Luke, the author of Luke and Acts, openly reveals that he is writing his book based on research and not as a first person observer. Luke 1:3 says, “Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus.” The phrase “most excellent” seems to signify some type of knowledgeable, well respected, or high ranked actual person. Maybe even royalty. Luke identified his audience as Theophilus and his desire to write a reliable history of Jesus. Theophilus means “lover of god” so Luke could be writing to any believer. Whatever the case, what was directed to “Theophilus” is beneficial to ALL Christians.
Luke reported important events before Jesus’ public ministry began in Luke 1:5 to 4:13. He stressed that the roles of John and Jesus were intertwined. In the first half of Luke 3, there is a brief description of John’s interaction with the crowds. The second half of Luke 3, starting at verse 21, shows Gods intervention to bring salvation to his people through Jesus Christ. Luke’s gospel is the only Gospel that includes the songs of joy that accompanied the birth of the Messiah such as Mary’s song in Luke 1:46-55 and Luke 1:68-79, as well as the angels rejoicing in Luke 2:14, and Simon’s song in Luke 2:28-32.
Luke described many events that took place during Jesus’ public ministry in the region of Galilee. He wrote that Jesus announced his ministry of proclaiming the year of the Lord’s favor in Luke 4:21 when he said “and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” A Gentile himself, Luke wrote about these events to show how Jesus was deeply concerned not just with the Jews in Judea, but also with the Jews from all the tribes, as well as the Gentiles. Luke 9:1-6 tells of Jesus calling the twelve disciples and giving them the power to cast out demons.
When Jesus left Galilee, many things happened as he traveled toward Jerusalem. He taught crowds of people and performed many miracles. Luke stressed Jesus’ mercy as Jesus ministered to women, children and sinners, and he emphasized the cost of being Jesus’ disciple.
Luke reported how Jesus entered Jerusalem and faced conflict at the temple. In Luke 19:45-46 Jesus drove out moneychangers and sellers in the temple. The central religious institution of the Old Testament was the temple. Jesus declared that the temple would be destroyed because of the sins of God’s people.
Luke wrote about Jesus’ death and gave much attention to his resurrection in Luke 24:1-49. Jesus commissioned his disciples to be his witnesses once they had received power from above. Then they would preach repentance and forgiveness in his name throughout the world. Luke closed this volume of his history with the apostles praising God at the temple day after day in Jerusalem.
After reading several of the Gospels in their entirety, they all seem to run together and it is hard to distinguish what I facts, and events are from a specific Gospel. Luke’s gospel presents a wealth of information and reads much like a news article listing fact after fact. It was somewhat of a daunting task to read through and find pertinent information to write about, when everything in God’s Word is important one way or another. The Gospel of Luke provides a good look into the life of Jesus Christ, not only as a divine Savior, but also as a earthly man on a mission to spread the Truth.