The New Testament opens with the four Gospels: these biblical books announce the Good News to the readers, i.e. that Jesus is the Saviour of the world, the promised Messiah. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke narrate the life of Jesus, from His birth to His death and resurrection. These three books are called the synoptic Gospels, because they present the main life events of Jesus in a similar way, with a few different narrative choices. Let us discover Luke’s portrayal of the miracles and teachings of Jesus!
Contrary to the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, which only recount the events of the nativity of Jesus, the Gospel according to Luke also narrates the birth of John the Baptist, son of Elisabeth and Zachariah. There is also the story of 12 years old Jesus at the Temple, where He stayed for three days, sitting with the teachers of the law.
After being baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist, Jesus began His journey around Galilee to proclaim the Kingdom of God. He preached to the crowds, healed the sick and exorcised demoniacs. Word of His miracles spread throughout the city and beyond.
“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.” (Luke 10: 1). Jesus and His disciples visited town after town to teach and heal the local people.
The Gospel of Luke also narrates the triumphant arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem, as well as His ministry in the city, and the many exploits he accomplished there (miracles, healings, etc.)
From chapter 23 on, the events which preceded and followed the death of Jesus on the cross are recounted, such as: the agony in the garden, Jesus’ arrest, crucifixion and resurrection, The Gospel of Luke also narrates the trial of Jesus before Herod’s court. The book ends with Jesus’ instruction to wait for God’s promise: the Holy Spirit.
Luke is the author of both the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. According to many historians, Luke was a Greek physician, and a great disciple and friend of Paul.
Luke the Evangelist’s Gospel is also known as the “Gospel of Mercy''. It presented Jesus as the Son of Man: Luke’s narration of the story of Jesus focuses on the Lord’s kindness and compassion, through stories such as the parable of the prodigal son or the episode of the penitent thief. The Book of Luke also highlights the importance Jesus gave to prayer and the Holy Spirit.
Both the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles were addressed to Theophilus, either a friend of the Apostle or a symbol representing every Christian, because Theophilus means “friend of God.” The Gospel of Luke was written around 70 A.D., and it was primarily geared towards the Gentiles, Christians from Asia Minor and Greece. Indeed, in the early days of the Church, there was some conflict and division between Judeo-Christians and Christians of Pagan origins. Luke’s mission was to restore harmony in the Church of Christ by reminding us that He is the Saviour of the World, no matter where we come from.
“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” (Luke 10: 19)
“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11: 13)
“So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” (Luke 15: 20-24)
“One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him; and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17: 15-19)
“And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18: 7-8)