LUKE -Physician, Disciple and Historian-
In A.D. 58, Doctor Luke wrote the longest book in the New Testament, called by his name. As a highly educated man, he writes a careful historical account of The Life of Jesus and continues with the history of the early church in the Book of Acts, writing about the greatest events in history.
Luke was concerned with the authentic story of Christ and the accuracy of His life. He interviewed all eyewitnesses, and included his own observations. Luke records the historic facts for the Greek and all gentile community (non-Jewish). Being a medical doctor, and a man of science, he reported the medical terms of illnesses that people had and were miraculously healed by Jesus in The Gospel of Luke and the Power of The Holy Spirit in Acts.
Luke was requested to authenticate the story of the life of Jesus and what followed after his death, but he also had a personal interest for he was a Christian, so he was interested physically, being a doctor, as well as spiritually. He gave an orderly account of different healings of people than any other books. He sought out many different people for private interviews. He personally investigated each report and heard testimonies from eyewitnesses, and chronicles accounts of God's work he saw himself, and the sermons of the early preachers he had heard.
Luke was not an apostle but he was a Christian, a man full of compassion for he took note of how Christ cared about the people and the way Jesus would treat them. As a physician, he noticed these extra details. He wrote about Jesus' relationships, socially with all people, whether wealthy or poor.
Luke places much strength on Jesus being God-man and The Holy Spirit's Power. Luke gave more detail of a woman's role, about the women around Jesus and he continually mentioned how the Gentiles were included in God's Love, Mercy and Grace.
There is a thorough reporting of Christian happenings in Judea and further afield, and the growing awareness of Christianity written by him in approximately A.D. 67.
Luke wrote in Greek, not because it was his native tongue but because it was a common language which every one spoke, Luke explains that Christians were known as people of The Way ( two explanations were, Christians traveled the road from Jerusalem which was called the Way and of Jesus being The way to God for Salvation and not by the old Jewish Law).
Luke records that there was no governmental opposition to the growth of the Church, in fact there was ample protection from religious persecution for over 30 years. There was considerable religious freedom within the Roman Empire. The Christians never gave the empire any rebelliousness that the Judean religion did. The Jews, who practiced Judaism, caused all Jews to be expelled from the City of Rome, for Jewish Judaism Traditionalists caused riots by opposing Christianity.
It is ironic that the Jewish Religious Leaders who had Jesus killed, from their point of view, so that they could keep continue in their positions without upsetting the Roman Empire, yet it was they who kept on upsetting the Roman Officials with their outbursts about Christianity. In 70 A.D. Roman Military was ordered to demolish Jerusalem to stop the continuous rebellion, as predicted by Jesus.
Luke was a careful historian and made the Book of Acts exciting to read, recording the growth of The Body of Christ(the church). The Christian owes much to Luke's information given as the progress was document very methodical. Both Books that he wrote were addressed to the same person and were also meant for all people who followed Christ and who were aware of the New Covenant from God, which now included the non Jews.
Luke himself was not Jewish, he was Greek by birth, well educated in the Greek culture. He was a Medical Practitioner by profession and a much beloved traveling companion of Paul and his friends. He stayed with Paul throughout Paul's 2nd missionary trip till the time of imprisonment at Rome. Luke was a loyal friend of Paul, as many friends deserted Paul because of his imprisonment for the sake of the Gospel.
Luke's home town may have been Antioch, because of his high education. He had an extensive vocabulary which is the mark of a well educated person.
The Doctor desperately wanted others to understand the way of salvation, through Christ. He had recognized God's plan included both non-jews and Jews together. Luke sticks to the historical facts. He wanted to convey as much as he could, not only to the person who commissioned him to seek out the truth, but also to fellow non-jewish readers, about the facts and the places of God's working.
Doctor Luke is the only non-Jewish writer in the New Testament. The prophecies in the Old Testament that refer to non-Jews, Luke was quick to review. He also wrote the most comprehensive Gospel, which emphasizes prayer, personal relationships with Jesus, prominent places for women. Luke describes how God's son entered human history. He gives the most detailed account of Jesus' birth of all the New Testament writers.
Paul deeply appreciated Luke's skill and faithfulness. As a medical doctor, when the gospel was not well -received by individuals and Jewish peoples in other lands, he would have been very much needed at the times the Teachers of Christ were stoned and whipped.
As a new Testament writer Luke is the only one who tells us the continuation of the disciples lives after the death of Christ, and how preachers and teachers went abroad following the command of Christ. He writes information about, Peter, John, Stephen the martyr, Philip and others, but especially about Paul, his travels and those who traveled with him as his helpers. Luke saw and understood the immensity of God's Love and of His mercy. He also had a desire that well-educated people should know about Christ, especially those among the Greek community.
Luke was not the first to record Jesus' life, many had written before him to the Jews, about Christ's life, and Luke himself saw God working a great plan in the affairs of men. He became a constant eyewitness and followed things closely for the gentile people to know about the happenings after the resurrection of Christ. He records more parables and events in Jesus' life than the other gospels, and a good variety of Christ's teachings. He was thorough in his recording history, with a great emphasis on dates and detail. Although being a trained physician, and a very well educated man, he was a humble and faithful person, and his writings are very reliable documents.
Luke aimed to present an accurate account of the life of Christ, and to present Him as the Truth, Perfect man and Perfect saviour. Luke's writings affirm Christ's divinity.
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Managed by Stefan Kreslin,Last updated 20 April 1997