Christians everywhere today, acknowledgethat he was born and lived on Earth so they celebrate the story of Jesus. WhenJohn the Baptist people knew gods hands were on him because his mother Elizabethwas barren. The temptation of Jesus is another event Luke covered. Satan temptedJesus for forty days and forty nights. He starved during this time, prayed andtrusted in God to get him through this. Satan tried to convince Jesus that hewas the answer and that if he followed him, Satan would give him the world.
Jesus backed himself with scripture and never let the fact that his father wasthe greatest God escape his mind. Luke tells about the miracles Jesus performswhile on Earth. One miracle was the driving of the evil spirit in thedemon-possessed man. He also spoke of Jesus healing power. However peoplestill doubted him, for when Jesus performed a miracle he asked the recipients tokeep it to themselves. Yet when people were given there were healed bymiraculous occurrences they could do nothing but speak of this awesome man.
Finally Luke speaks of the first disciple, Simon Peter. This came about in astrange manner. Simon was fishing and could not catch a thing. Jesus told him toput his net back in and he did. When Simon removed the net again he wasoverwhelmed with the astonishing number of fish in the net. Simon then sailedback to shore and pout away his fishing stuff to follow the almighty Jesus. Luketries to express to the reader that Jesus is an awesome man and he forgives.
Jesus says if we ask for the forgiveness of sin he will forgive, he will heal,and he will love. Know thy Kingdom and the Commandments is what Luke is tryingto explain to the reader. Theme Verse According to several references the keyverses are in chapter one of Luke verses three through four, and chapternineteen verse ten. It seemed fitting for me as well, having investigatedeverything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutiveorder, most excellent Theophilus; so that you might know the exact truth aboutthe things you have been taught (Luke 1:3,4). For the Son of Man has cometo seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). The main purpose forLukes Gospel was to create an accurate, chronological, and comprehensiveaccount of the unique life of Jesus. Therefore these verses say exactly whatLuke was trying to get across to Theophilus and the others. Personal RelevanceThe relevance of this material to my own personal and professional life is thatI am able to apply it and comprehend it. Through the course of my life I havemet many people looking for inner peace. They do not see they are looking in thewrong direction. Not too long ago I was saved and have bee trying to live mylife in the way of the Lord. I am not an expert nor do I study theology I justknow of my personal relationship with Jesus and I feel it is a good place tostart. Instead of turning to their maker people turn to drugs and alcohol. Theyrealize that they are searching in the wrong place and just wasting their time.
I searched for a while until I realized that without God I had no chance ofbeing happy or in the right place. The book of Luke explains the miracles in away that one can understand now and then. Luke used the Gospel to spread amessage of salvation. Jesus performed many miracles when he was on earth and bythose examples he set forth example in my life. I am able to deal with people atwork better than before because I look to God for the strength and serenity. Ihave noticed a big difference in myself. By studying this book I now see whyLuke emphasized that Jesus came to this world to save us from our sins. Hesuffered so that we would not have to. Through the parables Jesus spoke of, Iwas able to relate some of them to my life. For examples I know money isnothing, and I try to give what I can but I understand that if I what I shouldGod will compensate me tenfold. When they speak of the two debtors, I learnedwhen someone asks for something give it to him or her, and do not expectrepayment for if they had had it they would not be asking for it. The birth andsuffering Jesus did for you and me gives me hope and faith to push on. Thethought of someone loving me enough to die for me makes me feel ecstatic. I alsoknow that I need to devote more time to my lord. I thought to myself all the menin my life that have said they loved me none have ever showed the love Jesusshowed for me. When one is born again it is like a resurrection of our innerbeauty. This book is an excellent tool for nonbelievers to see the consequencesthat lie in store and for the Christians as well to see just why we praiseJesus.
Bibliography1. Buttrick, G.A.,Bowie, W.R., Scherer, P .,Knox, J.,Terrein, S. Harmon, N.B.
(1952). The Interpreters Bible. United States Of America: Pierce and Smith.
2. Liefeld, Walter L., (1984). The Expositors Bible Commentary. Grand Rapids,Michigan: Zondervan Pub House. Vol 8. 3. Buttrick, G.a., Kepler, T.S., Knox, J.,May, H.G., Terrien, S., Bucke, E.S. (1962). The Interpreters Dictionary OfThe Bible. Tennessee: Abingdon. 4. Miller, Donald G., (1959). The LaymansBible Commentary. Richmond, Virginia: John Knox Press.