The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.
What was the purpose of Luke’s gospel? If you have ever tried to publish a book, you know one thing the publisher wants to know is: What makes your book different than all the other books out there? Just imagine Dr. Luke was going to submit his account of Jesus’s life for publication. A publisher would want to know, “Well now, Luke, we’ve got Matthew, Mark, and John. Why do we need another account of the life of Jesus Christ?” Here is what makes Luke’s gospel unique. Matthew wrote to the Jews to say Jesus fulfills all the Messianic promises. Mark’s gospel reads more like a newspaper than it does a book. John’s gospel is built around seven miracles to show Jesus was the Son of God. But Luke is the most detailed gospel. It contains information about Jesus’s life, teachings, and ministry that none of the other gospels includes.
There are three unique themes in the gospel of Luke. First, Luke emphasizes the humanity of Jesus. Matthew has as his theme the Messiahship of Jesus. Mark emphasizes the servanthood of Jesus Christ. John emphasizes the deity of Jesus Christ. But Luke talks about the humanity of Jesus Christ. Luke shows that Jesus was fully God, but He was also fully man. We call this the hypostatic union. The hypostatic union simply says that Jesus isn’t half God and half man; He’s 100 percent God and He’s 100 percent man without the sin problem.
Luke emphasizes the humanity of Christ in his opening account of Jesus’s birth. Luke gives us the most detailed account of the birth of Jesus Christ. Wouldn’t you expect that from a doctor? And it’s only in Luke’s gospel that we find the stories of Jesus’s dedication in the temple and His experience as a 12-year-old when He amazed the teachers of the temple. Dr. Luke gives us the most detailed description of the physical suffering Jesus experienced on the cross. As you read that you can almost hear the clanging of the hammer as it drove those spikes into Jesus’s arms and His feet. That’s what you find in Luke–the humanity of Christ.
A second theme in the gospel of Luke is the program of God. As you read through Jesus’s life you realize nothing happened by coincidence. Jesus’s death wasn’t some horrible accident or tragedy; it was part of God’s plan. Now remember this was written to Gentiles. A natural question Gentiles had was: If Jesus really is the long-awaited Messiah, why didn’t His own people accept Him? Luke goes to pains in his gospel to show how Israel’s rejection of Jesus was a part of God’s plan to bring about salvation for Gentiles.
The third theme in Luke is the perseverance of Christians. Now, Luke is not about how to be saved, it’s about how to live after we are saved. Over and over again in the gospel of Luke, Jesus explains that a true disciple is not somebody who intellectually believes the right things about Him–it is someone who follows Him, who imitates His life.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Reigniting Your Passion for Christ” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.