The Gospel of Luke


"The son of Man has come to seek and save that which was lost"

Luke 19:10

The Gospel of Luke portrays Jesus as the Man. He is frequently referred to as 'the Son of Man', thus showing us that He was a man who empathises with us in our humanity. Jesus is shown described by Luke as the Man of wisdom and power.

Luke clearly displays Christ's compassion for people and His divine mission toward them. His Gospel was written to a man by the name of Theophilus. Some believe this man was an official in the Roman government who had been converted to Christianity. If this was so, it could have been that Luke was writing to him an account of the history of Jesus and His followers in order to show the government that Christians posed no threat to them. (Originally the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts was a one two-volume set). Hence throughout this Gospel, Roman officers are noted as favorable to Christianity (NB. 2:1; 7:2ff; 18:10ff; 23:13-15; 23:47; Acts 10:1-2).


Because Luke and Acts were written together by the same person, the "we" sections of Acts indicate who the author was. (Refer to Acts 16:10-17; 20:5-21:18; 27:1-28:16). The author had to be a close travelling companion of Paul. This list can be narrowed down to Titus and Luke. Titus has never been seriously considered. Luke best fits the qualifications needed.

1. What does Paul refer to Luke as being? (Col. 4:14; Philemon 24)


Luke was a Gentile. Paul lists his fellow workers of the circumcision (Jews), then includes Luke's name with two Gentiles (Col. 4:10-14).


2. Who was the only one to remain loyal to Paul toward the end of his ministry, in the face of danger? (2Tim. 4:11)


Tradition says that Luke was from Syrian Antioch, remained unmarried, and died at age 84.


(i) Magnificat Lk. 1

(ii) Christmas Gospel Lk. 2

(iii) Depart from me Lk. 5

(iv) Her sins are many Lk. 7

(v) Son must suffer Lk. 9

(vi) Martha and Mary Lk. 10

(vii) Prodigal son Lk. 15

(viii) Two men, two prayers Lk. 18

(ix) Gethsemane Lk. 22

(x) Stay here Lk. 24


Luke 1

3. The magnificat means the song of the Virgin Mary. Lk. 1:46-55. What sort of attitude does Mary display in her song?


Mary was from a very poor background. God had chosen a lowly maid to bring His Son incarnate into the world. Truly she was blessed for this honor, but very little is mentioned of her past this point. We notice her coming to the temple to find her Son, interrupting a campaign Jesus was having, present at the death of her son and with the disciples on the Day of Pentecost. Papists (Roman Catholics) have asserted that Mary is actually more important than Jesus. They believe that she was a perpetual virgin, lived sinlessly, and eventually ascended into Heaven without dying. All of which contradicts Scripture, and only became Roman Catholic doctrine in the 1800's and mid 1900's.

Lk. 1:57-80 - Birth of John the Baptist; Zacharias' prophesy.


Luke 2

4. Luke 2:1-16 would be one of the best known passages of the Bible. What do you notice about Luke's pursuit of accuracy in verses 1-2, 3:1-2?


What amazing circumstances for the Son of God to be born in. No pomp, no royal palaces for this King of the Universe! Indeed He came and humbled Himself as a man (Phil. 2:7). Most unbelievers do not find a baby wrapped in scraps of linen very offensive. Therefore most 'celebrate' Christmas focusing on the 'baby Jesus' with no thought for what He eventually went on to do or say. Teaching Christian Education in a government primary school, a young teacher was asked by a student just prior to their Easter break, "Was Jesus killed as a baby?". The teacher asked the student why they thought Jesus was killed as a baby. The young student explained that Christmas was just three months earlier, and surely Jesus hadn't grown into a man in just three months!

Lk. 2:21 - Jesus is circumcised; Lk. 2:22-24 - sacrifices presented in accordance with the Law of Moses; 25-35 prophesy by Simeon over baby Jesus; 36-38 - Anna gives thanks to God; 4l-50 - Jesus amazes the temple scholars;

5. According to verse 51, what did the Son of God do to His earthly parents?


6. In what two areas did Jesus grow? (vs 52)





Luke 3:1-20 - John the baptist's ministry; 21-22 - John baptizes Jesus; 23-24 - genealogy of Jesus from Mary's side of the tree; Lk. 4:1-13 - Jesus tempted by the Devil; - ministry begins.



Luke 5

In the section from Luke 5:1-11. Jesus displays some of His awesome control over nature. There are many lessons to be learnt from this story among which are: a) Lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways obey the Lord; b) Jesus can make things possible despite circumstances; c) Keep trying; d) Don't be hesitant to use the available help of others, etc.

7. Why did Peter tell Jesus to depart from him?


Of all the lessons to be drawn here, Jesus shows the point to His command and miracle by saying that from now on, they would be fishers of men. This seems to be the main point of the story. This should motivate us to witness without ceasing. Perhaps this is where Peter got his revelation of who Jesus Christ actually was (Mtt. 16:16).

