Luke is the third of the four gospel accounts. The author is the only gospel writer (in fact, the only New Testament writer) who is not Jewish. A statement by Paul in Colossians 4:10-14 identifies Luke as a Gentile (presumed to be Greek) and a physician.
Luke’s gospel appealed to the Greeks. The Greek concept of “gods” was that they had little to no interaction or concern for men, and when they did have interaction, it was harsh. Luke’s presentation of Jesus is that of God who has fully taken humanity upon Himself. Luke traces our Lord’s genealogy back through king David, through the patriarch Abraham, through faithful Noah, and ends with the first man, Adam (3:38). Luke provides details of the birth, infancy, and adolescence of Christ. He shows Jesus, the Son of God, eating, rejoicing, weeping, and praying, attributes which are unmistakably human. Luke’s gospel pictures a Jesus who is preoccupied with society’s outcasts, both by the company He kept at times and through various teachings which He spoke (ie. “sinners,” Zacchaeus, parable of the Good Samaritan, the prodigal son, Lazarus and the rich man, the publican and the Pharisees, etc.). Luke’s account clearly shows the Lord’s interest in the Gentiles (2:10, 32; 3:6; 4:25-27; 10:25-37; 17:16; 21:28; 24:21). Jesus did not come as a Jewish Messiah, but as the Messiah of the world.
Many of the parables in Luke’s gospel demonstrate divine compassion meeting the sinner’s faith (ie. The lost sheep carried home by the shepherd; a lost coin recovered by a woman’s diligent search, a penitent son restored by his father’s patient love, etc.). Of the 23 parables recorded in Luke’s gospel, 18 are found nowhere else in the gospels.
The writer of the third gospel also penned the book of Acts. Both books are addressed to Theophilus, which means “friend of God” (1:3; Acts 1:1). Luke stated he sought to provide an orderly and accurate account of the ministry of Christ (1:1-4).
Luke’s record of the night in which Jesus was arrested in poignant. He wrote of Jesus’ prayer in the garden, “…being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (22:44). He recorded Jesus’ compassion, even in the midst of being arrested, as He paused to heal the ear of the high priest’s servant (22:49-51). He gave added details, such as the spawning of a friendship between Pilate and Herod that day (23:12). When Jesus is on the cross, Luke records the Lord’s willingness to forgive, “Father, forgiven them, for they do not know what they do” (23:34) and His exchange with one of the thieves crucified next to Him, to whom He promised, “…today you will be with Me in Paradise” (23:43). After His resurrection, Luke records a lengthy exchange between Jesus and two disciples who were headed to Emmaus (24:13-31). And once more, the human nature of our Lord is shown when He assembled with the apostles, seeking some food to eat (24:41-43). Luke is a wonderfully detailed gospel, displaying our loving and mighty Saviour, Jesus Christ.