Luke, who was the writer of this book, was a doctor (Colossians 4:14). He was writing for Gentiles. [Note: A Gentile is anyone who is not a Jew]. He named Christ's family back to Adam (3:38). One of Luke's aims was to show the Lord Jesus as the perfect Man.

This Gospel was the first of two volumes. They are both about the service and the work of Christ. He is the one who overcomes. Luke, volume 1, is about the time before Pentecost. [Note: This refers to the coming of the Holy Spirit.] The second volume is the book of Acts. It is about the time after Pentecost. (Read Luke 1:1-4 and Acts 1:1-2.)

The Man, Christ Jesus, came for all people. And there is often an appeal to Gentile readers. (Read 2:10, 32; 3:6; 13:29.) God blessed Gentiles in Old Testament times (4:25-27). The message of repentance is for ‘all nations’ (24:47).

This book is Luke's record of Christ's service and work. We will study it by using seven headings:

The Child who was Unique (Chapters 1-2)

[Note: This means that there never was, and never could be, anyone else like him]

Jesus Christ's birth emphasised something. It was this. Christ was perfect Man. But he was no ordinary man. His entry into this world was unique (1:26-35). And we read about people's reactions to his birth. They are in the form of great Songs. (Read 1:46-55, 67-69; 2:13-14, 28-35). Christ had two desires when he was a child (2:46, 49.) He wanted to learn more about God's word. And he wanted to learn more about what God wanted.

The Man who Had Determination (Chapters 3-4)

There are details about what John the Baptist preached (3:1-20). Then we read about Christ's baptism (3:21-22). God's voice came from heaven. The words united two great Old Testament subjects. First, Christ was the Messiah Son. We read about him in Psalm 2:7. Second, he was also the Suffering Servant. And Isaiah spoke about him (42:1). Then there was a list of family names. The list went back to Adam, ‘the son of God’. (Notice 3:23: ‘as people thought…’)

Next, there is a story that reminds us about another time. The devil (Satan) tempted someone to do what was wrong. This time it was not in a beautiful garden (Genesis 2:15). It was in a hot, dry, empty desert. But, both times, the devil came. And he tried to cause doubt about two things. They were God's word and God's authority (Genesis 3:1). But Jesus had just the right answers. He replied ‘The Scripture says…’ (4:4, 8, 12).

The perfect Man won the battle. Then he discovered something. Yes, some people were glad to hear him (4:22). But many other people did not believe him. They opposed him as much as the devil opposed him (4:29-30). But Jesus had authority over evil spirits, which came from the devil (4:32-35). He healed sick men and women (4:38-41). And he cared about the needs of people in other places too (4:42-44).

The Leader who was Attractive (Chapters 5-9)

Jesus introduced some of his disciples to their new work. He did a miracle. They caught a great number of fish. Their boats were so full that they were almost sinking. Their usual job was to catch fish. But he told them that, now, they would fish for men. Jesus wanted to teach them some lessons. And the miracle showed them that they would not succeed without him. It showed them that they must trust him completely (5:1-11).

He led his disciples to:

  • people who must not go near other people (5:12-16)
  • people who could not do anything for themselves (5:17-26)
  • people who were not popular (5:27-32)
  • people who were not attractive (5:33-6:11).

Christ, the Leader, prayed all night before he chose his men (6:12-16). Then he spent some time teaching them (6:17-49). They had much to learn from his words and from his actions. There were a series of miracles, interviews and parables. These things showed some immense truths about:

  • authority (7:1-10)
  • power (7:11-17)
  • how to understand events. Jesus spoke about John (7:18-23). He also spoke about those who opposed him (7:24-35).
  • pity and great sympathy (7:36-50);
  • the message. It grows like seed (8:1-15). It shows like a lamp (8:16-18).

His friends obeyed him (8:19-21). Those who followed him received his peace (8:22-25).

They saw his power over:

  • mental illness (8:26-39)
  • physical illness (8:40-48)
  • death (8:49-56).

Jesus Christ, the Leader, sent out his 12 disciples on a journey. He told them ‘to tell people about God's kingdom and to heal the sick’ (9:1-9). He fed the hungry crowds (9:10-17). He taught his special group of disciples. He spoke about his cross (9:18-22). And he spoke about their cross too (9:23-37).

[Note: ‘Exodus’ was a very important word to Jews. It reminded them about how God saved them out of Egypt. Read Exodus 12:29-42.]

