Series: Best Book In the BibleEvery Christian knows the importance of reading their Bible, but many are overwhelmed with the task of devouring such a monstrous book! Often times, when Christians lose steam in their yearly reading plans, they can become frustrated and feel defeated. It is for this reason that individual book studies can be a lifesaver. In the Best Book in the Bible series, we will provide entry points into faithful study through “selling” you on why you should fall in love with the various books of the Bible.
The Gospel of Luke is one of the most beloved books, if not the most beloved Gospel, in all of Scripture. Not only does it capture Jesus Christ in all His majesty, splendor, and glory, but Luke’s attention to detail and beautiful prose make the book an absolute joy to read. As believers, anytime we encounter the Lord Jesus, we are blessed, changed, and transformed. And for those who are not yet saved, this beautiful gospel can lead a person to faith in the living God. It is not a difficult stretch to declare boldly that the Gospel According to Luke is the best book in the Bible.
Main theme: The Son of Man
Favorite verses: “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32)
“If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23)
“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10)
Overview: Although written by Luke, many have considered this to be the Unofficial Gospel According to the Apostle Paul. The disciple Luke, although not an apostle himself, was Paul’s traveling companion and would have no doubt written down the accounts relayed to him by Paul. Luke is careful to note his diligent efforts and he worked to compile the material for the Gospel (1:1-4), and while this account harmonizes beautifully with Matthew and Mark, it stands alone as its own account, filled with nuance and detail which serves to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ.
1:1—4:13. The advent of the Son of Man. Luke amasses a detailed account concerning the origins of Jesus on earth. It begins with the forerunner, John the Baptist (1:5-25), followed by the events surrounding the announcement of Messiah’s birth (1:26-56). Chapter 2 records His glorious arrival, followed by an early childhood narrative. Chapter 3 brings us to the inauguration of His ministry, followed by a detailed genealogy, solidifying His right to reign as the Son of Man; a genealogy apparently listed through His mother, Mary. The first part of chapter 4 chronicles His temptation in the wilderness.
4:14—9:50. The ministry of the Son of Man. This section of the Gospel chronicles Jesus’ Galilean ministry; a demonstration of miracles and power. Chapter 6 includes a condensed version of the Sermon on the Mount (see Matthew 5—7). It is here that we see Jesus as The Great Physician, not only healing people of their physical ailments, but of their spiritual sickness as well (note 5:31-32).
9:51—19:27. The challenge to the claims of the Son of Man. Much of this following section include Jesus’ teaching and parables. Throughout this part of the Gospel, Jesus is being confronted by the religious leaders of Israel—the Pharisees and scribes. As things heat up, He opposes their sinfulness at every step. In fact, their self-righteousness is put on display through the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15). As He presses on toward the cross, Jesus makes His mission known, that He “has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (19:10).
19:28—24:53. The condemnation and vindication of the Son of Man. As we enter the final section of the Gospel, we find ourselves in Passion Week; the last week of Jesus’ life on earth. Included in this week is the Olivet Discourse (ch. 21), The Lord’s Supper (ch. 22), His death on the cross (ch. 23), and His resurrection and post-resurrection appearances (ch. 24). Unique to Luke’s Gospel is the amazing account of Jesus’ encounter with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (24:13-35).
What Makes This Book So Great:
It’s difficult to make a case for the Gospels, not because of a lack of glory, but because of an abundance of it! There is something for everyone, and Luke is so gifted in the way he chronicles the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. Visions of our Lord nearly leap off the page! While Matthew’s Gospel was written more for the sake of making a case of Jesus’ Messiah-ship, Luke was written more the sake of the non-Jews—the Gentiles. Luke’s approach is to make the case that Jesus is God—“the Son of Man” (cf. Daniel 7:13-14)—who has come to bring salvation to all people.
The Gospel of Luke is the longest book in the New Testament, just ahead of the Book of Acts. Many scholars have made the case that Luke and Acts are two parts to the same account written by Luke. So, challenge yourself to work through Luke and perhaps jump right into Acts thereafter, in order to give yourself a fuller account of the life of Christ and the birth of the church. But with Luke, challenge yourself to read through the book several times, but study the sections diligently. Compare Luke’s narrative to Matthew’s and to Mark’s. A faithful study of the “synoptic” Gospels will give you a beautiful picture of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.
- Leon Morris, Luke. (Downers Grove: IVP, 1974).
- John MacArthur, Luke (4 vols) MNTC (Chicago: Moody, 2009-2014).
- Darrell Bock. Luke (2 vols) BECNT (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1994).
Note: Find the rest of the Best Book in the Bible series here: EntreatingFavor.com/BestBookSeries