The Uniqueness of Luke’s Gospel Account
The Holy Spirit has revealed four accounts of the life of Jesus Christ. These accounts, called the “Gospels” are made up of the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Each of these books describes the life of our Savior from a slightly different perspective, although all unquestionably magnify Him as the Son of God.
Luke’s account of Jesus’ life is unique from the other three in a number of ways. Consider the following themes about Jesus that are emphasized by Luke.
Jesus is the Ideal Man — With the possible exception of John, Luke stresses the humanity of Jesus more than any other writer. In this magnificent book we observe the Savior being born (2:6-7), growing in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man (2:52), being tempted (4:1-13), and physically touching a leper (5:13). It is Luke that mentions the Savior’s sweat becoming like drops of blood in Gethsemane (22:44), and it is Luke that shows Jesus eating a meal after His resurrection (24:42-43). Jesus was indeed the Son of God, but He was human at the same time. The Ideal Man lived like no human before or since — He was absolutely sinless (1 Peter 2:22).
Jesus is a Historical Man — While so many today seem to ridicule the idea of Jesus as a historical figure, Luke’s account is presented as an accurate history of what happened (Luke 1:1-4). The books of Luke and Acts (both written by Luke) demonstrate Luke as having been an excellent historian. Luke gives numerous references to governors, emperors, proconsuls, and censuses (for example, see Luke 1:5 and 2:1-3). Further, Luke’s account is full of references to hundreds of verifiable people, places, and events. The accuracy of Luke’s careful historical references lends considerable weight to his claim that Jesus of Nazareth was a real, historical person.
Jesus and Women — Luke’s Gospel account emphasizes the role of women in the life and ministry of Jesus. Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna are prominent figures in the first two chapters. Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna are mentioned as having supported Jesus financially in His ministry (Luke 8:2-3). The women in Luke are often pictured as faithful where men are not (cf. 7:36-50; 10:38-42; 24:10-12). One of the most fascinating aspects of Jesus’ ministry is that it ennobles all His disciples — men and women, slave and free, Jew and Gentile. Every human being can find nobility, respect, and appreciation in the Christian way of life.
Jesus and Prayer — Luke pictures Jesus in prayer more than any other account. Jesus prays at the beginning of His ministry (3:21) and at its close (23:46). He prays all night before selecting His apostles (6:12-16). He prays when He is exalted (9:29), and he prays when He is humiliated (23:34). The Lord prays when He is confessed (9:18-20) and before Peter denies Him (22:31-32). Jesus prays for His enemies (23:34) and He prays at mealtime (24:30). So vibrant and fervent is His prayer life that His disciples beg Him, “Lord, teach us to pray” (11:1). Oh, that more of us could be more like the Savior in our prayer lives!
Jesus is the Master Teacher — Luke contains several long discourses by Jesus. These reinforce the idea that Jesus is the Master Teacher — He caused people to learn heavenly truths through His life and ministry. One of the great statements about Jesus’ teaching ability is found in Luke 24:32: “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” —JB