Skip to main content

The Son of Man: Why Study the Gospel of Luke? Part 01

INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPEL OF LUKE

The Gospel of Luke is an invaluable part of the Holy Bible. It was written originally for a single man named Theophilus (1:3), who was also the honoured recipient of the Book of Acts (1:1). Luke the beloved physician is an impeccable historian who seeks to convey - and he does so successfully - that Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, is the perfect Man. He was specifically targeting Gentiles, who with their ancient humanism/hellenism focused on the ideal man. Jesus is more than ideal, he is the Biblical ‘Son of Man,’ His favourite title for Himself. Luke’s Gospel has stories and named individuals found no where else. An in-depth study of this great Gospel, either alone or in a small group, will greatly enrich you.

GREEK NAME OF THE GOSPEL OF LUKE: Kata Loukon

AUTHOR OF THE GOSPEL OF LUKE

Luke’s name appears three times in the New Testament (Colossians 4:14; 2 Timothy 4:11; Philemon 1:24). He is known as the ‘beloved physician.’ He is the author of both the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts. The Gospel of Luke is the longest book in the New Testament. Both Luke plus Acts total twenty-eight percent of the New Testament. Luke wrote 2,158 verses of Scripture while Paul wrote 2,033.

Luke’s authorship of these two Bible books is not disputed, however, his ethnicity is. There is anecdotal evidence that he was a Gentile. If so, Luke would be the only Gentile author of the entire Bible. The options are simple: either Luke was a Hellenistic Jew from Antioch or he was a Jewish-friendly, Gentile-follower of Jesus.

So what is the evidence of Luke the Gentile? First, his Roman named is Lucanus. Second, in Colossians 4:10-14, there are two lists of men: the first list has three men who are “among the circumcision,” meaning they are Jews. Luke’s name is sandwiched in the second list which is, by implication, not of the circumcision, in other words, Gentile. Third, Luke’s Greek language abilities were superb and yet he refers “to their own language” (Acts 1:19), when speaking about local Jerusalemite Jews, as if to imply that he was not of them.

While we cannot be one-hundred percent sure if Luke was a Gentile or Jew, what we do know is that the beloved physician gave us two priceless and indispensable books of the New Testament. In the end, Luke’s ethnicity is not the burning issue: after all, the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts are the ‘Word of God’ for Jew and Gentile alike.

PURPOSE OF THE GOSPEL OF LUKE

To give an orderly, factual, compelling, credible, and wholly accurate account of the life and gospel of Jesus Christ. The recipient of his writing was ‘most excellent Theophilus’ (lover of God), an obscure man of high status of whom we know absolutely nothing about. Until the Gospel of Luke was penned, the Gentile Church had no written account of the life of Jesus. Matthew’s Gospel was written for the Jews and Mark wrote his Gospel for the church at Rome. The fact that the genealogy of Jesus in Luke 3 goes all the way back to Adam is one of the signs that this Gospel account had Gentiles in mind.

As far as reaching the Gentiles is concerned, Luke achieved his objectives spectacularly. For example, in our day, the ‘Jesus Film’ based on the Gospel of Luke has brought millions of people to faith in Christ.

PORTRAIT OF CHRIST IN THE GOSPEL OF LUKE

(1:32) Son of the Highest; Son of David (Christ’s heavenly and earthly fathers are named in this verse)
(1:69) The Horn of Salvation
(1:78) The Dayspring
(2:11) Christ the Lord, Saviour
(2:25) The Consolation of Israel
(2:30) Salvation
(4:34) Jesus of Nazareth, Holy One of God
(6:5) Lord of the Sabbath

THEME OF THE BOOK OF THE GOSPEL OF LUKE

To present to the Greeks and the world the Perfect Man, Perfect Messiah, Perfect Saviour. The Hellenists respected strength, wisdom, natural and inner beauty. Jesus was perfect, even as a twelve year old, speaking to the wise men at the Jerusalem temple. With the carpenter’s son from Nazareth, the reader of Luke’s Gospel gets a perfect picture of strength, compassion, inspiring humility, a man who works with his hands, receives outcasts, cares for women and children, and can even show manly emotion.

KEY VERSES OF THE GOSPEL OF LUKE

‘For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost’ (19:10)

TIMING OF THE GOSPEL OF LUKE

It is probable that the Gospel of Luke and Book of Acts were written before 70 AD, when Jerusalem fell to the Romans and Herod’s magnificent temple was destroyed. These events are not mentioned at all in Luke’s writing. As a great historian, they would have been included had these books been written later. Some sources date Luke’s Gospel around 60-63 AD.


TO BE CONTINUED

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

DJOKOVIC VERSUS AUSTRALIA: Who Won the Match?

Novak Djokovic, the world’s number one tennis player according to the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), winner of twenty grand slams of which nine were in Australia alone, and on track to be the world’s greatest male tennis champion of all time, returned to his native Serbia. He will not be playing in the 2022 Australian Open in Melbourne, as planned. His visa was cancelled and his appeal to the Australian High Court failed. He was immediately deported afterwards and barred from returning to Australia for three years. The reason? Various violations of Australia’s coronavirus restrictions, including his vaccination status. His short-term future and ability to play in other upcoming tournaments in France and America are uncertain, and for the same reasons. The champion’s visa drama commanded world attention. Netflix has announced that a documentary will be forthcoming on this story. Covid-19 is a real public health threat and has already done much harm to global health and the e

Russia’s Ukraine War: Is This Gog & Magog? - Part 01

February 24, 2022: Russia, led by President Vladimir Putin, launched an unprovoked invasion against the neighbouring nation of Ukraine. This act of aggression captured the world’s attention and for good reason: the Russian invasion is the biggest military engagement on European soil since World War II, dwarfing the Balkan wars of the 1990s when the former Yugoslavia dissolved. A great civilisational change - even shaking - is the occurring, regardless of what the final outcome of this invasion may be. Joe Biden calls it ‘a new world order’ (though not ‘ the new world order’).   Add to the mix that Russia is nuclear armed, has fearsome weapons of mass destruction and is adept at cyber-warfare. If it attacks one or more of the three former Soviet Baltic republics of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia - all NATO members - it could trigger a military response from the alliance. Russia’s (temporary) partner, China, could be drawn into the situation and, presto, we have World War III. No wonder

Has Australia Gone Mad? Is this Covid Tyranny in Action?

  Under normal circumstances, Australia’s international reputation is very positive, though often not in the news. While the world knows little about the ‘land down under,’ what they do know includes iconic kangaroos, koalas, the Great Barrier Reef, Sydney Opera House, a coveted migrant destination with enviable lifestyle, prosperity, peace … and freedom.   That was, until Covid -19 hit in 2020. Australia Reacts to Covid;   The World Reacts to Australia Look at these international headlines: ‘Australia Has Locked Their People Up, Built Detention Camps, and Now They’re Taking Booze’ — townhall.com ‘ Australia Traded Away Too Much Liberty: How long can a democracy maintain emergency restrictions and still call itself a free country? — The Atlantic ‘How long can Australia go on like this?’ — The Guardian   ‘Prison Island: Australia’s Covid fortress has become a jail’ — The Spectator ‘Australians Are Suffering from Excessive Covid Lockdowns’ — National Review ‘Joe Rogan, Ted Cruz and Fox