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Church and the Bible


The Gospel according to St.Luke.


Luke`s gospel has been acknowledged as one of the best books of the life and times of the Lord Jesus Christ. Luke has a vivid eye for detail and he certainly protrays that immense ability and agility as he paints for us in word terms a most beautiful picture of the Christ into whose keeping he had place not only his future on earth but also in eternity.

Luke is a medical doctor (Col.4:14) and the first non Jew to have his Gospel included in the New Testament canon of scripture. He writes his gospel to Theophilus a high ranking official in the Roman government.

Luke protrays Jesus as the final and complete sacrifice for sin for all the world. The exclusivity of the Gospel as being the only way to God and the inclusivity of the gospel leaing no one out is clearly the motivational truth behind this gospel. Jesus according to Luke is the saviour of the world and in the light of that all that he will relate and say springs form that great truth.


Luke`s Emphasis: The Humanity of Jesus.


Luke sees Jesus as the Son of God while revealing his humanity and kindness toward all in need, especially the suffering, the weak and those whom society has cast out. Luke is mentioned only three times in the New Testament, Col.4:14 were Paul suggests that Luke is "our dear friend the doctor."

Also there is reference to Luke in Philemon 24 where he is noted as a fellowship worker with Paul. Finally in Paul`s letter to Timothy (2 Tim.4:11) the suggestion is made that in  Paul`s final days before his execution, Luke was present. It is also interesting that in these three letters Mark is also mentioned that, would probably mean that Mark and Luke knew each other well and may have exchange many stories concerning the life and Times of Jesus.

Luke also wrote the book of the Acts of the Apostles, and in that historical account of the development of the Church we have records of Paul`s three missionary journies. It is safe to assume that Luke was with Paul during his second and third journey as Luke regularly uses the pronouns `they` and `we`indicating his presence.

Luke has taken great care in the writting and in the construction of his gospel. It is agree by scholars that his use of the Greek language is exceptional particularly in the first four verses of chapter one.

Remembering that he writes to a high ranking Roman Official he takes great care to construct his narrative in a distinctly orderly fashion, building the content on eye witness accounts. His letter is written to bring assurance to all or any who eventually would read this document.

His eye witnesses would have included Apostles and leaders of the movement who were to be called Christians. He takes particular care to set the contents of the Gospel into its date settings giving historical links to all that he shares.




It is thought that Luke wrote his gospel around 27 years after the death and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ which would have been about A.D.60. That would have been around the time that the Apostle Paul was in prison in Caesarea for preaching the Gospel.

During Luke`s stay in Caesarea (58-60A.D.) there would have been ample time to collect and sunstantiate the materials that he was going to use in his Gospel. No doubts Paul had a contribution to make to the debate. As well as Paul, James the Bishop of Jerusalem and Mary the mother of Jesus may well have supplied much information of real value to Luke.


Key verses  : Luke 2:10-14.


But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”



The Gospel`s Structure.

Luke has at least five major themes in his Gospel record.


1.The Gospel is a Gospel for Gentiles.


Luke wrote his gospel for non Jewish believers or Gentiles. The recipiant of the gospel was a high ranking official i.e. Theophilus. Luke dates his Gospel from the reigning Roman emperor and the local Roman governor which would indicate that his main audience was Roman or Gentile.
Luke seems to have little interest in the life of Jesus as the fulfillment of Old Testament Prophecy which would have interested the Jew but instead he uses materials suitable for the Greek mind. He nearly always gives the Greek equivalent  of Hebrew words i.e. Simon the Canaanite becomes Simon the Zealot. (Luke 6:15, Matthew 10:4).
In Luke`s gospel `Calvary` is not called by its Hebrew name `Golgotha` but by its Greek name `Kranion` both words mean `place of the Skull.` Luke never uses the uses the Jewish term `Rabbi` when refering to Jesus but chooses to use the Greek term `master`.When discussing the geneology of Jesus he traces Jesus back to Adam as the father of the human race and not to Abraham as the founder of the Jewish nation.(Luke3:38, Matthew 1:2).
2.The Gospel is a Gospel of Prayer.
Luke paints for us a clear picture of the role that Prayer had in the life and ministry of Jesus and especially at moments of decision making. Listed below are a few of those special occasions when prayer was so important to the outcome.
  • Luke  3:21        At the Baptism of Jesus.
  • Luke 5:16       Conflict with the Pharisees.
  • Luke 6:12       Jesus chooses 12 disciples.
  • Luke 9:18       Whom do men say that I am?
  • Luke 9:29       The transfiguration.
  • Luke 23:46     On the Cross.
  • Luke 22:32     Jesus prays for Peter before his trial of faith.
  • Luke 11:5-13 The prayer parables.
  • Luke 18:1-8   Unjust Judge.For Luke, the prayers of Jesus were absolutely vital to the success of His mission. 

