On November 1st I began a series of sermons on the Gospel according to Luke. Of the four Gospels in the New Testament, this is the third to have been written and the longest. It is also the only Gospel to have a sequel: the Acts of the Apostles. With just these two books, Luke has written more of the New Testament than anyone else!
Why did Luke write this Gospel? First of all, it was to strengthen and confirm the faith of the early Christians: “that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.” (Luke 1:4)
Secondly, Luke wanted to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ: “the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)
And thirdly, Luke wrote this Gospel to insure that we realize that Jesus is for all people: “my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” (Luke 2: 30-32)
Luke‘s Gospel has several themes – here are just three:
The Fulfillment of God’s Promises: “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” (Luke 24: 46-47)
Salvation in Christ: “all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” (Luke 2:6) And,
Love for Sinners: “the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, ‘Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?’ And Jesus answered them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the
righteous but sinners to repentance.’ ” (Luke 5: 30-32)
James R. Edwards, who recently wrote a commentary on this book, says: “Luke understands Jesus of Nazareth to be the incarnation of the eternal God within human history, who was sent in fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel, and that his death as the righteous Servant of God effects the salvation of both Jews and Gentiles, to which the church bears saving witness.”
Please join us on Sunday mornings as we learn from this exciting and encouraging book!