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LUKE - Christ, the Savior of the World
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to Luke


Our human language is not sufficient to contain the riches of the Savior of the World. This is why the Holy Spirit led certain men to clarify the unique Gospel in several ways, and to produce four distinctive portraits of the person Jesus Christ and to proclaim his victory over distresses, diseases, sins, death, Satan, and the wrath of God.

Guided by the inspiring Spirit, the evangelist Matthew proved to the Jews that Jesus of Nazareth from despised Galilee was indeed the promised Christ who fulfilled the Old Testament predictions and the laws of God in his life and resurrection.

The evangelist Mark, an associate of Peter, explained to the believers in Rome who were surrounded by thousands of gods and idols, that Christ Jesus was the true Son of God and the Lord of Lords who reigns over all the powers opposed to God.

Luke, the Greek physician, presented Christ as the merciful Savior of all mankind, who established by his coming God’s peace on earth and a new era to the world.

And the evangelist John expressed in the words of the Greek philosophy the deep love of God made incarnate in Christ to enable us to obtain eternal life though living faith.

Each one of the four evangelists bore witness to a certain circle of people and conditions. Yet, Jesus Christ is the decisive answer to their numerous questions and abstract problems.

Who is the Evangelist Luke?

The other three evangelists were Jewish believers, Aramaic speakers, of Hebrew standpoint. They all translated the words and historic events of Jesus into Greek. However, the evangelist Luke was Greek of Gentile origin. He did not belong to the culture of the Old Testament. This experienced physician and cultured man of travel had the ability to clarify the message of the gospel in Greek. His fluent and effective use of language sometimes surpassed that of the apostle Paul.

It is possible that Luke lived for a considerable period in Antioch and participated in raising the church formed of believers of Gentile origin (Acts 11:20-24). He knew Paul from the beginning of his missionary journeys and accompanied him personally on his second voyage from Troas to Philippi where he stayed to strengthen the new church (Acts 16:10). When Paul came back from his third journey and passed by Philippi (Acts 20:6), he took his spiritual brother with him on his long voyage to Jerusalem (Acts 21:17). During Paul’s imprisonment in Caesarea (AD 58-60) Luke collected material which he later used in the composition of his gospel. Eventually, the physician Luke accompanied the apostle Paul on his last journey to Rome, sharing his shipwreck and remaining with him until he died by martyrdom. During those three periods in the apostle Paul’s company, Luke depicted the events employing the first person plural “we”, as Paul’s student, eyewitness and companion.

Paul himself mentioned Luke three times by name and called him his beloved and faithful fellow laborer (Colossians 4:14; Philemon 24; 2 Timothy 4:11). This shows us the deep impression of Paul’s theological thoughts about justification by grace on Luke’s gospel, which testified complete salvation to all mankind (2:14; 3:4-6; 24:26). This privilege of grace can only be obtained by faith (7:50; 15:1; 17:10; 18:14; 19:1-10; 23:34,43). Whoever enters into this grace finds in it the spring of everlasting joy (1:46-47; 6:23; 13:17; 15:5-10, 23; 19:6; 24:41,52).

How Did Luke Write His Gospel?

The wise physician wanted to know more details about the life of Christ than he had heard from Paul and the early Christians in Antioch. He accompanied his teacher (in AD 58) to Jerusalem and met James, Jesus’ brother, whom he joined in companionship as a child in one family. Furthermore, the evangelist sought details from Peter and the other apostles also from many eyewitnesses of the life of Jesus about their experiences with the merciful Lord (Luke 24:48; Acts 1:8,21; John 15:26).

First of all, Luke found in Jerusalem a collection of Jesus’ sayings and events compiled under supervision of the apostles and probably translated into Greek by Matthew, Andrew and Philip to establish the faith of Jewish pilgrims who did not learn Aramaic in their distant homes (Acts 2:42; John 12:20; Luke 1:1-4). Luke extracted verbally much of what was contained in that source common to the three earlier gospels, but unfortunately missing today. However these contents are made available to us through those three earlier gospels. This is why Luke’s account is in full agreement with that of the earlier evangelists.

