A Christian Guide to Luke by R. David Pogge

Introduction

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all wrote short biographies of Christ which are known today collectively as “the Gospels.” Each one was written from a different perspective and emphasized different aspects of Jesus’ ministry.

Section I.1 - Luke's Perspective

Luke was a Gentile (that is, a non-Jew) writing to a Gentile, and so he emphasized things that would be of most interest to a Gentile.

Luke spent at least several years traveling with the apostle Paul. We know he joined Paul on the Third Missionary Journey, and also sailed with Paul on his final voyage to Rome. Luke might have known Paul even earlier than that, and might have had some personal contact with Jesus before that; but regardless of any speculative previous contacts, we know Luke spent a long time with Paul, Barnabas, and several other apostles, hearing them tell about what Jesus said and did.

Luke wanted to tell his Gentile friend, Theophilus, about Jesus, and was well-qualified to do it. He wrote two letters to Theophilus which have been preserved in the Bible.

Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. [Luke 1:1-4] 1

In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. [Acts 1:1-2]

The "former book" we know today as The Gospel of Saint Luke (or, more commonly, Luke). The second is known today as The Book of Acts, which I reviewed in my book, A Christian Guide to Acts.

Here, in this book, you will see what Luke wrote “about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day He was taken up to Heaven.” I’ve organized my comments on Luke’s Gospel by subject rather than chapter by chapter. Chapters 1 through 4 deal with Jesus’ early ministry. Chapters 5 through 8 address the things Jesus taught, and the different ways Jesus taught them. Chapter 9 explains the meaning of the events surrounding Jesus’ death. Chapter 10 contains concluding thoughts about how the Book of Luke is relevant to our modern times.

Back to the Cover Table of Contents On to Chapter 1

Footnotes:

1 All Bible quotations are from the New International Version, unless otherwise specified.