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St. George

Alternate Lecture on: NT 600 New Testament Survey

Alternate Lecture on: NT 600 New Testament Survey

by Brother Timothy Kenney, OSM, PhD

Gospel of St. Luke

Luke, the doctor historian, presents Jesus as the perfect Son of Man who came “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Luke strongly stresses the true humanity of Christ while also declaring His deity. Some believe that Luke particularly had the Greeks in mind because of their keen interest in human philosophy.

It seems evident from Colossians 4:10-14 that Luke was a Gentile for there Paul differentiates him from the Jews. Here the apostle states that, of his fellow-workers, Aristarchus, Mark, and John were the only ones who were Jews. This suggest that Epaphras, Luke, and Demas, also mentioned in these verses, were Gentiles, not Jews. “Luke’s obvious skill with the Greek language and his phrase “their own language” in Acts 1:19 also imply that he was not Jewish.”

We know nothing about his early life or conversion except that he was not an eyewitness of the life of Jesus Christ (Luke 1:2). Though a physician by profession, he was primarily an evangelist, writing this gospel and the book of Acts and accompanying Paul in missionary work … He was with Paul at the time of the apostle’s martyrdom (2 Tim. 4:11), but of his later life we have no certain facts.

Two commonly suggested periods for dating the Gospel of Luke are: (1) A.D. 59-63, and (2) the 70s or the 80s, but the conclusion of Acts shows us that Paul was in Rome, and since Luke is the former treatise, written before Acts (Acts 1:1), the Gospel of Luke must have been written in the earlier period, around A.D. 60. However, suggesting that Luke’s Gospel received its final form in Greece and not in Rome, some have suggested A.D. 70.

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The purpose of Luke is clearly stated in the prologue of his Gospel.

1:1-4 Now many have undertaken to compile an account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, 1:2 like the accounts passed on to us by those who were eyewitnesses and servants of the word from the beginning. 1:3 So it seemed good to me as well, because I have followed all things carefully from the beginning, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 1:4 so that you may have certainty regarding the things you were taught.

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Several things need to be noticed regarding his approach to presenting the gospel:

Luke states that his own work was stimulated by the work of others (1:1), that he consulted eyewitnesses (1:2), and that he sifted and arranged the information (1:3) under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to instruct Theophilus in the historical reliability of the faith (1:4). This is a carefully researched and documented writing.

As a Gentile, Luke must have felt responsible to write his two-volume account of the life of Christ so it would be available to Gentile readers. This seems evident from the fact that Luke “translates Aramaic terms with Greek words and explains Jewish customs and geography to make his Gospel more intelligible to his original Greek readership.”

Luke, written by the “the beloved physician,” is the most comprehensive and longest of the Gospels. It presents the Savior as the Son of Man, the Perfect Man who came to seek and save the lost (19:10). In Matthew we see Jesus as Son of David, Israel’s King; in Mark we see Him as the Lord’s Servant, serving others; in Luke we see Him as the Son of Man, meeting man’s needs, a perfect man among men, chosen from men, tested among men, and supremely qualified to be the Savior and High Priest. In Matthew we see groupings of significant events, in Mark we see the snapshots of significant events, but in Luke we see more details of these events by the physician/historian.

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His Feast Day is commemorated on January 4th in the Orthodox Church.

A general outline is provided below:

I. The Prologue: The Method and Purpose of Writing (1:1-4)

1:1-1:4 --------- Dedication to Theophilus

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II. The Identification of the Son of Man with Men (1:1-4:13)

1:1-1:4 ---------- Dedication to Theophilus
1:5-1:25 -------- The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold
1:26-1:38 ------ The Birth of Jesus Foretoldd
1:39-1:45 ------ Mary Visits Elizabeth
1:46-1:56 ------ Mary's Song of Praise
1:57-1:66 ------ The Birth of John the Baptist
1:67-1:80 ------ Zechariah's Prophecy

2:1-2:7 ---------- The Birth of Jesus
2:8-2:20 -------- The Shepherds and the Angels
2:21 ------------- Jesus is Named
2:22-2:38 ------ Jesus is Presented to the Temple
2:39-2:40 ------ The Return to Nazareth
2:41-2:52 ------ The Boy Jesus in the Temple

3:1-3:20 -------- The Proclamation of John the Baptist
3:21-3:22 ------ The Baptism of Jesus
3:23-3:38 ------ The Ancestors of Jesus