Then three disciples saw something very special. Christ's face changed. And his clothes became a shining white. There were two other people there also. There was Moses, who had given God's Law. Then there was Elijah, who was one of the Prophets. They were talking with Christ about his death (9:28-36). The word that the writer of Luke used was ‘exodus’.

Then there is a passage about some of the disciples’ failures. What an honest record this is!

  • They lacked power (9:40).
  • They could not understand what Christ taught them (9:45).
  • They were proud (9:46).
  • They criticised some people who were different from them (9:49).
  • They lacked love (9:54).

Some people said that they wanted to be Christ's disciples. But:

  • this response only came from their emotions (9:57-58).
  • they did not think that it was an urgent matter (9:59-60).
  • they lacked determination (9:61-62).

The Teacher who Upset People's Own Ideas (Chapters 10-14)

This section has Christ's teaching about:

  • how to tell the gospel to other people (10:1-20)
  • God's special blessings (10:21-24)
  • love (10:25-37)
  • how to choose the most important things in life (10:38-42)
  • prayer (11:1-13). Here we have the Teacher's own example. And it tells us much about prayer. Luke records many details. (Read 3:21; 5:16; 6:12; 9:18, 28; 11:1; 22:32, 41; 23:34.)
  • the Holy Spirit. Luke teaches us much about the Holy Spirit. (Read 1:35, 41, 67; 2:25-27; 3:16, 22; 4:1, 14; 10:21-24; 11:13; 12:10, 12; 24:49.)
  • In these chapters, we see Christ in various ways:
  • The strong man (11:21)
  • The one who is greater than the great king Solomon is. The one who is greater than Jonah the prophet is. (11:29-32)
  • The one who understands the hearts of people (11:33-12:3)
  • The Lord who cares for his people in this life (12:4-33)
  • The Lord who prepares his people for the next life (12:32-40)

Christ spoke again to his disciples. It was about an important matter. It was about how they were responsible to God. One day they must explain their actions to God (12:41-48). And Christ reminded them that he, too, was responsible to God (12:49-50). He urged them to repent (13:1-5). There would not always be chances to do this (13:6-9).

The people whom he healed were grateful. They praised God (13:10-13). And he made some other people think about their beliefs. They complained about him (13:14-17. Read 14:1-6 too.) And his blessings were for all who accepted his kind invitation (14:15-17). But the majority did not want to eat with him. They made silly excuses (14:18-20).

Jesus explained that it would be hard to follow him (14:25-35). It would not be an easy life. He emphasised something else too. It was an invitation of love and of free grace.

The Friend who Had Pity and Great Sympathy (Chapters 15-18)

T. W. Manson was a Christian writer. And he described this section. He called it ‘the Gospel for the outcast’. [Note: ‘Outcast’ means someone whom nobody wants to be with]. There was:

  • the bad son whom the father still loved (15:11-24).
  • the poor man who lay at the rich man's gate. He went to heaven (16:19-31).
  • the leper who had a terrible skin disease. Jesus healed 10 of them. A Samaritan was the only one who thanked Jesus (17:11-19). And the Jews hated Samaritans.
  • the taxman who went home happy. He repented and Jesus forgave him (18:9-14. Read 19:1-10 too.)

Christ was a friend to all: the wealthy ruler (18:18-30) and the person who had nothing (18:35-43).

The Son Whom People Refused to Accept (Chapters 19-23)

Jesus ‘came to find lost people and to save them’ (19:10). But this work would be very, very hard. People did not want him (19:14). Crowds sang their songs about him (19:37-40). But he wept for them. He knew what they were really like. They did not understand. They were not sincere (19:41-47). The priests and teachers of God's laws hated Jesus. And other leaders hated him too. They all wanted to arrest him and to kill him (20:1-47).

Jesus told them about the future (21:5-38). And he was brave about the present (22:1-71. Luke's account about the cross had a promise. It was for the outcast (a person whom nobody wanted to be with). There would be a better future for all who repented (23:39-43).

The Lord who Overcame (Chapter 24)

The Lord Jesus Christ became alive again. And this event clearly showed six things about people.


  • did not believe (24:11)
  • despaired (24:21)
  • did not know God's word (24:25)
  • were afraid (24:37)
  • doubted (24:38)
  • were in confusion (24:41).

But the Lord Jesus Christ:

  • taught them (24:26-27)
  • encouraged them (24:39-43)
  • sent them (24:57-48)
  • promised to give them the equipment that they would need (24:49)
  • prayed for them (24:5-53).

There was a writer called Renan. And he said that Luke is ‘a book that is full of joy’.

It ends in the same way as it began. (Compare verses 24 and 52 with 2:10.)