After this Jesus did many miracles, taught His disciples and sent an encouraging word to John the Baptist, who by this time was imprisoned. You will notice that this Gospel is the most comprehensive of all the four. Luke is covering as much of the life of Christ as he can, both words and actions, in writing to a mainly Greek thinking audience.


Lk. 7:36-50

8. What is the main point of this passage?


9 a) How does Luke 2:35 and Luke 7:39, match up?


b) Refer to Matthew 26:6-13. What else do you notice about this incident:

(i) Who else was indignant?


(ii) Why did this woman do it?


(iii) Verse l3, where would this story be told?


This story should be a challenge to us about the level of appreciation we have for God's forgiveness. Do we take it for granted like the pharisee, or does it drive us to make great sacrifices for our Lord?

8.1-15 - The parable of the sower; 8:16-18 - "No one hides a lamp under a bed..."; 8:19-21 - Jesus' mother and brothers try to see Him; 8:22-25 - The winds and the seas obey Him; 8:26-39 - Demon possessed man healed; 8:40-56 - Woman with haemorrhage healed, little girl resurrected; 9:1-6 - The twelve sent out; 9:7-9 - John the Baptist beheaded; 9:10-17 - The feeding of the five thousand; 9:18-20 - Peter confesses Jesus as the Christ.


Luke 9:21-22

Jesus didn't just die for us, He suffered and died for us! The concept that Jesus just died quickly and painlessly is contrary to the Bible's account of His agonising death. We need to understand that Jesus took upon Himself the punishment rightly and justly deserved by us.

10. What will happen to those who don't accept God's plan of salvation?


Once again we find Jesus fully aware of what was going to happen to Him. Despite His knowledge of His imminent death . He still continued His mission for us. What tremendous love!

"When I survey the wondrous cross On which the Prince of glory died, My richest gain I count but loss . . . Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all."

Song by Isaac Watts, "When I survey"


Luke 10:38-42

Here we see someone with the gift of serving (see Rom. 12) angry at the person who wasn't helping. God has given each of us certain natural abilities and gifts, which will at times make us wonder why everyone else hasn't got it as well.

11. Which one of the sisters was doing the will of God? Explain.


There are of course times when we need to roll up the sleeves and get our hands dirty in order to help in practical needs. Spirituality should never be used as an excuse for laziness!

11-12 contains teachings and parables of Christ; 13:1-5 is a passage that every soul-winner should know.

"This is one of these 'hard sayings' of Jesus. The question is raised, 'What about the people Pilate slaughtered or the innocent people killed by the falling of the tower? Where was God in these events?' The question was how could God allow these things to happen? . . . We might have expected Jesus to explain it like this: "I am very sorry to hear about this tragedy. These things happen and there is not much we can do about it . . . Do you realize what a difficult task it is for My Father to run the universe? . . . I will ask Him to be a bit more careful in the future."

"The Holiness of God", R.C. Sproul

13:6ff contains more teaching and parables for Kingdom living.


Lk. 15:11-32

In this chapter Jesus illustrates the value of one person who repents. He tells us that angels in Heaven rejoice over a the fact that a lost soul has returned to God. The parable of the Prodigal son has three main characters in it, and two others are referred to.

12. Who are these characters? Who/what do they represent?











We notice that the father gladly accepted his son back, much to the disgust of the older brother. The older brother was actually living more like a servant than a son! Hence, his indignation when his younger brother who was being treated as, and called a son. This highlights to us that although we are God's servants, we are also His sons and daughters.


Lk. 18:9-14

13. How does God want us to walk (live) before Him? (Micah 6:8)


14. What type of attitude does God hate? (Prov. 16:5)


15. What sort of heart are we urged to have before God? (Ps. 51:17)


We notice that everything the Pharisee did was good, but it was done with a bad attitude.


Lk. 22:39-53

'Gethsemane' means 'oil press' or 'wine press'. This aptly describes what Christ went through in this garden. It also stands in stark contrast to the First Adam who was overcome by temptation, where as here the Last Adam overcame temptation in a garden.

16. What posture did Jesus adopt for prayer, that later became the 'trademark' of Christians? (Lk. 22:41)


While wrestling in prayer Christ began to sweat blood (Lk. 22:44; Heb. 12:4). Shortly after, He was arrested, as He predicted. He was then taken before the Sanhedrin, then to Pilate, then to Herod, then back to Pilate - who authorised the death sentence.

17. While on the cross, Jesus said one of the most amazing things, which was later echoed by Stephen. What was it? (Lk. 23:34; Acts 7:60)


These were amazing words for people who were supposed to be violently opposed to the Roman Empire! After Christ's death and resurrection, He makes several appearances to His Disciples then leaves some extremely important directives.


Lk. 24:49

18. What was "the promise of My Father"?


19. What was the point and purpose of this "power"?

Luke expands this incident in his second volume, the Book of Acts. In the next chapter and lesson, from the Book of John, some of Christ's teaching about the Holy Spirit will be examined.



New Testament Survey

The Gospel of John

© 2001 Andrew Corbett, Legana, Tasmania