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Bible Articles and Lessons: L

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Luke, overview

Luke has the most universal outlook of all the gospels; he portrays Jesus as the perfect man with compassion for all peoples.

Whereas Matthew traces Jesus' genealogy back to Abraham, the father of the Jews (Mat 1:2), Luke traces it back to Adam the father of the human race (Luk 3:38).

Luke is written for the Greeks. He substitutes Greek expressions for nearly all the Jewish expressions ("Amen" is one of the few exceptions), and he seldom refers to OT prophecy.
Luke was a skilled writer, and the literary quality of the Gospel of Luke is thought to be the highest of all four gospels. The literary structure of the Gospel of Luke is constructed primarily around Jesus' ministry in Galilee and in Jerusalem.
Main Themes

* When He was in the synagogue at Nazareth, Jesus gave the keynote of His ministry by reading from Isaiah:

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To preach deliverance to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed,
To preach the acceptable year of the Lord" (Isa 61:1- 2).
In Luke, Jesus' life is presented as a commentary on this passage of Scripture:

  1. He blesses the poor, the hungry, those who weep, and the excluded (Luk 6:20-23).
  2. In one parable He takes the side of a beggar who sits outside the gate of a rich man (Luk 16:19-31); and in another parable He celebrates a tax collector who shies away from the Temple because of his sinfulness (Luk 18:9-14).
  3. Jesus reaches out to a widowed mother who had lost her only son (Luk 7:11-17) and to a sinful woman (Luk 7:36-50).
  4. In another parable the hero of mercy is a despised Samaritan (Luk 10:25-37); and after a healing, a Samaritan is praised for his gratitude (Luk 17:11-19).
  5. The open arms of the Father, as in the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luk 15:11-32), await all who return to Him. Jesus' identification with sinners leads Him to open His arms to them on the cross, where "He was numbered with the transgressors" (Luk 22:37).
* The Return of Christ is one of this Gospel's main points and makes this gospel one of joy.

* Luke is a gospel of prayer.

* There are 10 parables recorded by Luke which are not recorded by the other gospel writers: (1) the good Samaritan (Luk 10:30-37); (2) a friend at midnight (Luk 11:5-13); (3) the barren fig tree (Luk 13:6-9); (4) the lowest room (Luk 14:7-14); (5) counting the cost (Luk 14:28-33); (6) the lost coin (Luk 15:8-10); (7) the prodigal son (Luk 15:11-22); (8) the unjust steward (Luk 16:1-13); (9) the importunate widow (Luk 18:1-8); and (10) the pounds (Luk 19:11-28).


Luke 1:1-4:
Luk 1:5 - 2:52:
The birth and childhood of Jesus
Luk 3:1 - 4:13:
Preparation for the ministry -- John the Baptist; Jesus' baptism; Jesus' temptation
Luk 4:14 - 9:50:
The ministry in Galilee -- Teaching through parables; teaching through healing
Luk 9:51 - 19:40:
The ministry continues on the way to Jerusalem
Luk 19:41 - 21:38:
The ministry in Jerusalem -- prophecy
Luk 22:1 - 24:53:
The crucifixion, resurrection and ascension

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