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Luke

General

The Gospel of Luke is a comprehensive account of what happened concerning the coming of Christ into this world. The author first carefully examined everything and then recorded his findings "in regular order" (ch. 1:3). This gospel, together with the book of Acts, forms a diptych; a completed historical account of the coming of the King of Israel up to and including Israel's final rejection of the King and His kingdom. This account provides a clear picture of how it came to be that the Lord revealed His hidden plan regarding the body of Christ.

Author and genesis

Although his name does not appear in this gospel, it is generally accepted that Luke is the writer. His (Latin) name means, "Light" or "luminous" and appears only three times in the Bible: Colossians 4:14; 2 Timothy 4:11 and Filemon 24.

From the first text it is clear that Luke was a "physician"; an educated man, which is also evident from the fact that he addresses both the gospel and the book of Acts to Teophilus, who in Luke 1:3 is called "highedele Teophilus." This hoogedele is the translation of the Greek kratiste (from kratistos). This title of address is further used for the governors Felix and Festus (Acts 23:26 and 26:25). This says something about the "circles" in which Luke found himself.

Filemon 24 mentions that Luke was a "fellow worker" of Paul. Colossians and Filemon were written from Paul's imprisonment (mentioned in Acts 28:16 and 30). After the apostle was free again, he was imprisoned again in Rome after a few years. Then he wrote the 2nd Timothy letter and there Luke is again mentioned as Paul's companion (ch. 4:11). This mention also points to Luke's faithfulness; Paul writes, "Only Luke is still with me." That Acts from chapter 16:10 onward is written primarily in the "we" form shows that Luke hung out with Paul for a long time.

The whole of Colossians 4:10-14 further shows that Luke was not a believer from the Jewish people, because Aristarchus, Mark and Jesus called Justus are there called "the only ones from among the circumcised, who are my co-workers for the kingdom of God" (v. 11).

Purpose and destiny

It is more or less obvious that the Holy Spirit used precisely the physician Luke to describe the Savior as the "Son of Man. Note that the expression is not 'Son of Man' (with 'man' in the plural), but 'Son of Man'; that is, Son of Man. This establishes us with Adam, which means 'man'. Christ is the Son of Man, or in other words: the Son of Adam. See also the genealogy in Luke 3:23-38, which goes all the way back to Adam! In the Bible, "son" is the designation of an heir. Christ is the heir of Adam. The task given to the first man, namely, to subdue the earth, will be accomplished by the second man (that is, the risen Lord). In addition to being called "the second man" (that is, He is in His resurrection) (1 Cor. 15:47), He is also the "last man" (1 Cor. 15:45). When He was on earth as a human being, in His dying the human race was concluded from the first human being. That is why we also read, "So they all died" (2 Cor. 5:15).

Of course, the fact that Luke wrote to Teophilus does not mean that anyone else has nothing else to look to in his writings. This is nicely expressed in the name "Teophilus. Its meaning is: 'Lover / friend of God'. Precisely because of his origins and his close friendship with Paul, Luke's writings have much to say to us in our time. 

Structure

A. 1:1-2:52 What happened before the ministry of the Lord Jesus (the descent)
B. 3:1-20 The forerunner (John the Baptist)
C. 3:21-38 The baptism with water
D. 4:1-14a The temptation in the wilderness
E. 4:14b-5:11 The kingdom
F. 5:12-9:21 The King
F. 9:22-18:43 The King
E. 19:1-22:38 The Kingdom
D. 22:39-46 The battle in the garden
C. 22:47-24:12 The baptism into death (death, burial, and resurrection)
B. 24:13-49 The successors
A. 24:50-53 What happened after the ministry of the Lord Jesus (the ascension)

Contents

Also of this gospel the core message concerns the kingdom. This begins with chapter 4:14bff with the proxy that the Lord brings forward from the book of Isaiah. In chapter 22:38 we find the conclusion of this message in the celebration of the meal.

Some key texts

"... that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins ..." (ch. 5:24) and
"... the Son of Man had to be delivered into the hands of sinful men and crucified and rise again the third day" (ch. 24:7).