THE GOSPEL OF
O U T L I N E
The Gospel of Luke. In Luke we have the Lord presented as the Son of Man, as a man among men, entering into the company, sorrows, and needs of His people. We have the official glories emphasized in Matthew, the Personal glories in John, but in Luke the moral glories of Christ emphasized. Hence, in Luke we have an emphasis on the moral ways of God with Man. It is the grace and love of God toward man that He would come down and walk among us, as one of us. Therefore, in Luke we find Jesus saying, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19). It was Divine grace flowing out to the world through a man on earth. As the only Gentile writer of the New Testament, Luke wrote in a way that displays the grace of God especially toward the Gentiles, who seemed to be until now forgotten by God. At the same time Luke gives us more details than any other writer about the connection of the Jewish people at this time with the Gentile powers ruling over them according to the government of God. The Spirit of God highlights the humanity of Christ; His human body, soul, and spirit. Since the manhood of Christ is emphasized in Luke, it is in Luke that we have more details than any other gospel about the birth and childhood of Christ. Luke takes us farther back than other gospels. Only in Luke do we get the incident that took place when Jesus was twelve years old in the temple. Therefore it is fitting that His genealogy in Luke should trace through His human mother, rather than through His legal guardian Joseph as in Matthew. Throughout this gospel the perfection of His humanity is emphasized. We have the Lord often in prayer (seven times),1 as the dependent man always in communion with His Father. In Luke the heart of God and the heart of man come out very definitely, and it is fitting that it is the only gospel addressed to a specific individual.
Luke. Lucas or Luke, called "the beloved physician" (Col. 4:14), was the author of the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts. It is believed that Luke was a Gentile, as we gather from Col. 4:11 and the verses that follow. If that is the case, Luke was the only New Testament writer that was a Gentile. He was a faithful companion of the apostle Paul (Philemon 24) beginning from Troas where Luke uses the first person plural "we" (Acts 16:10). Luke followed Paul all the way to Rome, and remained with him to the end (2 Tim. 4:11). Luke also wrote the gospel that bears his name. His gospel and the book of Acts display the grace of God especially toward the Gentiles, although the order of "to the Jew first, and also to the Greek" is carefully maintained. We know that Luke's profession was used by God to attend the needs of the Apostle Paul and his companions, and no doubt gave Luke personal access into places like the Roman palace at the end of Paul's life. It is interesting that we can see the impression of the human instrument God used to write Luke and Acts. Although both were inspired, we can see the attention to detail that is so characteristic of doctors. Luke notices that the fever of Peter's mother-in-law was "bad" (Luke 4:38), that the leper was "full of leprosy" (Luke 5:12), that the withered hand was that man's "right hand" (Luke 6:5), that the Good Samaritan used medical techniques when he "bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine" (Luke 10:33, 34), that the woman with the issue of blood "had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any" (Luke 8:43, 44), as well as other instances in Acts, such was when the father of Publius "lay ill of fever and dysentery" (Acts 28:8, 9).
Four gospels, Four perspectives:
- Matthew - written for the Jew
- Mark - written for the Roman
- Luke - written for the Greek
- John - written for the Church
We can all learn and enjoy each gospel, but they are understood best when we know the perspective they are written from.
Four gospels, Four themes:
- Matthew – Jesus, the King of the Jews
- Mark – Jesus, the Perfect Servant
- Luke – Jesus, the Perfect Man
- John – Jesus, as God Himself in the Person of the Son
Christ as the Son of Man. Luke presents the Lord to us as the Son of Man. If God were to become a man, how would He act, think or speak? The Lord is the social man in the book of Luke. He deals with people on a very human level (e.g. Luke 24). “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” (Acts 10:38).
The synoptic gospels are Matthew, Mark, and Luke because they give a short synopsis of the Lord’s life from beginning to end. John doesn’t do that, he focuses on the Lord’s ministry in and around Jerusalem. In the synoptic Gospels, we have Christ presented to man to be received, but man fails the test and Christ is rejected. In John, Christ is rejected by man and Israel from the beginning, and God’s sovereign ways in grace and resurrection are brought in. Another difference is the audience. In the synoptic gospels we often have Jesus preaching to multitudes, but in John He is very often seen in a pastoral role, speaking to individuals... and it is to those individuals that He reveals the deepest truth of His Person!