(Mentioned by name 3 times in the New Testament: Col 4:14, 2 Tim 4:11, Phile 24)
Name means: "Of Light"
Occupation: "the beloved physician" (Col 4:14)
Hometown: Antioch, later moved to Philippi
No mention is made of his mother or father.
Luke was a Greek Gentile (Luke = Lucius in Greek), not "of the circumcision" (compare Col 4:11
with Col 4:14), who most believe was brought to faith in Christ by Paul, possibly at Antioch
(one of the "Grecians" who turned unto the Lord: Acts 11:19-21). After this occurred, Luke
began to accompany Paul on parts of his missionary trips.
We can see when Luke was with Paul and when he wasn't because his writing shifts from 1st
person to 3rd person (compare Acts 16:1-9 "they" with Acts 16:10-17 "we/us").
Luke was the only Gentile writer in the New Testament.
The 11 key early church fathers (i.e.Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Papias, Polycarp,
Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Origen, Eusebius)
universally agreed that Luke wrote this Gospel. They also agreed that Paul likely had
a great deal of influence on what Luke wrote.
We can see this apparent influence when we compare the wording used to describe different
events. For example:
(Mt 26:28)(Mk 14:24) say, "this is my blood of the new testament," while
(Lk 22:20)(1 Cor 11:25) say, "This cup is the new testament in my blood."
**Notice also that both Luke and Paul say this occurred "after supper" "when he had supped" while neither
Matthew nor Mark mentions this.
(Mt 26:26)(Mk 14:22) say, "Take, eat: this is my body." while
(Lk 22:19) says, "This is my body WHICH IS GIVEN FOR YOU: THIS DO IN REMEMBRANCE
(1 Cor 15:24) says, "Take, eat: this is my body, WHICH IS BROKEN FOR YOU: THIS
DO IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME."
**Neither Matthew nor Mark mentions the capitalized parts.
(Lk 4:32) / (1 Cor 2:4)
(Lk 6:36) / (2 Cor 1:3)
(Lk 10:8) / (1 Cor 10:27)
(Lk 11:41) / (Titus 1:15)
(Lk 18:1) / (2 Th 1:11)
(Lk 21:36) / (Eph 6:18)
(Lk 24:46) / (Acts 17:3)
(Lk 24:34) / (1 Cor 15:5)
Luke plainly tells us that he was not an eyewitness to anything Christ did (Lk 1:2). Aside from
Paul, Luke gathered material from many authentic sources (both verbally and written) to get a
firsthand account of what occurred, investigating "everything carefully from the beginning" and
writing it out "in consecutive order." (NASB)(Lk 1:3)
** Paul's 2nd imprisonment in Rome (app. 66-67 A.D.) was when he was murdered.
Tradition tells us (and most believe) that Luke remained unmarried all of his life and died a natural
death at the age of 84. However, Foxe says he "is supposed to have
been hanged on an olive tree by the idolatrous priests of Greece."
Three interesting facts:
Word for word, Luke wrote more of the New Testament than Paul.
Tradition says Luke may have been a painter as well, but this is far from certain.
Some believe, based on a comparison of (2 Cor 8:18) and (2 Cor 12:18)
that Titus and Luke may have been brothers. Again, this is simply conjecture.
Verses: 1151 (more verses than any book in the New Testament)
Number of parables: 28
Number of miracles: 22
Timeline: App. 38 years
Luke was the 1st of the 2 books that Luke wrote, Acts being the 2nd (Acts 1:1). It is believed that
Luke may have gathered much of the material for his Gospel during Paul's imprisonment in Caesarea
(app. 58-59 A.D.). He apparently had information from written sources (i.e. Lk 15:23-29, Lk 23:26-30),
access to records from the church in Caesarea, etc... He also would have had access to many oral
sources who were in the area at that time. Some believe he may have written his Gospel at this time,
but most believe he wrote it sometime before the end of Paul's 1st imprisonment in Rome (app. 62 A.D.).
Jesus prophesied the destruction of the Temple in (Lk 21:5-6), and that later occurred in 70 A.D. If
this had happened prior to Luke writing this book, it seems apparent he would have mentioned it.
Place Written: Uncertain, likely Rome, possibly Caesarea or Achaia.
Written To: The Greeks (Gentiles) (Specifically to Theophilus [name means
"beloved of God"] who was
a friend of Luke's, and likely a Roman official or someone of influence.)
Purpose: To create a historically accurate and chronological account of the life of Jesus Christ through
careful and thorough investigation of the facts.
There are 6 things that are emphasized more in Luke than in the other Gospels:
1. There is a stronger emphasis on prayer. The word "pray" (or a form of it) is used 32 times in Luke:
The other Gospels combined use it only 42 times.
