Paul describes Luke as “the beloved physician” (Col. 4:14). Luke’s scientific mind leaves him presenting the facts logically and articulately. His compassion, as one who cares for the sick, bursts through his writing as he paints his characters in living color, full of emotion.
For over twenty years I’ve lived with my own “Luke”. Like Luke, my physician husband applauds logic and facts, is extremely detail oriented, and is compassionate. His profession of assessing patients and diagnosing them day in and day out causes him to look beyond the surface and to discover the heart of an individual, the emotional and spiritual covered by the physical. This is Luke’s writing style. He invites us to examine Jesus, not just on the surface, but more deeply—to discover how unexplainable He truly is.
Luke spent years of his life preparing for this work. He traveled the known world interviewing eyewitnesses of Jesus’ miracles and teachings. He collected every written work he could find, checking and cross-checking the accounts, comparing them with those he interviewed.
The cultural and historical context during the time Luke constructed his Gospel sheds light on the imminent need for an accurate historical document that would outline the life of Jesus. Being nearly thirty years after Jesus’ death, many of the eyewitnesses were aging and nearing the end of their lives. James, John’s brother, had already been beheaded by Herod, and Peter had been forced to flee Jerusalem. The earthly time left for many of these eyewitnesses was short.
Luke’s purpose is apologetic in nature: “I have taken painstaking measures to ensure you that you indeed hold a reasonable faith. Jesus clearly is the Christ, the promised Messiah, God in human flesh, the Savior of the World” (paraphrasing Luke 1:1–4).
How confident are you that the Christian faith is indeed a reasonable one? Why do you feel as you do?
As you explore Luke’s gospel for the next 10 days studying the essence, heart, and works of Jesus Christ, what do you hope to gain?