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  • Writer's pictureTrey Harper

Luke's Gospel

Luke is called the “beloved physician” in Colossians 4.14 by Paul. Perhaps this is why Luke writes in such a way as to show the humanity of Jesus, along with his attention to detail. Luke begins both of the books he contributes to the Bible by addressing them to a “friend of God” (the meaning of the name Theophilus). What a “friend of God” should expect to gain from Luke’s gospel? He explains one of his reasons is “to write an orderly account” (1.3); which explains why his order of events sometimes differs from that of Matthew.

Details of His life. Luke provides the greatest amount of information of the birth of Jesus, including actions taken by Mary while pregnant with the promised One. Luke alone provides a glimpse into Jesus as a youngster (2.39-52). Jesus’ Perean ministry is nearly exclusively covered by Luke. To explain; the events of Jesus’ life that occur in Luke 10.1-18.14 are not covered in the other gospels with the exception of 10 verses (Matthew 6.9-13 for Luke 11.1-4; Matthew 7.7-11 for Luke 11.11-13). These events cover several months in the fall, winter, and spring before Jesus is executed.

Details of the His death. Matthew, Mark, and Luke record Jesus praying in Gethsemane before His arrest. Luke tells us that Jesus sweat drops of blood. Luke also mentions that “an angel from heaven” comes to “strengthen Him” (22.43-44). When Peter attacks Malchus, Luke tells us that Jesus heals his severed ear (22.51). Of the seven recorded statements Jesus makes on the cross, Luke exclusively pens two statements concerning sin and forgiveness. Jesus prays forgiveness for his executioners (23.34) and forgives the sins of one of the crucified insurrectionists (23.43).

Details for historical accuracy. Luke writes using correct grammar, allowing his work to withstand deeper secular scrutiny as an educational document. Luke also includes numerous ties to secular events that provide for timeline building (1.5; 2.1; 3.1; 22.1; 23.7; 24.1).

Luke gives all the required details to show the man Jesus.


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