The Gospel of Luke is written more for a Gentile audience and stresses the universal scope of salvation. Luke is both a physician and a careful historian who was a traveling companion of the Apostle Paul and wrote Acts as the second half of his two-part volume directed to Theophilus. He does not follow a strict chronology but does have a geographic progression — especially on the final journey to Jerusalem. There are a number of key parables and other stories that are unique to his account. He focuses on the Redemptive Messianic Mission of the Son of Man. The Gospel was written about 10 years before the Destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Luke expressly used a number of different sources in compiling his work. He likes to highlight some of the marginalized people groups of his day — e.g. the poor, the Samaritans, the role of women, etc. He is careful to document the OT prophetic roots of God’s offer of salvation to both Jews and Gentiles.
Messianic Mission of the Son of Man extends to all people.
Luke 19:10 : “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
(1:1-4) PROLOGUE TO THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE —
THE RELIABLE HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF THE LIFE AND MINISTRY OF JESUS
CONFIRMS THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH OF CHRISTIANITY
I. (1:5 – 2:52) NATIVITY AND INFANCY NARRATIVES FOR JOHN THE BAPTIST AND JESU
II. (3:1 – 4:13) THE BEGINNING MINISTRIES OF JOHN THE BAPTIST AND OF JESUS
III. (4:14 – 9:50) THE MINISTRY OF JESUS IN GALILEE
IV. (9:51 – 19:27) HE MINISTRY OF JESUS ON THE ROAD TO JERUSALEM
V. (19:28 – 21:38) JESUS IN JERUSALEM FOR PASSION WEEK
VI (22:1 – 23:49) BETRAYAL, TRIALS AND THE CRUCIFIXION
VII. (23:50 – 24:53) BURIAL, RESURRECTION AND ASCENSION
WHY STUDY THIS BOOK?
• To view the Gentile focus of this gospel as the worldwide scope of discipleship is emphasized; trace the heavy usage of salvation-oriented vocabulary
• To appreciate how Jesus reaches out to groups that others might consider insignificant — such as women, the Samaritans, the poor, the overlooked, etc.
• To deepen our commitment to prayer as our faith connection to the power of God in our lives
• To expand our knowledge of the ministry of Christ on earth since about 35% of the material is not found in the other gospel books (e.g. parables of the Good Samaritan, the Prodigal Son, the Pharisee and the Tax Collector, and many more)
• To see the powerful ministry of the Holy Spirit in action
• To view the perspective of a man who was gifted both in terms of education and science (the detailed lens of a physician and a historian) as well as in terms of creativity and artistic sensibilities
J. Sidlow Baxter: this emphasis on the human is the “master-key” which unlocks Luke’s Gospel; it is the “cipher-key” which intyerprets the inward meaning behind the outward story.
Thomas Constable: A special characteristic of the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles is the general validity of the gospel of salvation for all men in the whole world (compare Luke 2:14; Luke 2:32; Luke 3:6; Luke 4:25-27; Luke 24:47). As the twelve apostles are sent out in Luke 9 the restriction mentioned by Matthew is not mentioned. In Matthew the disciples were to go only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. The sending out of the seventy is reported by Luke only (chapter 10).
More than any other evangelist Luke mentions the care of the Lord Jesus for special groups of people and individuals:
– the despised ones (chap. 7:37ff; 19:1ff; 23:40ff),
– Samaritans (chapter 9:52ff; 10:33ff; 17:16),
– women and children (Luke mentions over 10 women who are not mentioned anywhere else).
John MacArthur: Luke, more than any of the other gospel writers, highlighted the universal scope of the gospel invitation. He portrayed Jesus as the Son of Man, rejected by Israel, and then offered to the world. Luke repeatedly related accounts of Gentiles, Samaritans, and other outcasts who found grace in Jesus’ eyes. This emphasis is precisely what we would expect from a close companion of the “apostle of Gentiles” (Ro 11:13).
W. Graham Scroggie: In Luke there is no narrow nationalism, but a broad outlook upon the world. Men are seen as men, of whatever nation or clime, and Jesus is presented as the Redeemer of them all. This Gospel contains the word “sinners” more often than all the other records together: in Matthew, 5 times; in Mark, 5 times; in John, 4 times; but in Luke 16 times.
The writer is fond of the words grace, salvation, evangelize, and Saviour. Here the Gentiles are seen in the light of redemption. The gospel of Christ is for the whole world. The angels, at the beginning, proclaim good will to all men (ii. 14). Simeon foretells the infant Saviour as “a light to lighten the Gentiles” (ii. 32). “All flesh” are to see the salvation of God (iii. 6).