4:1-4:13 -------- The Temptation of Jesus

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III. The Ministry of the Son of Man to Men (4:14-9:50)

4:14-4:15 ------ The Beginning of the Galilean Ministry
4:16-4:30 ------ The Rejection of Jesus at Nazareth
4:31-4:37 ------ The Man with an Unclean Spirit
4:38-4:41 ------ Healings at Simon's House
4:42-4:44 ------ Jesus Preaches in the Synagogues

5:1-5:11 ------- Jesus Calls the First Disciples
5:12-5:16 ------ Jesus Cleanses a Leper
5:17-5:26 ------ Jesus Heals a Paralytic
5:27-5:32 ------ Jesus Calls Levi
5:33-5:39 ------ The Question about Fasting

6:1-6:5 ---------- The Question about the Sabbath
6:6-6:11 --------- The Man with a Withered Hand
6:12-6:16 ------- Jesus Chooses the Twelve Apostles
6:17-6:19 ------- Jesus Teaches and Heals
6:20-6:26 ------- Blessings and Woes
6:27-6:36 ------- Love for Enemies
6:37-6:42 ------- Judging Others
6:43-6:45 ------- A Tree and Its Fruit
6:46-6:49 ------- The Two Foundations

7:1-7:10 -------- Jesus Heals a Centurion's Servant
7:11-7:17 ------- Jesus Raises the Widow's Son at Nain
7:18-7:35 ------- Messengers from John the Baptist
7:36-7:50 ------- A Sinful Woman Forgiven

8:1-8:3 ---------- Some Women Accompany Jesus
8:4-8:8 ---------- The Parable of the Sower
8:9-8:10 --------- The Purpose of the Parables
8:11-8:15 ------- The Parable of the Sower Explained
8:16-8:18 ------- A Lamp under a Jar
8:19-8:21 ------- The True Kindred of Jesus
8:22-8:25 ------- Jesus Calms a Storm
8:26-8:39 ------- Jesus Heals the Gerasene Dominiac
8:40-8:56 ------- A Girl Restored to Life and A Woman Healed

9:1-9:6 ----------- The Mission of the Twelve
9:7-9:9 ----------- Herod's Perplexity
9:10-9:17 -------- Feeding the Five Thousand
9:18-9:20 -------- Peter's Declaration about Jesus
9:21-9:27 -------- Jesus Foretells His Death
9:28-9:36 -------- The Transfiguration
9:37-9:43 -------- Jesus Heals a Boy with a Demon
9:43b-9:45 ------- Jesus Again Foretells His Death
9:46-9:48 -------- True Greatness
9:49-9:50 -------- Another Exorcist

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IV. The Rejection of the Son of Man by Men (9:51-19:44)

9:51-9:56 --------- A Samaritan Village Refuses to Receive Jesus
9:57-9:62 --------- Would-Be Followers of Jesus

10:1-10:12 ------- The Mission of the Seventy
10:13-10:16 ------ Woes to Unrepentant Cities
10:17-10:20 ------ The Return of the Seventy
10:21-10:24 ------ Jesus Rejoices
10:25-10:37 ------ The Parable of the Good Samaritan
10:38-10:42 ------ Jesus Visits Martha and Mary

11:1-11:4 --------- The Lord's Prayer
11:5-11:13 -------- Perseverance in Prayer
11:14-11:23 ------ Jesus and Beelzebul
11:24-11:26 ------ The Return of the Unclean Spirit
11:27-11:28 ------ True Blessedness
11:29-11:32 ------ The Sign of Jonah
11:33-11:36 ------ The Light of the Body
11:37-11:53 ------ Jesus Denounces Pharisees and Lawyers

12:1-12:3 --------- A Warning against Hypocrisy
12:4-12:12 -------- Exhortation to Fearless Confession
12:13-12:21 ------ The Parable of the Rich Fool
12:22-12:34 ------ Do Not Worry
12:35-12:40 ------ Watchful Slaves
12:41-12:48 ------ The Faithful or the Unfaithful Slave
12:49-12:53 ------ Jesus the Cause of Division
12:54-12:56 ------ Interpreting the Time
12:57-12:59 ------ Setting with Your Opponent

