The Gospel according to Luke presents Jesus as both the promised Savior of Israel and as the Savior of all people. Luke records that Jesus was called by the Spirit of the Lord to “bring good news to the poor,” and this Gospel is filled with a concern for people with all kinds of need. The note of joy is also prominent in Luke, especially in the opening chapters that announce the coming of Jesus, and again at the conclusion, when Jesus ascends to heaven. The story of the growth and spread of the Christian faith after the ascension of Jesus is told by the same writer in the book of Acts.
Parts 2 and 6 (see the outline below) contain much material that is found only in this Gospel, such as the stories about the song of the angels and the shepherds' visit at the birth of Jesus, Jesus in the Temple as a boy, and the parables of the Good Samaritan and the Lost Son. Throughout the Gospel great emphasis is placed on prayer, the Holy Spirit, the role of women in the ministry of Jesus, and God's forgiveness of sins.
Outline of Contents
Birth and childhood of John the Baptist and of Jesus (1.5—2.52)
The ministry of John the Baptist (3.1-20)
The baptism and temptation of Jesus (3.21—4.13)
Jesus' public ministry in Galilee (4.14—9.50)
From Galilee to Jerusalem (9.51—19.27)
The last week in and near Jerusalem (19.28—23.56)
The resurrection, appearances, and ascension of the Lord (24.1-53)
Two things stand out in Luke's Gospel—God cares deeply for the poor and marginalized, and the Holy Spirit is God's great gift to anyone who asks. Luke covers much of the same material as Mark and Matthew, but it also has stories (called parables) that can be found in no other Gospel, such as The Good Samaritan (10.25-37) and The Lost Son (15.11-32). The author of Luke is also the author of Acts (see below).