Today is Day 78 in our journey through the Bible in 90 days.
Have you ever read a book written by a doctor?
If you answered “no” to that question, but just finished reading the book of Luke, then you are wrong. Once you have finished the book of Luke, you’ve finished reading a book by a doctor. We know he’s a doctor from Colossians 4, where Paul calls him “the beloved physician.”
Luke also wrote the book of Acts. Both were written to a friend of his named Theophilus. We don’t know much about Theophilus, but I for one am thankful for him since he let us eavesdrop in on his letters from Dr. Luke.
Side note: if you combine the books of Luke and Acts, they contain almost half of the content of the entire New Testament! Luke is also responsible for writing more of the New Testament than any other author! If you felt like Luke took a long time to read, there’s a reason – it did! The rest will go by much faster.
Luke spells out his reason for writing his book from the very beginning…
“it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.” – Luke 1:3-4
Just by reading Luke we can learn a lot about the author. He obviously was very detailed and meticulous in his thought and writing processes. You can get a sense of that even from the fact that he started all the way at the beginning with the announcement that Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist, would be born. He then records the announcement of Jesus’ birth, and even gives us the only account of Jesus as a teenager in Luke 2. He’s very thorough, just like most doctors are.
The amazing thing about the Gospels is that, even though they’re each written about the same Man, they each provide a different viewpoint on Him and His story. It’s as though Luke is the third “camera angle” in the movie – providing a unique point of view that we don’t see with the other three.
The book of Luke is heavy on the themes of faith and grace. He loved to paint pictures of how God blessed men and women of faith and forgave by His grace. After all, as Jesus pointed out…
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” – Luke 19:10
That verse is key to understanding another main theme of Luke, which is showing Jesus as the Son of man. As I said earlier, Luke includes a lot of information about His birth, childhood, and even teenage years that are exclusive to this book. He even highlights His human feelings, His prayers, and even some of the people He knew socially.
In the very last chapter, Jesus is also called “a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people.” – Luke 24:19
That verse is proved throughout the book in that He is identified through His powerful, authoritative teaching as well as His miracles and forgiveness.
Luke 22-23 are the darkest chapters of the book, as the Satanic plot to overthrow God’s Son begins to quickly unfold. Those 2 chapters cover “passion week,” where Jesus was preparing to suffer and eventually suffering to the point of death.
Thankfully Luke doesn’t end with Luke 23! One of the last things he says in Chapter 23 is “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” – Luke 23:43
What a word of hope for not only the thief on the cross, but also to us! Jesus wasn’t dead and gone…He had after-death plans. Although the cross was a horribly tragic scene, Jesus had an after-party planned of epic proportions! It would change eternity! That is, of course, where the beautiful words of the angel come to the women at the tomb, saying…
“He is not here, but has risen.” – Luke 24:6
Those words provide the hope we need to keep pressing on. Since Jesus is alive, so is our hope, future, forgiveness, and eternity!
Luke gave a powerful presentation of the Man Jesus Christ in a way that no one else did. As you think about Jesus as a man, remember the words of Hebrews 4:15-16…
“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
He knows what we’re going through because He was one of us! God put skin on! The Creator became a creation by stepping out of the glory of heaven and descending to the suffering of earth. Now, when we pray, instead of God saying, “It looks hard down there,” He can say, “I know. I’ve been there, and I’m still with you!” What a comfort that is!