2. There is a greater emphasis placed on the perfect "humanity" of Jesus Christ (i.e. showing His
3. Luke places more focus on women:
Elisabeth and Mary: (Lk 1:5-67)
Anna: (Lk 2:36-38)
Joanna: (Lk 8:3)(Lk 24:10)
Mary Magdalene: (Lk 8:2)(Lk 24:10)
Mary, the mother of James, plus other women: (Lk 24:10)
Mary and Martha: (Lk 10:38-42)
The widow of Nain: (Lk 7:11-17)
The sinful woman who anoints Jesus: (Lk 7:36-50)
The persistent widow: (Lk 18:1-8)
The woman with the issue of blood: (Lk 8:43-48)
The ruler's daughter who was raised from the dead: (Lk 8:40-42,49-56)
The crippled woman that Jesus healed: (Lk 13:10-17)
The woman who gave two mites: (Lk 21:1-4)
The mourning woman: (Lk 23:27-31)
The women who followed Jesus from Galilee: (Lk 23:49)
The women who anointed Jesus' body: (Lk 23:55-56-24:1-9)
4. There is more emphasis on Jesus' sympathy and compassion for children, the weak, and the poor.
5. Because Luke was a physician, he placed a great emphasis on healing. He uses the word
"heal" or a
form of it 27 times: (Lk 4:18,23,40)(Lk 5:15,17)(Lk 6:7,17-19)(Lk 7:3,7)(Lk 8:2,36,43,47)(Lk 9:2,6,11,42)(Lk 10:9)(Lk 13:14)(Lk 14:3,4)(Lk 17:15)(Lk 22:51)
This is the same number of times it is used in the other Gospels combined.
He also shows cases where Jesus healed individuals 10 times:
(Lk 4:38-39)(Lk 5:12-13)(Lk 5:18-25)(Lk 7:11-15)(Lk 8:43-48)(Lk 8:49-56)(Lk 13:10-13)(Lk 14:2-4)(Lk 17:12-14)(Lk 22:50-51).
Luke shows us where Jesus referred to Himself as a "physician" (for sinners).
** It is humorous to note two differing accounts of the woman with the issue of blood.
In (Mk 5:26) it says: She had suffered at the hands of many physicians.
She had spent all of her money on them.
She wasn't healed at all, but was even worse.
While "Luke the physician" basically says in (Lk 8:43) that her disease was incurable.
6. He emphasizes that salvation is also for the Gentiles (Lk 2:30-32)(Lk 3:6).
Luke took time to explain the location of some cities the Greeks might not be familiar with:
(Lk 1:26)(Lk 4:31)(Lk 8:26)(Lk 24:13), and also explain the meaning of some Jewish customs:
(Lk 22:1)(Lk 23:54).
It is interesting to note that the word "salvation" is used 5 times in Luke's Gospel (Lk 1:69,77)(Lk 2:30)(Lk 3:6)(Lk 19:9), but only one time in the other Gospels (Jn 4:22).
Because prophecy meant little to his Greek audience, Luke used very little:
Preceded by a messenger (Mal 3:1)(Isa 40:3)
(Lk 3:4-6)(Lk 7:27)
Ministry of the Messiah described (Isa 61:1-2)
My house shall be called the house of prayer (Isa 56:7)
The stone which the builders rejected (Ps 118:22)
**Also see: (Lk 24:25-27,44-45)
Jesus clearly proclaimed His deity a number of times in the book of Luke:
He forgave people's sins: (Lk 5:20-25)(Lk 7:47-50)
He called Himself the "Lord of the Sabbath:" (Lk 6:5)
The "evil spirits" called Jesus the "Holy One" (Lk 4:34), a name reserved for God: (1 Jn 2:20)(Ezek 39:7)(Hab 1:12)(Ps 71:22).
He was proclaimed as the "Saviour," a name also reserved for God: (1 Tim 4:10)(Jude 25)(Titus 2:10)(1 Tim 2:3).
Key things in Luke not found in the other Gospels:
About one third of what is found in Luke is not found in the other Gospels. Much of this is found in
(Lk 9:51-18:34). Because of this, there are too many key things to list them all, but some of the
more prominent ones are listed below.
Nearly all of Chapter 1, including the foretelling and birth of John the Baptist, the song (Magnificat)
of Mary, and Zacharias' prophecy.
The birth of Jesus (Lk 2:1-7), and the circumcision of Jesus (Lk 2:21).
A glimpse of Jesus' childhood (Lk 2:40-52).
The genealogy of Jesus from Adam to Joseph (which is actually Mary's lineage, but Luke didn't
list women in his genealogy). This was Jesus' "physical line" of descent, while the genealogy in
Matthew was Jesus' "royal line" of descent (Lk 3:23-38).
The commissioning of the 70 (Lk 10:1-24).
Jesus' visit with Mary and Martha (Lk 10:38-42).
Jesus' healing a woman on the Sabbath (Lk 13:10-17).
All of Chapters 14 and 15, with 15 including three of the key parables in the Bible:
The parable of the lost sheep.
The parable of the lost coin.
The parable of the lost (prodigal) son.
All of Chapters 16 and 17, with 16 including the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Lk 16:19-31),
and 17 including Jesus foretelling His second coming (Lk:22-37).
Jesus weeping over Jerusalem, and prophesying its destruction (Lk 19:41-44).
Luke has seven chief divisions:
1. The Evangelist's introduction, 1:1-4.
2. The human relationships of Jesus, 1:5-2:52.
3. The baptism, ancestry, and testing of Jesus, 3:1-4:13.
4. The ministry of the Son of man as Prophet-King in Galilee, 4:14-9:50.
5. The journey of the Son of man from Galilee to Jerusalem, 9:51-19:44.
6. The final offer of the Son of man as King to Israel, His rejection and sacrifice, 19:45-23:56.
7. The resurrection, resurrection ministry, and ascension of the Son of man, 24:1-53.
(Survey from Scofield Reference Notes [1917 ed.]: Public Domain)