Luke, Gentile Physician and companion of Paul wrote this Gospel in the mid 60’s A.D. Luke wrote both the Gospel of Luke and Acts making him the largest contributor to the New Testament. These writings both begin with dedications to Theophilus, perhaps a potential or recent convert or patron who sponsored the circulation of Luke and Acts.
The third Gospel presents Jesus as the Son of Man.
The first three chapters and the beginning of the fourth give us the entrance of the Lord into the race, beginning with his genealogy; how he was born and made one of us. Then chapters four through nineteen trace for us the first part of his ministry among men, and especially, his journey toward Jerusalem, with the final chapters dedicated to the last days of sacrifice and triumph.
Luke’s historical narrative begins as follows: With the birth of Zechariah and Elizabeth’s child, John. Elizabeth was barren, she and Zechariah were well along in years but Gabriel, an angel of the Lord appeared to Zechariah saying, “Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son and you are to give him the name John and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Zechariah questioned the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” Gabriel said, “I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens.” And this was so.
A virgin named Mary was pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David when the angel, Gabriel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you. Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”
When Jesus made his virginal entrance into the world, the shepherds were visited by an angel telling them the Savior had been born and they could find him wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger in the town of David. The shepherds hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby.
The second item Luke gives us is the story of Jesus’ presentation in the temple at the age of 12, and the way he surprised everyone with his ability to answer questions — his great mental capacity.
Some years later, John son of Zechariah and Elizabeth, was preparing the way by preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. While John was baptizing people, Jesus was baptized too. The heaven opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him and a voice said, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” It was here that Luke gave a detailed account of Jesus’ genealogy, tracing it back to Adam.
Now Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. Temptations were great. The Spirit led him to the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. The devil tested him in many ways but Jesus did not waiver.
As you continue through Luke, you see Jesus teaching and preaching, At one time he was rejected by the people of Nazareth where he had been brought up.
Jesus drove out evil spirits from a man possessed by demons. He healed a women suffering from a high fever. People brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hand on each one, he healed them.
It was at this time Jesus called his first disciples-Peter (Simon), James, and John.
Jesus’ teaching and healing continued. He was questioned about his behavior on the Sabbath, concerning fasting and healing. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely. Jesus knew what they were doing. The Pharisees were furious and began to discuss with each other what they might do to Jesus.
After praying one night the next morning Jesus called his disciples to him and chose twelve-Peter (Simon), Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
Jesus kept teaching with the disciples at his side. He taught that blessed are the poor for the kingdom of God is yours. He taught that if your hungry your hunger will be satisfied. If you weep, you will laugh. Jesus spoke in parables. He taught to love thy enemies. Jesus reminded his followers about judging others. He spoke about good trees not bearing bad fruit. He spoke of building a foundation of faith.
During this time Jesus was invited to a Pharisees’ house for dinner. A women who had lead a sinful life anointed his feet with her tears wiping them away with her hair. He forgave her for her sins.
Jesus told the parable of the sower. He calmed the storm. He healed the demon-possessed man, He healed the sick woman and the dead girl.
He gave his Twelve disciples the power and authority to drive out all demons and cure disease and then sent them out to preach the kingdom of God. When the disciples returned they told him what they had done. He and the disciples went by themselves to a town call Bethsaida but the crowds followed. The crowd numbered around five thousand and He fed them with two fish and five loaves of bread. This is truly a miracle.
He taught his disciples how to pray just as John had taught his disciples.
He spoke of the woes of the Pharisees. He gave his disciples encouragement as well warnings. He told his disciples not to worry but to be watchful. He asked them to interpret the time, to judge what is right.
Jesus was teaching on the Sabbath day when a crippled women appeared, He then healed her. The rulers of the synagogue were upset and told the people to come back on one of the six days of work to be healed. Jesus called them hypocrites!
Jesus spoke of many parables including the mustard seed (The Kingdom starts humbly but has an impact far out of proportion to its beginning), the Great Banquet (not everyone would enter the kingdom of God), the Lost Sheep (contrasts the love of God with the exclusiveness of the Pharisees), the Lost Coin (to search and reach everyone with his teaching), the Lost Son (perished and saved, lost and is found), the Shrewd Manager (faithfulness is not determined by the amount entrusted but by the character of the person who uses it), the Persistent Widow (God will not delay his support of the chosen ones when they are right), the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (he who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted), the Ten Minas (those who seek spiritual gain in the gospel, for themselves and others, will become richer, and those who neglect or squander what is given them will become impoverished), and the Tenants (the servants who were sent to the tenants represent the prophets God sent in former times who were rejected).
During this time Pharisees came to Jesus and told him to leave Jerusalem because Herod wanted to kill him. Herod and his men were watching him closely.
He described the cost of being a disciple. He said that one must love Jesus even more than his immediate family, to give up everything, the cost is complete surrender to him.
The ministry of Jesus was a fulfillment of law. He taught adultery was still adultery. “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” He concluded one exception-marital unfaithfulness.
Jesus taught of repentance, forgiveness, and duty. He told the Pharisees that, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” Then he said to his disciples, “The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. Men will tell you, ‘There his is!’ or ‘Here he is!’ Do not go running off after them.”
Jesus taught that, “anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” He told the rich man, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
Jesus again predicted his death by saying, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled.” At the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples to retrieve a colt. In doing so he made his Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.
Every day he was teaching at the temple, the chief priests were trying to find a way to kill him but it was impossible because the people hung on his every word. The chief priest questioned his authority, they sent spies. The Passover was approaching, Jesus sent Peter and John to prepare.
When the hour came Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” After taking the cup, he gave thanks. And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it. After the supper questions arose from the disciples who would be the one to betray Jesus. Which disciple was considered to be the greatest. The disciple, Simon Peter, said, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”
While speaking to a crowd Jesus was arrested and lead away to the high priest. Peter followed at a distance, denying that he knew Jesus. Peter wept because he realized that what Jesus had said about him denying him had come true.
While imprisoned the guards mocked and beat Jesus. When they presented Jesus to Pilate he could find no basis for the charges brought against him. But the crowd insisted that Jesus was causing trouble so on finding out that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction Pilate sent him there to be prosecuted. But Jesus gave Herod no answers and they ridiculed and mocked him. Herod then sent him back to Pilate.
Pilate explained I can find no fault with this man, neither can Herod. As you can see he has done nothing to deserve death, I will punish and release him. But the crowd shouted, “Away with this man release Barabbas.” Pilate appealed to the crowd but they cried, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” For the third and final time he pleaded with them but they demanded crucifixion. Pilate fearing for his safety, surrendered Jesus to them.
As they led him away, Simon carried the cross behind Jesus. A large crowd of people followed. Jesus consoled the women that cried for him. When they came to the place called the Skull, he was then crucified with one criminal on the right and one criminal on the left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”
The people sneered at Jesus, the soldiers mocked him by offering him wine vinegar. In the sixth hour darkness came over the land, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, Jesus spoke, “Father, into your hand I commit my spirit.” It was done.
A man named Joseph, a member of the Council, took down the body, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb, one in which no one had yet been laid.
The Sabbath was about to begin. The people rested, prepared spices and perfumes. On the first day of the week the women returned to the tomb to find the stone rolled away, they did not find the body of Jesus. But two men appeared and said, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was with you in Galilee.” On that same day two of Jesus’ disciples were traveling from Jerusalem to Emmaus, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them but they did not recognize him. At the village Jesus stopped and ate with them. While eating, Jesus broke the bread, immediately they recognized him. He showed them the scares on his hands and feet. He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
When he lead them to Bethany he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. They worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. Staying at the temple, praising God.