About this book
God's love is for everyone! Jesus came into the world to be the Saviour of all people! These are two of the main thoughts in this book. Several of the best known stories that Jesus used for teaching about God's love are found only in Luke's Gospel: The Good Samaritan (10.25–37), A Lost Sheep (15.1–7), and A Lost Son (15.11–32). Only Luke tells how Jesus stayed in the home of a hated tax collector (19.1–10) and promised life in paradise to a dying criminal (23.39–43).
Luke mentions God's Spirit more than any of the other New Testament writers. For example, the power of the Spirit was with John the Baptist from the time he was born (1.15). And the angel promised Mary, “The Holy Spirit will come down to you … So your child will be called the holy Son of God” (1.35). Jesus followed the Spirit (4.1,14,18; 10.21) and taught that the Spirit is God's greatest gift (11.13).
Luke shows how important prayer was to Jesus. Jesus prayed often: after being baptized (3.21), before choosing the disciples (6.12), before asking his disciples who they thought he was (9.18), and before giving up his life on the cross (23.34,46). From Luke we learn of three stories that Jesus told to teach about prayer (11.5–9; 18.1–8,9–14).
An important part of Luke's story is the way in which he shows the concern of Jesus for the poor: the good news is preached to them (4.18; 7.22), they receive God's blessings (6.20), they are invited to the great feast (14.13,21), the poor man Lazarus is taken to heaven by angels (16.20,22), and Jesus commands his disciples to sell what they have and give the money to the poor (12.33).
To make sure that readers would understand that Jesus was raised physically from death, Luke reports that the risen Jesus ate a piece of fish (24.42,43). There could be no mistake about the risen Jesus: he was not a ghost. His being raised from death was real and not someone's imagination. Luke also wrote another book—the Acts of the Apostles—to show what happened to Jesus' followers after he was raised from death and taken up to heaven. No other Gospel has a second volume that continues the story.
Luke closes this first book that he wrote by telling that Jesus returned to heaven. But just before Jesus leaves, he tells his disciples:
The Scriptures say that the Messiah must suffer, then three days later he will rise from death. They also say that all people of every nation must be told in my name to turn to God, in order to be forgiven. So beginning in Jerusalem, you must tell everything that has happened.
A quick look at this book
1. Why Luke wrote this book (1.1–4)
2. The births of John the Baptist and Jesus (1.5—2.52)
3. The message of John the Baptist (3.1–20)
4. The baptism and temptation of Jesus (3.21—4.13)
5. Jesus' ministry in Galilee (4.14—9.50)
6. Jesus goes from Galilee to Jerusalem (9.51—19.27)
7. Jesus' last week: his trial and death (19.28—23.56)
8. Jesus is alive (24.1–12)
9. Jesus appears. He is taken to heaven (24.13–53)