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Gospel of Luke Characteristics

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.


About Luke, the Man

Luke was not one of Jesus' disciples or an eyewitness to Jesus' life and ministry. He did not know Jesus Christ personally. He became a follower of Jesus after His death. He gathered information from the other gospel writers to write his own gospel. He is the only Gentile writer of the entire Bible.

All the gospel writers had a profession in addition to being a gospel writer. For instance, Matthew was a tax collector for the Roman government. John was in the fishing business with James, his brother, and Zebedee, their father. Luke was a physician, but he gave it up to be Paul's traveling companion.

Understanding the Gospel of Luke

Like Matthew and Mark, Luke is a synoptic gospel. That means all three of them had a "common view."

The Gospel of Luke tells of the origins,

The gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles make up a two-volume work which scholars call Luke–Acts.[5] Together they account for 27.5% of the New Testament, the largest contribution by a single author,

Readers can understand the Gospel of Luke much better when they know the following characteristics of the book containing 24 chapters. Luke is the longest of the gospel that continues in The Book of Acts of the Apostles.

to write his own book to a Gentile audience.It would be helpful for readers to know some other information about Luke and his gospel.

  • Luke is the slow-paced gospel.
  • He uses the expression, "And it came to pass."
  • Since Luke was a physician, he used medical terms.
  • Key people are women, widows, the sick, and the downtrodden.
  • Over half of Luke's gospel is dedicated to Passion Week.
  • The genealogy goes as far back as Adam.
  • A doctor would be interested in Jesus' birth.
  • Jesus left behind at the temple when He was 12 is only in Luke.
  • The Parable of the Prodigal Son is only in Luke.
  • The Parable of the Good Samaritan is only in Luke.

Luke's Audience

Luke begins his gospel with a direct address to "Theophilus." That is an honorary title that means "Lover of God," and could refer to any Christian. The gospel writer informs Theophilus of his intention to write an orderly account "of the events that have been fulfilled among us."

Luke's Keywords and Expressions

Luke is that slow-paced gospel. He makes a point of saying how things "happened." His phrase, "It came to pass" occurs over 50 times.

Because Luke was a physician, medical terms and sicknesses can be found in his gospel. Luke wrote with the compassion of a family doctor.

Luke's Contents

Luke wrote about women, children, the poor, the despised, and the downtrodden. As a physician, he wrote about sickness and detailed information about the births of John the Baptist as well as tracing the genealogy of Jesus back to Adam.

Luke records the beginning of Jesus' mission in Galilee and His journey to Jerusalem.

Onlys in Luke

Luke is the only gospel that continues in another book. Therefore, it is good to read the Book of Acts as a continual of the Gospel of Luke.

There are many things only in the Gospel of Luke that are not in the other gospels.

  1. Over half of the events in Luke are devoted to Passion Week.
  2. The birth stories of John the Baptist and Jesus.
  3. Mary visited to live with Elizabeth when both of them were pregnant.
  4. An angel appears to Joseph in his sleep.
  5. Jesus visited the temple when he was 12 years old and sat among the religious leaders.
  6. Shepherds appear only in the Gospel of Luke when Jesus was born.
  7. Only Luke traces the genealogy all the way back to Adam. A physician would be interested in that.

Even though Matthew has many parables, there are some parables that are only in the Gospel of Luke.

  1. The Parable of the Good Samaritan
  2. The Parable of the Lost Sheep
  3. The Parable of the Lost Coin
  4. The Parable of the Prodigal Son

Luke, the Gospel That Continues

Even though the Gospel of Luke has only 24 chapters, it is considered to be the longest gospel because it continues in the Book of Acts with 28 chapters. It is longer than all 13 of Paul's books combined according to volume.

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