The Gospel according to Luke presents Jesus Christ as the perfect man.  It is the longest book in the NT with 24 chapters, 1,151 verses, 25,944 words.  When Jesus Christ was born into this world the eternal Word became flesh.  He was fully God and yet He was fully man.  Luke traces the genealogy of Christ all the way back to Adam (Lk 3:38).  The phrase, “Son of man” occurs 26 times within Luke.

Who was Luke?  He was a physician that evidently knew the Jewish apostles (Lk 1:1-2) and became a faithful co-laborer of the apostle Paul (Col 4:14; 2 Tim 4:11; Philemon 24).  It is fitting that a physician would be the writer of the Gospel that emphasizes the humanity of Christ.  Dr. Luke writes with great detail and a human touch.  All the words of Scripture are the words of God, but the different styles of the different human writers are still evident.  Some think that Luke was a Gentile because of his name.  Mark and Paul are Greek names, but both were Jews.  The Scripture was inspired through Jewish writers (Rom 3:1-2).

The book of Luke was addressed to a Gentile (Lk 1:1-4) and therefore has more of a Gentile audience in mind (e.g., Lk 4:24-30).  For example, explanations of Jewish customs and localities are given, which Jews would not have needed (Lk 22:1; 23:51).  This does not mean that the mystery of this present age is revealed in Luke.  It is still a record of the earthly ministry of Christ and the mystery was not revealed at that time.  The kingdom program of Israel includes the salvation of the Gentiles (Lk 2:10-11, 25-32).  The mystery of this present age is not that Gentiles are being saved, but that believing Jews and Gentiles are baptized by one Sprit into one Body.

Of course, the earthly ministry of Christ is also important to the Body of Christ.  If Jesus Christ were not the promised Messiah and Son of God, His death on the cross would not have accomplished our salvation.  Paul quotes Luke (1 Tim 5:17-18; 1 Cor 11:24-25).  This proves that the books of the New Testament were being copied, circulated, and recognized as Scripture in the first century.  Therefore, the canon of scripture was not formed later at religious councils as the Roman Catholic Church claims.

God also used Luke to write the book of Acts after he wrote his Gospel (Acts 1:1).  Comparing the last chapter of Luke with the first chapter of Acts clearly shows that Acts is the sequel to Luke.  The purpose of Acts is not to reveal the mystery, but to record the fall of Israel and the transition from the ministry of Peter to the ministry of Paul.

Jesus Christ the Son of Man:

  1. His birth and childhood (1-2)

  2. The beginning of His ministry, genealogy, and temptation (3:1-4:13)

  3. His ministry in Galilee (4:14-9:50)

  4. His journey to Jerusalem (9:51-19:27)

  5. In Jerusalem (19:28-21:38)

  6. His rejection, suffering, and death (22-23)

  7. His resurrection and ascension (24)

Unique features of Luke, most of which goes along with the theme of the humanity of Christ:

  • The first two chapters — Birth of the forerunner, birth of Christ and His childhood

  • Emphasis on the prayer of Christ (7 occasions are unique) — Prayer is an expression of dependence on the Father

  • Four hymns of praise unique to Luke:                                                 

    1. Mary’s (1:46-55)            

    2. Zacharias (1:68-79)

    3. Simeon (2:29-32)

    4. Angelic host (2:14)

  • Eleven parables unique to Luke:

    1. Two Debtors (7:41)

    2. Good Samaritan (10:30-37)

    3. Importunate Friend(11:5-8)

    4. The Rich Fool (12:16-21)

    5. The Barren Fig Tree (13:6-9)

    6. The Lost Piece of Silver (15:8-9)

    7. The Prodigal son (15:11-32)

    8. The Unjust Steward (16:1-8)

    9. The Rich Man and Lazarus (16:19-31)

    10. The Importunate Widow (18:1-7)

    11. The Pharisee and the Publican (18:9-14)

  • Six miracles unique to Luke:

    1. The Draught of Fishes (5:1-11)

    2. The Widows son at Nain (7:11-16)

    3. The Woman with the Spirit of Infirmity 18 Years (13:11-13)

    4. The Man with Dropsy (14:1-6)

    5. The Ten Lepers (17:11-19)

    6. The Healing of Malchus (22:50-51)