Luke

by Mike Raiter
Overview

In his introduction, Luke tells us he has written this gospel so that we can be certain that our faith in Jesus rests on a firm historical foundation (1:1–4). He introduces us to Jesus, who is the Son of God, the Lord, and the Messiah. Luke’s emphasis, however, is on Jesus the Saviour of the world. In her song of praise at the beginning of the gospel, Mary “rejoices in God my Saviour” (1:47). From then on we see Jesus saving sinners. This reaches its climax in the wonderful salvation of the chief tax collector, Zacchaeus, and Jesus announcing that He has come to seek and save the lost (19:10). Appropriately, the gospel ends with Jesus commissioning His disciples to take this good news of forgiveness to the entire world.

The wonderful gift of salvation demands a response of faith and obedience. The central section of the gospel (9:51–19:44) describes Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem and His death on a cross. As He walks along the road, He teaches His followers about the way of discipleship. We are to follow in His footsteps as we live lives of love, mercy, and generosity. Jesus warns us that discipleship is costly and we, like Jesus, must be willing to carry the cross of suffering and rejection (14:27). Yet, glory awaits at the end of our journey, just as it did for Him. For us, it is the certain hope of Paradise (23:43).

The Structure of Luke

1:1–4
Introduction: The Purpose of the Gospel

1:5–2:52
Births of John the Baptist and Jesus

3:1–4:13
Preparation for the Ministry of Jesus

4:14–9:50
The Ministry of Jesus in Galilee

9:51–19:44
The Journey to Jerusalem

19:45–21:38
Jesus in the Temple

21:39–23:56
The Death of Jesus

24:1–52
The Resurrection of Jesus and Commissioning of the Apostles

Key Verse
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” —Luke 19:10

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