The Gospel of Luke

Written AD c. 80 - 90 in Greece

Author and Audience

Luke, a Gentile Christian writer, wrote to poor people, outcasts, and sinners. Because of his audience Luke stresses that everyone has the capability to enter into the Kingdom of God. He also stresses that repentant sinners are also accepted and welcomed. Luke writes of God's salvation fulfilled through Jesus Christ.

Infancy Narrative

Luke is teaching that Jesus is divine because “firstborn” is a title given to Christ implying that he is the firstborn of all creation and the firstborn of the dead. The term swaddling clothes is an allusion to the Book of Wisdom where Solomon (David’s son, king of Israel renowned for his wisdom) describes himself as an infant. Luke teaches that Jesus is fully divine, but he is also fully human because he is placed in swaddling clothes, like Solomon. To continue Jesus was born in a manger, a place where a shepherd puts food for his flock. Jesus being born in a manger shows that he is the Bread of Life.
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The Ox

The animal depiction in Luke is the ox. The ox is symbolic for sacrifice because oxen were often sacrificed for sins in the Old Testament. Luke preaches the sacrifice of Christ as a mean of forgiveness of sins and reconciliation

Unique Themes In Luke

The Holy Spirit: In Luke, the presence and work of the Holy Spirit is always with Jesus and is continuously guiding him. Both the Holy Spirit and Jesus’ main goal is to bring the people back to God. The two main points where the Holy Spirit is present in the Gospel of Luke is at Jesus’ Baptism and at the start of his ministry in Galilee. Jesus also teaches that the Holy Spirit will be there in the time of persecution.

Prayer: Often times in the Gospel of Luke Jesus is found praying. One example includes when he prays in the Garden. This shows Jesus' dedication to his father. Through prayer we can relate to Jesus.

Universal Salvation: Writing for Gentiles Luke stresses that everyone has the capability to enter into the Kingdom of God.

Women: In the Gospel of Luke Jesus has much concern for women. He emphasizes that women have a prominent role alongside with men. Luke parallels companionship between men and women. Some example include the relationships of Mary and Zechariah and Anna and Simeon. Also in Luke, Mary key figure as a model disciple.

Mercy and Forgiveness: Jesus shows mercy and compassion by being an advocate for the poor, disabled, public sinners, and outcasts. This is shown through the story of the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son.

Jesus' Compassion

The Model Disciple

A model discipleship in Luke's Gospel is someone who is repentant and accepting of others, Mary is a clear example of this. In addition Mary’s fiat, meaning “let it be done,” expresses her cooperation and willingness to serve God. Therefore, through the Gospel of Luke we gain our most basic understanding of Mary.

Unique Stories in Luke

The unique stories to Luke are The Prodigal Son, The Lost Sheep, The Lost Coin, and The Road to Emmaus. Through these stories, Luke was redacting so that his stories would appeal to men (shepherds) and the poor. Although Luke wanted to appeal to men, he also appealed to women.