The Gospel of Luke

Third and LONGEST of the Synoptic Gospels

Background Information

Author: Luke a Gentile Christian, believed to be a disciple of Paul.

Date of writing: 80-85 AD

Audience: Gentile (Greek) Christians

The gospel of Luke: Overview

INTRODUCTION

The Gospel of Luke focuses on the importance of prayer and emphasizes God’s love and salvation. In this Gospel, salvation is viewed as an anticipated gift. The importance and meaning of salvation is seen through the overarching theme of the universality of God’s love. This theme and many others are conveyed through the characters’ actions and images of celebration and rejoicing. Luke also gives his audience perfect examples to follow when it comes to achieving salvation and living a Christ-filled life. One of these examples is Mary and how she responds to God. Mary is seen as the epitome of faithfulness because she hears the word of God and then carries it out. Another is, of course, Jesus. Luke uses him as the ultimate example by emphasizing his virtues of peace, love, and compassion. Through these virtues, Jesus reaches out to everyone, even if they have no apparent chance of salvation.


OVERVIEW

  • Theme- God’s love for all

    • especially the poor or marginalized

  • Synoptic Gospel

  • Seeks to proclaim good news to Greek speaking Gentiles

  • Written around AD 80-85

  • Worship is a central point

  • This is the gospel of the poor and of social justice

  • Consists of 18 unique parables

AUTHOR

  • Gentile Christian names Luke, originally believed to be one of Paul’s disciples

  • The author of Luke is believed to have had received a literary education

    • This means they probably came from a wealthy urban family

  • Wrote Acts as well

  • Called work “diegesis” or a “narrative account”

  • Only non-Jewish writer in New Testament

CHRISTOLOGY

  • Jesus comes across as a liberator

  • Jesus comes off as a philosophic teacher

  • The Jesus of Luke is an enormously powerful figure

  • Jesus is seen as merciful, compassionate, with a special concern for poor people, women, and non- Jews

  • Eschatological meal

    • The eucharist, which anticipates the heavenly banquet that Jesus will share with the faithful when the Kingdom of God is fully realized at the end of time

MODEL DISCIPLE DEFINITION

  • He considers prayer to be among the more important elements of discipleship

  • The concepts of discipleship and mission in Luke are conveyed through the verbs “I send out” and “I follow”

    • To be sent by God means to execute a prophetic mission

  • Discipleship in Luke often takes the form of a journey

CHARACTERS

  • Solomon

    • David’s son, a king of Israel renowned for his wisdom

  • Faithful leper

    • only leper that thanked and followed Jesus for healing him

MARY

  • Gospel in which we fully meet Mary

  • Mary is seen as the epitome of faithfulness

    • This is because she hears and does the word of God

  • Mary’s fiat was “May it be done unto me”

    • “Fiat” is Latin for “Let it be done”

UNIQUE TO LUKE

  • In Luke, Jesus emerges primarily as a teacher, a teacher of ethical wisdom, someone who's confident and serene in that ethical teaching. Someone who is very much interested in inculcating the virtues of compassion and forgiveness among his followers

  • The ox, recalls the beginning of the Gospel, Zechariah is offering a sacrifice in the Temple

  • Luke's vision is of a unified humanity in the church that brings all of God's children back together.

  • The climax of Luke's narrative Gospel occurs in Luke 24:44-49, where Luke gives a Messianic sense to Isaiah's suffering servant, as Jesus comments that the "Christ must suffer," and then commissions the Apostles to preach the Word to all nations, and promises the gift of the Holy Spirit

  • Luke shows that prayer is the means by which God has guided his people throughout history.

  • Only Gospel with the parable of the Good Samaritan (10:25-37)

    • Story of ten lepers being cured and cleansed, but only the Samaritan leper returning to Jesus to thank him (17:11-19)

  • Longest Gospel

  • It is the only Gospel to describe in great detail the conception and childhood of Jesus

  • The only time that Jesus speaks as a child in the New Testament is recorded in Luke's Gospel (2:49)
The Gospel - Luke 2:41-52 (Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph)