Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Gospel According to Luke - Introduction

The Gospel According to St. Luke
Luke presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is given to us to parts. The first is the Gospel in the proper sense. The second is that of the Acts of the Apostles, also written by St. Luke.

Luke uses historical references to contextualize and frame Jesus’s ministry, Passion and Death. Luke wants to provide a history, chronological presentation of Jesus’s life, but he also wants to delve into the deep meaning of that life and like the evangelists before him, lead his readers to a revelation of who Jesus is. 

Some argue that Luke may have been a physician because he called such by Paul in his letter to the Colossians. This would explain the emphasis that Luke places on Jesus’s healing ministry and the many episodes that Luke recounts that presents Jesus lavishly bestowing God’s mercy and healing on those who are in need.

The date of composition, based on evidence from within the Gospel, is the early 60s.  The Gospel itself is addressed to Theophilus, who may been a Roman official who bankrolled the composition. The large audience for the Gospel appears to be Gentile Christians, Jews and Samaritans through the Mediterranean world.

The Gospel is beautifully written: it is well organized and beautifully composed. The use of parables and miracles is related with language that is profound and simple and beautiful. Thematically, Luke puts the emphasis on Jesus’s healing and mercy; the universal message of salvation is predominate.

As we journey through Luke’s Gospel, let’s focus on Jesus revealing himself to us through his healing ministry and his message of salvation for all people.

An overview of the Gospel
1.     Preface (1:1-4)
2.     Infancy Narrative (1:-5-2:52)
3.     Preparations for Ministry (3:1-4:13)
4.     Galilean Ministry (4:14-9:50)
5.     Journey to Jerusalem (9:51-19:27)
6.     Passion Week Narratives (19:28-23:56)
7.     Resurrection and Ascension (24:1-53)

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