3.The Gospel is a Gospel for Women.
Luke in his Gospel gives a very special place to women unlike the Jewish man who would pray, "I thank my God that I was not born a gentile, a slave or a woman." Luke determines in His Gospel to highlight the role of women in the purposes of God.The birth of Jesus is seen from the eye view of Mary and not Joseph.
Stories are included that tell of Elizabeth, Anna, the widow of Nain, the women who anointed Jesus` feet, Mary and Martha, and Mary Magdalene.  Surely this is an important document teaching how important the role of women is in the purposes of God.


                                4.The Gospel is a Gospel of Praise.


The Gospel of Luke is most assuredly a Gospel of Praise, no other Gospel or Letter included in the New Testament reaches so high in its praise of God. Luke includes three great hymns of praise that the church of Jesus Christ has sung throughout all generations of its existence.
1.The Magnificat. Luke 1:46-55.
2. The Benedictus. Luke 1:68-79.
3.Nunc Dimittis. Luke 2:29-32.  
5.The Gospel is Universal in Nature.  
Luke`s Gospel is all about the Universality of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, while it is exclusive as there is no other name under heaven given among men where by we can be saved yet it is totally inclusive as it potentially leaves no one beyond the possibility of salvation in Jesus Christ and in Him alone. Luke explains clearly that there is no one outside of grace of God and the power of the gospel.
He includes Samartians (Luke 9:15-56) as recipitents of the Gospel. Luke relates the story of The Good Samaratian (Luke 10:30-37). The returning Leper to give thanks is a Samartian. (Luke 17:11-19). While the Jews had no dealing with the Samartians Luke sees them as a group of people for whom Christ died.
Luke includes materials which show Jesus interacting with non Jews, people who would have been seen to be unclean.Jesus is seen dealing with the widow from Zarephath, Naaman the Syrian,(Luke 4:25-27) the Roman Soldier (Luke 13:29).
Luke also reveals how interested Jesus was in the poor (Luke 7:22). Jesus reminds us through Luke of his determination that the poor would hear the Gospel. In Luke 6:20 Jesus reminds us "how blessed are the poor." Above all Luke paints yet another picture of how Jesus was the friend of out casts, the woman who anointed Jesus` feet is included as someone who was an out cast and yet God in Christ loved her.(Luke 7:36-50).
Luke also tells the story of Zachaeus the tax collector, hated by all and loved by Jesus. (Luke 19:1-10). The story of the penitent thief on the cross. (Luke 23:43, the Prodical son (Luke 15:11-32). Samartians, Syrians, Romans, according to Luke it doesnot matter your background the Gospel of Jesus Christ is for all men and women everywhere.
Content of the Gospel of Luke.
Formal Introduction

To Theophilus (1:1–4)

Jesus' birth and boyhood

Zacharias (1:5–25)

Annunciation (1:26–45)

Magnificat (1:46–56)

Nativity of St. John the Baptist (1:57–80)

Benedictus (1:68–79).


The Amazing providence of God.


 (The Messiah born into the family of David, and born in Bethlehem so fulfilling the Prophecy of Micah ch.5:2-5)


Census of Quirinius (2:1–5)

Nativity of Jesus (2:6–7)

Annunciation to the shepherds (2:8–15)

Adoration of the Shepherds (2:16–20)

Circumcision of Jesus (2:21–40)

Nunc dimittis (2:29–32)

Finding in the Temple (2:41–52)


Jesus' baptism and temptation


Ministry of John the Baptist (3:1–20)

Baptism (3:21–22)

Genealogy (3:23–38)

Temptation (4:1–13)

Jesus' ministry in Galilee


Good News (4:14–15)

Rejection in Nazareth (4:16–30)

Capernaum (4:31–44)

Miraculous catch of fish (5:1–11)

Leper and Paralytic (5:12–26)

Calling of Matthew (5:27–32)

On fasting (5:33–35)

New Wine into Old Wineskins (5:36–39)

Lord of the Sabbath (6:1–5)

Man with withered hand (6:6–11)

Commissioning the Twelve Apostles (6:12–16)

Sermon on the Plain (6:17–49)

Centurion's servant (7:1–10)

Young man from Nain (7:11–17)

Messengers from John the Baptist (7:18–35)

