The third book of the NT (one of the four gospels), having 24 chapters. It was written about AD 60 by Luke. He was a Gentile (non-Jew) who carefully researched the evidence and recorded it in this the most comprehensive of the gospels which shows the humanity of Jesus yet acknowledging His deity when He said, “Spirit of the Lord is on me...” (Lk 1:3,4, 4:18,19). Time to read: 2 hrs 55 mins.
Key people: Jesus, disciples, Elizabeth, Mary.
Outline. Luke gives a fuller account of the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus than the other gospels, and includes Mary’s song. The early life of Jesus, His baptism and temptation are covered before commencing His ministry of preaching, teaching, healing and deliverance. Even though He ministered in power it was not all ‘giving out’. He often withdrew and prayed, receiving direction and strength (Lk 5:16). As with the other two synoptic gospels (Matthew and Mark) the training of the 12 disciples was a high priority before His death on the cross. After His resurrection the disciples understood to a greater degree what Jesus had been saying to them about what was to take place, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us while...He opened up the Scriptures” (Lk 24:32,44-49).
Main lesson. Luke’s conclusion was Christianity is not based on myths or hearsay but fact, and salvation, though Jesus, is grounded on a solid proven foundation. I’m confident of that, are you?
Key verses and thoughts: * Mary was visited by the angel who informed her she would become pregnant by the Holy Spirit for “nothing is impossible with God” (Lk 1:37). In humility she replied, “May it be to me as you have said” (Lk 1:38). On hearing the news, Elizabeth’s response was “Blessed is she who has believed what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished” (Lk 1:45). Don’t question God’s power and ability. Be sure the message is from Him, then make yourself available to His plans and co-operate to see them come to reality. Real faith always achieves and is rewarded (Lk 5:20, 7:7).
* “God has done great things for me” (Lk 1:49). Hasn’t He for all of us? How often do we acknowledge the blessings already given or do we just present more requests to Him when the last ones have been met? Jesus said, “Don’t rejoice about what you can do (through the power in my name) but that you are my children” (Lk 10:17-20). From that secure position, with persistence of prayer we should ‘ask, seek and knock’ to enforce His will on earth. God will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask (Lk 11:5-13).
* The principle of reciprocation or sowing and reaping is clearly shown in this gospel. When we judge, condemn, forgive, or give, the measure by which we do this to others is the measure by which we will receive back. What has been stored in the heart comes out (Lk 6:37,38,45). If you have, you will be given more; if you don’t have even what you think you have will be taken away (Lk 8:18). The Bible states, what we give up for the sake of Christ we will receive back in abundance, if not in this life certainly in the next (Lk 18:29,30). Be assured the Word of God doesn’t change – it is the nature of the soil (the heart condition) that determines the outcome (Lk 8:5-15).
See also: Elizabeth, foundation, gospel, Luke, Mary, sow and reap.