The characteristic of Luke’s gospel is that he who describes the person of Jesus as an experienced physician who was greatly interested to learn about the miracle of Jesus’ conception by the Holy Spirit and his Virgin birth from Mary whom he had most probably met in person and questioned about these events. It is a special blessing that the Holy Spirit guides a physician to discover through his own efforts this great mystery and to record the miracle of the birth of Jesus Christ.

We also find in his gospel an expert description of the miracles of Jesus, which the wise physician was completely unable to do by himself: giving sight to the blind, cleansing the lepers and raising the dead. Discerningly, Luke draws our attention to Christ’s great compassion and kind mercy so that we may see the source of his power originating only from the divine mercy.

Luke was especially interested in the body of him who was raised from the dead. He questioned eyewitnesses about strange details which we do not find in such clarity in the other gospels: Christ asked his disciples to touch him with their hands in order that they might feel that he was not a ghost but flesh and blood. He also ate before their eyes to overcome their unbelief.

Who is the Receiver of This Message?

Luke states the name of the receiver. It is Theophilus (lover of God) whom he calls (most excellent) or (noble), a magisterial designation also given to Felix, the Roman governor of Judea and Festus who succeeded him (Acts 23:20; 24:3; 26:25). Theophilus was probably a prominent Roman official of high rank who once ruled Antioch and knew that region and Italy accurately, but needed explanations about all the places and customs of Palestine and Greece which were strange to him. Theophilus was probably near to the first church in Antioch and had consecrated, under the name of that church, his palaces and dedicated them to the meetings of the believers as we find in the traditional information about this person. Then he was transferred to Rome and there he wanted to find out about the progress of the gospel from Jerusalem to Rome, the capital. This is the historical password of Luke’s report which is composed of two parts: the first one is his Gospel in which he tells us how the Savior of the world completed his way from Bethlehem, Nazareth and Capernaum and on to Jerusalem where the salvation of the world was completed.

The second part of his report is the Acts of the Apostles in which Luke shows us how the kingdom of God spread out immediately from Jerusalem to Samaria, Antioch, Asia Minor, Greece and Rome and was also prepared to reach Spain.

With this aim, Luke did not compose a limited gospel for the believers of the Jewish nation, but preached to all the nations divine salvation in the widest manner, as Paul did. Luke did not present a Jesus Christ promised only to the Jews, but a Savior, Founder and Lord of the world, offering peace to the whole world, and preaching God’s acceptance of repentant sinners. He is the only true Savior who has overcome all distresses, diseases and the power of death, caused by sin as well as the temptations of the devil which prompt us to disobey God. Christ is the Victor and the Lord of Peace to all nations. This is the keynote of Luke’s gospel.

The astonishing thing is that Luke’s gospel and the Acts of the Apostles were not written for the public, but for the edification of one person, so that this official of high rank might continue in faith, receive new insight for his social duties, be just and merciful toward the poor and restrain the carelessness of the rich who deserve God’s wrath because of their hard hearts. Luke shows us that Christ not only saves us from our sins, but also teaches us to practice love and help the poor. We therefore realize that Luke’s gospel has a practical social application.

Analysis of Luke’s Gospel

  1. Appearance of Christ, LUKE 1:1 - 4:13
  2. Galilean Campaign, LUKE 4:14 - 9:50
  3. Voyage to Jerusalem, LUKE 9:51 - 18:30
  4. Ministry in Jerusalem until Christ's death, LUKE 18:31 - 23:56
  5. Reports of Christ’s resurrection, Luke 24

If you follow the steps of Jesus, through your study of Luke’s gospel, you will receive great power and a divine motive to preach to the nations, for Luke was a preacher with the apostle Paul, filled with love and the Holy Spirit. Pray and listen to the Spirit of the Lord through his servant Luke.


1. What are the different characteristics of the four gospels?
2. What do you know about the life of the evangelist Luke?
3. How did Luke write his gospel?
4. Who was the receiver of Luke’s gospel?
5. How was Luke’s gospel divided?


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