Overview Of Luke's Gospel (part 1)
St Luke (Part 1)
What do we know about Luke?
- Scholars agree that there is no reason to doubt the tradition that Luke
wrote the third Gospel after 70A.D. but we do not know where it was written.
- Luke was a Gentile possibly from Macedonia and the only non-Jewish New
Testament writer. He was a doctor by profession who travelled and suffered
imprisonment in Caesarea with Paul .
What do we know about his Gospel?
- His Gospel is the first of a two-volume work. The Acts of the Apostles is
the second volume.
- The sources he used for his Gospel were Mark; a common source largely made
up of the sayings of Jesus and his own material.
- That his Greek is good; that he dates his events he considers important
carefully; that he uses the literary conventions of Greek historians indicates
a fair degree of literary style.
Why did he write his Gospel?
- If Theophilus (ch.1:3) was a Greek who had become a Christian then Luke was
giving him further instruction. If he was not already Christian then Luke was
commending Christianity to him.
- It may be Luke was defending Christianity against the charge of being
How does the Gospel unfold?
- One subject is treated at a time.
- The transition from subject to subject is smooth and so the narrative
- Jesus is depicted as a healer and preacher who is on a journey.
- Luke's version of Jesus' teaching is directed towards the moral guidance
of men and women.
- The theme of the Spirit and the Apostles being the chief recipients of
Jesus' teaching links the Gospel with the Book of Acts.
What should we notice about Luke's
- His particular interest in the healing acts of Jesus. He was after all a
- His portrayal of Jesus as sacrifice for and saviour of mankind - both Jew
- His Gentile friendliness - his use of Greek to explain Hebrew words; he
uses Greek "master" rather than Hebrew "rabbi"; seldom
quotes the Old Testament; traces Jesus descent from Adam not Abraham.
- His emphasis on Jesus at prayer.
- His recognition of women in a society with a low regard for women.
- His Gospel is a gospel of praise.
- His Gospel is universal - he showed Jesus associating with Samaritans,
Gentiles, outcasts and sinners.
- His interest in the poor.
- His belief that there is no limit to God's love.
Also in Luke's Gospel
Ch.3: 15-17;21-22 John prepares the way;
Jesus is baptised; hears God's voice; feels his calling is confirmed.
Ch.4: 14-21;22-30 Jesus begins preaching
in the synagogues; is rejected in Nazareth.
Ch.5:1-11 Jesus after preaching from
Simon's boat persuades him to cast the nets once again; James and John and
Simon leave their boats and follow Jesus.
Ch.6:17-26 Jesus heals all who come to
him; delivers what has come to be known as the Sermon on the Plain which
corresponds closely to Matthew's Sermon on the Mount.
Ch.6: 27-38 Jesus expands his teaching
on what has become known as the Golden Rule.
Ch.6: 39-49 Jesus tells a parable
illustrating a sure foundation for living.
See also St Luke (Part
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