Term 2 – Week 1
Big Idea – Luke collected the evidence so we can be sure
- Growing in assurance in Luke’s gospel – a carefully collected account of Jesus’ life – so that we can be certain about what we teach.
- Belief – believe that Luke was written so we can be sure – what Luke wrote really did happen!
- Behaviour – get excited about looking at Luke’s gospel this term and learning about what really happened!
Welcome to the Gospel According to Luke. We know that Luke is the first volume of which Acts is the second volume; both are addressed to Theophilus with the intention of charting what Jesus ‘began’ to do, and implied continues to do, through the early church (Acts 1:1). For that reason we will study the second volume of Luke-Acts next term! The combined length of Luke-Acts means that Luke contributed the most in volume to the writings of the New Testament. Luke itself is the largest book in the whole New Testament (by number of verses).
The first four verses of Luke contain an editorial note from the author about the purpose behind the gospel Luke has written. But what do we know about the author? We know from Acts 16-27, where Luke regularly uses we’ in his narration to suggest his personal presence in the account, that Luke was a travelling partner and friend of the Apostle Paul in his missionary journeys throughout ancient Turkey and southern Europe. This is confirmed by Paul’s reference to Luke in Colossians 4:14, ’our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings’. Luke is a doctor, a physician, professionally dealing with the business of healing. His attention turns from his occupation with the physical ‘saving’ of others to the salvation of the world found in Jesus.
We can suggest that Luke was a Gentile. Firstly, but not conclusively, his name is of Greek origin. rather than the Jewish names we see throughout the Bible. Secondly, his writings seem less preoccupied with the law and the fulfilment of the law as with the implications of the fulfilment of the OT in the salvation of the world.
This editorial note at the beginning of the gospel suggests at the importance of certainty. Luke sees the importance in v.1 of the things ‘that have been fulfilled among us,’ such that many have tried to write accounts of what happened.Luke sees in his own experience and forensic investigations an opportunity to provide clarity through an ‘orderly’ account of events, with the explicit point of certainty.
We need to be sure of what happened and what we teach, so we are not confused or mistaken. Luke seeks to provide such clarity in his gospel. So we can pray that we are excited in our groups to know with certainty, in the forensically recorded eye-witness accounts, collected by a companion of Paul, the salvation of the world announced and achieved by Jesus Christ.
‘my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel’
It’s a Light and a Hammer – Awesome Cutlery
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