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The Gospel of Luke

Author

Place and Time of Writing

Unique Characteristics

Audience

Theme

Details about the Gospel of Luke

1. As mentioned in Matthew, only Matthew and Luke discuss the birth of Jesus. Matthew discusses the Magi/wise men since he focused on Jesus being a spiritual leader, and Luke discusses the shepherds since he focused on Jesus working with common people.

2. Only Luke describes the incident when Jesus was 12 and he and his parents went to the Temple. (2:41-52)

3. While the other Gospels describe the relationship between Jesus and the Pharisees as difficult, the Gospel of Luke instead shows Jesus as friendly to them.

4. Luke includes three stories that highlight the compassion and openness of Jesus. These three are unique because they are only found in Luke.

The Good Samaritan: 10:25-37:  "10:25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. 'Teacher,' he asked, 'what must I do to inherit eternal life?' 26 'What is written in the Law?' he replied. 'How do you read it?' 27 He answered: ''Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'' 28 'You have answered correctly,' Jesus replied. 'Do this and you will live.' 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, 'And who is my neighbor?' 30 In reply Jesus said: 'A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.' 36 'Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?' 37 The expert in the law replied, 'The one who had mercy on him.' Jesus told him, 'Go and do likewise.'"

Mary and Martha: 10:38-42:  "38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, 'Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!' 41 'Martha, Martha,' the Lord answered, 'you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'"

Zacchaeus: 19:1-10:  "1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. 5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, 'Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.' 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. 7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, 'He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner.'' 8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, 'Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.' 9 Jesus said to him, 'Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.'

Outline of Luke (chapters)

Timeline up to the Gospel of Luke

Year Event
63 B.C. Romans conquer Israel.
27 B.C. Pax Romana began and lasted until 180.
4 B.C. Jesus born.
All dates after this are A.D. ["c." means "about"]
c.27 Jesus baptized.
c.30 Jesus crucified, buried, rose from the dead, and ascended to heaven.
64 Fire in Rome and Christians persecuted by EmperorNero; Peter crucified upside down and Paul beheaded.
c.67 Gospel of Mark written.
70 Temple in Jerusalem destroyed by Romans (it has not been rebuilt).
c.80 Gospels of Matthew and Luke written.
95 Christians persecuted by Emperor Domitian; Apostle John exiled on island of Patmos where he wrote Revelation.
96 Emperor Domitian died; Apostle John probably moved to Ephesus.
c.100 Apostle John died; he was the last Apostle to die.
390's NT canon "closed" at Councils of Hippo (393) and Carthage (397).
1200's Chapters added to the NT.
1500's Verses added to the NT.

©2012 Mark Nickens