Anointing (7:36–50)

Women companions of Jesus (8:1–3)

Parable of the Sower (8:4–8,11–15)

Purpose of parables (8:9–10)

The Lamp under a Bushel (8:16–18; 11:33)

Jesus' true relatives (8:19–21)

Calming the storm (8:22–25)

Demon named Legion (8:26–39)

Daughter of Jairus (8:40–56)

Instructions for the Twelve (9:1–6)

Death of John the Baptist (9:7–9)

Feeding of the 5000 (9:10–17)

Peter's confession (9:18–20)

Jesus predicts his death (9:21–27, 44–45; 18:31–34)

Transfiguration (9:28–36)

Possessed boy (9:37–43)

The Little Children (9:46–48)

Those not against are for (9:49–50)


Jesus' teaching on the journey to Jerusalem


On the road to Jerusalem (9:51)

Samaritan rejection (9:52–56)

Foxes have holes (9:57–58)

Let the dead bury the dead (9:59–60)

Don't look back (9:61–62)

Commission of the Seventy (10:1–12,10:16–20)

Cursing Chorazin, Bethsaida, Capernaum (10:13–15)

Praising the Father (10:21–24)

Great Commandment (10:25–28)

Parable of the Good Samaritan (10:29–37)

Visiting Martha and Mary (10:38–42)

Lord's Prayer (11:1–4)

The Friend at Night (11:5–13)

Blind-mute man (11:14–19)

Exorcising by the Finger of God (11:20)

Strong man (11:21–22)

Those not with me are against me (11:23)

Return of the unclean spirit (11:24–26)

Those who hear the word and keep it (11:27–28)

Request for a sign (11:29–32)

Eye and Light (11:34–36)

Woes of the Pharisees (11:37–54)

Veiled and Unveiled (12:1–3)

Whom to fear (12:4–7)

Unforgivable sin (12:8–12)

Disputed inheritance (12:13–15)

The Rich Fool and Birds (12:16–32)

Sell your possessions (12:33–34)

Parable of the Faithful Servant (12:35–48)

Not Peace, but a Sword (12:49–53; 14:25–27)

Knowing the times (12:54–56)

Settle with your accuser (12:57–59)

Tower of Siloam (13:1–5)

The Barren Fig Tree (13:6–9)

Infirm woman (13:10–17)

Parables of Mustard seed and Leaven (13:18–21)

The Narrow Gate (13:22–30)

Lament over Jerusalem (13:31–35)

Man with dropsy (14:1–6)

Parable of the Wedding Feast, Great banquet, Counting the cost, Lost sheep, Lost coin, Lost son, Unjust steward (14:7–16:13)

Not one stroke of a letter (16:14–17)

On divorce (16:18)

Lazarus and Dives (16:19–31)

Curse those who set traps (17:1–6)

The Master and Servant (17:7–10)

Cleansing ten lepers (17:11–19)

The Coming Kingdom of God (17:20–37)

Parables of the Unjust judge, Pharisee and Publican (18:1–14)

The Little Children (18:15–17)

Rich Young Man (18:18–30)

Blind near Jericho (18:35–43)

Zacchaeus (19:1–9)

Son of Man came to save (19:10)

Parable of the Talents (19:11–27)


Jesus' Jerusalem conflicts, crucifixion, and resurrection


Entry into Jerusalem (19:28–44)

Temple incident (19:45–48)

Authority questioned (20:1–8)

The Wicked Husbandman (20:9–19)

Render unto Caesar... (20:20–26)

Resurrection of the Dead (20:27–40)

Is the Messiah the son of David? (20:41–44)

Denouncing scribes (20:45–47)

Lesson of the widow's mite (21:1–4)

Olivet discourse (21:5–38)

Plot to kill Jesus (22:1–2)

Bargain of Judas (22:3–6)

Last Supper (22:7–23)

Dispute about Greatness (22:24–30)

Denial of Peter (22:31–34, 55–62)

Sell your cloak and buy a sword (22:35–38)

Agony in the Garden (22:39–46)

Kiss of Judas (22:47–53)

Arrest (22:54)

Guards mock Jesus (22:63–65)

Before the High Priest (22:66–71)

Pilate's court (23:1–7, 13–25)

Jesus at Herod's court (23:8–12)

Simon of Cyrene (23:26)

Crucifixion (23:27–49)

Entombment (23:50–56)

Empty tomb (24:1–12)

Resurrection appearances (24:13–43)

Great Commission (24:44–49)

Ascension of Jesus (24:50–53)




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