Life-Study of Lukeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
With this message we begin the Life-study of the Gospel of Luke. Apparently, this Gospel is quite simple. It may seem that the Gospel of Luke is not as profound as the Gospel of Matthew or as mysterious as the Gospel of John. The reason for this is that Luke gives us a record of our Savior, the Lord Jesus, as a Man. A man, of course, is not profound when compared to God.
Although the Gospel of Luke is not the most profound or mysterious of the four Gospels, it is the most sweet and pleasant of the Gospels. Yes, God is profound. But when He became a man, He became sweet and pleasant.
In Matthew we see the King; in Mark, the Slave; and in John, God Himself. In Luke we see the Man. Luke’s narration concerning the Lord Jesus as the Man-Savior is very sweet and pleasant. Both the narrative and the narration itself are sweet and pleasant.
Luke 1:1 and 2 say, “Seeing that many have undertaken to draw up a narrative concerning the matters which have been fully accomplished among us, even as they were delivered to us by those who from the beginning became eyewitnesses and attendants of the Word.” The word “many” in verse 1 indicates that there were more than four who wrote an account of the Savior’s earthly life. The “matters” in this verse are the events of John the Baptist’s birth, ministry, and martyrdom, and of Jesus’ birth, life, ministry, teaching, death, resurrection, and ascension for the accomplishment of God’s redemption to save sinners by grace.
Verse 2 indicates that the writer of this Gospel was not among those disciples who were with the Savior in His earthly life. By “those who from the beginning became eyewitnesses and attendants of the Word,” Luke denotes the first group of New Testament believers, who were with the Savior in His ministry on earth. They are called attendants of the Word. The Greek word rendered “attendants” means official servants, who attend or serve an officer or who have authority to carry out his orders. This word is used in Luke 4:20, Matthew 5:25, Mark 14:54, Acts 26:16, and 1 Corinthians 4:1. The Word in 1:2 is the Word of the gospel ministered and preached to people (Acts 6:4; 8:4).
Luke 1:3 and 4 say, “It seemed good to me also, having followed all things accurately from the first, to write to you a consecutive account, most excellent Theophilus, that you might know fully the certainty of the things concerning which you were instructed.” Here Luke indicates that he is writing a consecutive account. This consecutive account concerns the life, ministry, and martyrdom of John the Baptist and the life, ministry, teaching, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus the Man-Savior. This Gospel may be regarded as a biography of these two persons. Of course, the Gospel of Luke is mainly a biography of the Savior.
The early church recognized Luke as the author of both this Gospel and Acts. Luke’s authorship is evident from the style of composition of the two books. Luke was a Gentile (Col. 4:14, cf. 11), probably an Asiatic Greek, and a physician (Col. 4:14). Starting in Troas, he joined Paul in his ministry and accompanied him in his last three ministry journeys (Acts 16:10-17; 20:5—21:18; 27:1—28:15). He was a faithful companion of Paul until Paul was martyred (Philem. 24; 2 Tim. 4:11). Hence, his Gospel should represent Paul’s views, as Mark’s represents Peter’s.
We know from Luke 1:3-4 that this Gospel was written to Theophilus. This is a Greek name meaning loved by God, or friend of God. Theophilus was probably a Gentile believer who occupied some official position under the Roman Empire. Hence, this Gospel was written by a Gentile physician to a Gentile officer.
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