How would you like grow spiritually in 24 days? Join us as we are going to read a chapter day from the book of Luke. 24 chapters about Jesus in 24 days! It’s going to be a great journey with lots of discovery, insight and fun.
Each day’s post will contain expanded thoughts, some background, and commentary for each chapter in Luke. If you see a verse reference in blue underlined text (1:2), you may click on it to read it immediately. Your life will change after 24 days with Jesus.
For those who like to read introductions this next section is for you. Here is general overview of the book of Luke. Although it was written in the past be sure to see the sections, “Importance for Today” We will look at the following questions:
1. Who is the Author?
Luke: he was a doctor, a Gentile (non Jewish) Christian, a traveling companion of Paul, a historian and the writer of the book of Acts. His name occurs in the New Testament in Colossians 4:14; 2 Timothy 4:11; and Philemon 24. Luke also referred to himself directly in the “we” sections of Acts (16:10-17; 20:5-21:18; 27:1-28:16).
2. What Sources did Luke use?
Luke claimed to be a historian (Luke 1:1-4). He carefully researched his material for specific reasons. He consulted eyewitnesses for information (1:2). He seems to have gathered certain details, such as facts on Jesus’ youth, from Mary herself (cf. 2:51). Luke also seemed to have had contacts with the Herodian court (cf. 3:1, 19; 8:3; 9:7-9; 13:31; 23:7-12). He had various source materials that he used in order to create a unified whole, written in his style, which reflected his purpose. All this, of course, was done under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
3. When was it written?
Most biblical scholars agree the book of Luke was written between a.d. 58 and 60. Paul was martyred in the time of Nero’s persecution (a.d. 64). Acts closes with Paul still alive and in prison. The Book of Luke was written several years before that, since Acts was Luke’s second book.
4. What was the Purpose of writing this book?
Luke had two purposes in writing this book. One was to show that faith in Christ rested on firm historical fact (1:3-4). His other purpose was to present Jesus as the Son of Man for all people, not just Jewish people.
5. Was Luke really written for a non Jewish audience?
Several truths point to the fact that Luke wrote primarily for Gentiles.
- Luke frequently explained Jewish localities (4:31; 8:26; 21:37; 23:51; 24:13). This would be unnecessary if he were writing to Jews.
- He traced Jesus’ genealogy (3:23-38) all the way back to Adam (rather than to Abraham, as in Matthew’s Gospel). The implication is that Jesus was representing all mankind rather than just the Jewish nation.
- Luke referred to Roman emperors in designating the dates of Jesus’ birth (2:1) and of John the Baptist’s preaching (3:1).
- Luke used a number of words which would be more familiar to Gentile readers than the comparable Jewish terms found in Matthew’s Gospel. An example is Luke’s use of the Greek didaskalos rather than rabbi for “teacher.”
- Little is said about Jesus’ fulfilling prophecies because that theme was not nearly so important to Gentile readers as it was to Jewish readers.
6. How does Luke compare with the other Gospels?
Luke has some material in common with the gospels of Matthew and Mark. But, Luke has a lengthy section that is only found in his book (9:51-19:27), which includes 15 parables of Jesus not found an any other gospel. He also has written the most about Jesus birth, and the record of Jesus at age 12 (1:5-2:52). It is assumed that Luke knew of and used both Matthew and Mark or sources common to Matthew and/or Mark. (John was written after Matthew, Mark and Luke) The differences in accounts we read in each gospel can be explained on the basis of the purposes of the various authors.
7. What are the characteristics of the Book?
1. Luke emphasized the universal message of the gospel more than the other Gospel writers. He often wrote about sinners, the poor, and outcasts from Jewish society. He also referred many times to Gentiles who shared in the blessings of the Messiah. Samaritans were presented as coming to faith in the Messiah. And Luke wrote frequently of women and children and their faith.
Importance for today: Jesus’ love for people is good news for everyone. His message is for all people in every nation, and each person has the opportunity to respond to him in faith. In addition, Jesus’ example teaches that his followers should love people, regardless of their sex, race, age, or worldly status. You may feel as if you are a second-class citizen in your community or neighborhood, but not in Jesus’ eyes. Regardless of your status in society, know that you are important to him.
2. Luke’s Gospel gives a reader a more comprehensive grasp of the history of the period than the other Gospels. He presented more facts about the earthly life of Jesus than did Matthew, Mark, or John.
Importance for today: Christians today can believe in the reliability of Luke’s history of Jesus’ life. Even if approached as a secular document, this Gospel presents solid evidence for its historicity and accuracy.
Importance for today: Jesus is the unique Son of God, humanity’s perfect leader and only Savior. He offers forgiveness to all who will accept him as Lord of their lives and who believe that what he says is true. Christians know this profound truth. Christ has changed their lives, forever. They also have the great responsibility to share the Good News with others. The world is lost, with millions heading for eternal separation from God. These men, women, and children need to meet and know the Savior. What can you do to share this news of forgiveness with others?
Importance for today: We can approach our heavenly father as Jesus taught us and modeled. He cares about our needs, our concerns and listens to us. Do you pray often?
Importance for today: Salvation in Jesus Christ the best news in the world. All of our sins were placed on Jesus Christ at the cross. We are forgiven. The angels throw a party; we should celebrate too when someone comes to faith in Christ.
Until tomorrow, Darrell
Sources: Bible Background Commentary, Bible Knowledge Commentary, Life Application Bible Commentary
For more about The Ridge Fellowship or Darrell Koop, go to www.ridgefellowship.com