13:1-13:5 ---------- Repent or Perish
13:6-13:9 --------- The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree
13:10-13:17 ------ Jesus Heals a Crippled Woman
13:18-13:19 ------ The Parable of the Mustard Seed
13:20-13:21 ------ The Parable of the Yeast
13:22-13:30 ------ The Narrow Door
13:31-13:35 ------ The Lament over Jerusalem

14:1-14:6 --------- Jesus Heals the Man with Dropsy
14:7-14:14 -------- Humility and Hospitality
14:15-14:24 ------ The Parable of the Great Dinner
14:25-14:33 ------ The Cost of Discipleship
14:34-14:35 ------ About Salt

15:1-15:7 ---------- The Parable of the Lost Sheep
15:8-15:10 -------- The Parable of the Lost Coin
15:11-15:32 ------ The Parable of the Prodigal and Brother

16:1-16:13 -------- The Parable of the Dishonest Manager
16:14-16:18 ------ The law and the Kingdom of God
16:19-16:31 ------ The Rich Man and Lazarus

17:1-17:10 -------- Some Sayings of Jesus
17:11-17:19 ------ Jesus Cleanses Ten Lepers
17:20-17:37 ------ The Coming of the Kingdom

18:1-18:8 --------- The Parable of the Widow and the Unjust Judge
18:9-18:14 -------- The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
18:15-18:17 ------ Jesus Blesses Little Children
18:18-18:30 ------ The Rich Ruler
18:31-18:34 ------ A Third Time Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection
18:35-18:43 ------ Jesus Heals a Blind Beggar Near Jericho

19:1-19:10 -------- Jesus and Zacchaeus
19:11-19:27 ------ The Parable of the Ten Pounds
19:28-19:40 ------ Jesus' Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem
19:41-19:48 ------ Jesus Cleanses the Temple

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V. The Suffering of the Son of Man for Men (19:45-23:56)

19:41-19:48 ----- Jesus Cleanses the Temple

20:1-20:8 --------- The Authority of Jesus Questioned
20:9-20:19 -------- The Parable of the Wicked Tenants
20:20-20:26 ------ The Question about Paying Taxes
20:27-20:40 ------ The Question about the Resurrection
20:41-20:44 ------ The Question about David's Son
20:45-20:47 ------ Jesus Denounces the Scribes

21:1-21:4 --------- The Widow's Offering
21:5-21:6 --------- The Destruction of the Temple Foretold
21:7-21:19 -------- Signs and Persecutions
21:20-21:24 ------ The Destruction of Jerusalem Foretold
21:25-21:28 ------ The Coming of the Son of Man
21:29-21:33 ------ The Lesson of the Fig Tree
21:34-21:38 ------ Exhortation to Watch

22:1-22:6 --------- The Plot to Kill Jesus
22:7-22:13 -------- The Preparation of the Passover
22:14-22:23 ------ The Institution of the Lord's Supper
22:24-22:30 ------ The Dispute about Greatness
22:31-22:34 ------ Jesus Predicts Peter's Denial
22:35-22:38 ------ Purse, Bag, and Sword
22:39-22:46 ------ Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives
22:47-22:53 ------ The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus
22:54-22:62 ------ Peter Denies Jesus
22:63-22:65 ------ The Mocking and Beating of Jesus
22:66-22:71 ------ Jesus before the Council

23:1-23:5 --------- Jesus before Pilate
23:6-23:12 -------- Jesus before Herod
23:13-23:25 ------ Jesus Sentenced to Death
23:26-23:43 ------ The Crucifixion of Jesus
23:44-23:49 ------ The Death of Jesus
23:50-23:56 ------ The Burial of Jesus

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VI. The Authentication (by resurrection) of the Son of Man Before Men (24:1-53)

24:1-24:12 -------- The Resurrection of Jesus
24:13-24:35 ------ The Walk to Emmaus
24:36-24:49 ------ Jesus Appears to His Disciples
20:50-20:53 ------ The Ascension of Jesus

The humanity and compassion of Jesus are repeatedly stressed in Luke’s Gospel. Luke gives the most complete account of Christ’s ancestry, birth, and development. He is the ideal Son of Man who identified with the sorrow and plight of sinful man in order to carry our sorrows and offer us the priceless gift of salvation. Jesus alone fulfills the Greek ideal of human perfection.

We now turn to the Holy Gospel according to St. John in our next article.

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