Who Was Luke?
Luke was a Greek physician, a doctor who wrote this gospel and the book of Acts. Luke was not a Jew, but was well educated in his Greek culture. He was probably not an eyewitness to the Savior’s earthly ministry but learned about Jesus from the Apostle Paul and other missionaries. He went on many missionary journeys with Paul (see Acts 16:10; 2 Timothy 4:11) and witnessed the growth of the Church among the Gentiles.
Why Was This Book Written?
Luke wrote this testimony so his friend Theophilus, probably also a Greek convert, would know the truth about Jesus Christ. Evidently there were numerous other accounts of what Jesus said and did, some true and some not true. It seems Luke had a non-Jewish audience in mind, since he gives the meaning of many Hebrew words and tells several stories of Jesus’ dealings with non-Jews.
How Is This Book Different from Matthew and Mark?
Matthew’s gospel was written to show the Jews that Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies of the promised Messiah (see the introduction to the book of Matthew on p. 9). Mark showed Jesus as the powerful Son of God who performed many miracles, the greatest being the Atonement (see the introduction to the book of Mark on p. 39). As a Gentile, Luke had a unique perspective on the gospel of Jesus Christ. Luke’s testimony is the longest of the Gospels. It contains much information not mentioned by the other gospel writers. He understood that the gospel was for all people, not just the Jews, and he emphasized that Jesus suffered and died for all of Heavenly Father’s children.
Only in Luke
The following are some of the teachings found only in Luke:
Gabriel’s visits to Zacharias and Mary (see Luke 1:5–20, 26–38)
Details of the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem (see Luke 2:1–20)
The testimonies of Simeon and Anna (see Luke 2:21–38)
The twelve-year-old Jesus at the temple (see Luke 2:40–52)
The parables found in Luke 10–19
The calling of the seventy (see Luke 10:1–16)
Christ bleeding from every pore in Gethsemane (see Luke 22:44)
Jesus telling the thief on the cross that he would be with Him in paradise (see Luke 23:39–43)