Of the four Gospels, The Gospel according to St. Luke is the most concerned to provide historical details, but always with an eye to theological implications. The author writes his account of Jesus' life, ministry, death, and resurrection in eloquent and compelling Greek and in a style common among contemporary historical writers. Internal details suggest that this book was written after the fall of Jerusalem in a.d. 70. The author identifies the person for whom he has prepared this text (Theophilus), but does not give his own name. Tradition ascribes this Gospel to Luke, a co-worker with Paul (Phlm 23) and companion on the apostle's later mission journeys. In fact, Luke's other book, The Acts of the Apostles, includes numerous “we” passages where the author provides first-hand reports of Paul's doings and seems to be quoting from his own travel diary (e.g., Acts 16.10-17; 20.5-15; 21.1-18; 27.1—28.16). And the close association of the author with the apostle Paul suggests Antioch as the likely place of writing, but there are ancient traditions pointing instead to southern Greece as the location.
In Luke Jesus takes his mandate for ministry from Isaiah, “to preach the gospel to the poor” (4.18; cf. Isa 61.1,2), and Luke more frequently than the other Gospels portrays Jesus' concern and compassion for the poor in both word and deed. Luke had sources apparently unknown to the other Gospel writers and the narrative includes details about Jesus' birth and childhood and a number of profound parables not recorded elsewhere. Luke also gives special attention to the Holy Spirit, to prayer, and to the presence and role of women in the sphere of Jesus' ministry. This is the only Gospel that has a sequel—The Acts of the Apostles—which tells how the Christian faith spread westward as far as Rome, particularly through the missions of Paul the apostle.
Preparing the Way for Jesus (1.1—4.13)
Jesus Preaches and Heals in Galilee (4.14—9.50)
Jesus Makes the Long Journey to Jerusalem (9.51—19.27)
Jesus' Final Week in Jerusalem (19.28—23.56)
Jesus Is Raised from Death and Appears to the Disciples (24.1-53)
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