Summary of the Book of Luke

From Issue: Discovery 7/1/2016

Neither an apostle nor a Jew, Luke was a medical doctor (Colossians 4:14) who gave himself to advancing the kingdom of Christ through missionary journeys, especially with Paul. He was inspired by God to write both Luke and Acts as a two-part letter addressed to Theophilus (and all Gentiles) to verify the historical proof of Christianity. His medical background is frequently reflected in his knowledge of the language of the Greek medical schools.

Central Theme:

Luke’s stated purpose in writing this book is to provide an accurate and orderly record of those things believed and fulfilled about Jesus (1:1-4). His Gospel record is written especially to the non-Jews—those who did not have the special insights and perspective afforded the Jews. Luke emphasizes the humanity of Jesus—Jesus as a Man, a human Being—One Who can relate to the many who suffer on Earth.

Luke includes several features that capture the human dimension of Christ:

(1)     The ancestry of Jesus is traced all the way back to Adam.

(2)     Importance is placed upon the birth of Christ—His becoming human.

(3)     Emphasis is given to His one-on-one concern for individuals (including Zacchaeus, the good Samaritan, and the thief).

(4)     Special attention is given to women (Elizabeth, Mary, Anna, the widow of Nain, the sinful woman, and Mary Magdalene).

(5)     Attention is given to the struggles of the poor and persecuted, especially in parables.

(6)     The frequency of Jesus praying is noted (3:21; 5:16; 6:12; 9:18,28-29; 10:21; 11:1; 22:39-46; 23:34,46).

(7)     Human obsession with material wealth is given much attention.

(8)     Jesus used the expression “Son of Man” frequently (24 times) to refer to Himself.

*Luke’s emphasis on the humanity of Jesus helps the Gentile better understand that He lovingly offers salvation to them as well as the Jews. Luke also gives a sense of the joy and hope that is available through Jesus.

Outline of Luke:
  1:1-4  Purpose for writing
  1:5-4:13  Jesus’ forerunner, birth, baptism, genealogy, and temptation
  4:14-9:50  Jesus’ public ministry
 9:51-19:27  Preparations for rejection and death as He heads toward Jerusalem (9:51; 13:22; 17:11; 18:31; 19:11,28)
 19:28-24:53   Death and rejection during His final days in Jerusalem


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