Exploring the New Testament
The most comprehensive of the Gospels, Luke presents an accurate account of the life of Christ as the perfect Man and Savior. The writer portrays our Lord's concern for His followers and friends and shows His tenderheartedness toward the poor, despised, and sinful. Luke also shows how Christ lived in total dependence on the Holy Spirit.
Luke wrote his Gospel to the Greeks, a cultured people. Luke, an educated Greek himself, knew his readers would be captivated by Jesus as the perfect Man, an idea prevalent in Greek mythology.
Luke shows Jesus' human side -- with feelings and a love for people, and subject to circumstances. Yet Christ also stands out in this Gospel as being fully God.
As a physician, Luke gives the most detailed description of Christ's birth and His childhood. The writer also relates the stories of outcasts such as the good Samaritan, the prodigal, and the thief on the cross. And this Gospel also records more prayers of Jesus than any of the others.
Read Luke 1:1-4. To whom was this Gospel written?
What evidence is there that the recipient of this Gospel had been given some prior instruction on Christianity?
Why did Luke write this Gospel to Theophilus?
One of Luke's great emphases is that Jesus, though He is the Christ, must nevertheless suffer and die at the hands of sinful men (Luke 2:33-35; 9:22-31; 13:31-35; 18:31-35; 24:7,25-27;44-47) Why do you think Jesus mentioned His death so many times?
Read Luke 20-24, the account of the last week leading up to Jesus' death and resurrection. What are some qualities of Jesus' character that stand out prominently in these chapters?
What qualities of character in Jesus' enemies stand out in these chapters? Why then, did men seek to have Him crucified?
How were the disciples -- and thus Theophilus and all the readers of Luke -- assured that Jesus' suffering and death occurred according to God's plan, instead of accidentally, simply because of evil men's hearts? What difference does that make to you?
Read the three parables on prayer in Luke 11:5-13; 18:1-8; and 18:9-14. What qualities of prayer are described?
Now read about some of Christ's prayers (Luke 5:16; 6:12; 9:28-29; 11:1; 22:32,44; 23:46). How did Jesus follow through on these qualities?
What elements of Jesus' prayers can you apply to make your prayers more effective?
Since Luke writes about the humanity of Jesus, list people whom Jesus touched and the results of His ministry on them.
Luke 6:17-19, 7:36-50; 8:1-3; 15:1-7; 17:11-19; 23:39-43
Where do you think Jesus would likely minister today if He were in your area?
Why do you think the women were the first to discover that Jesus was alive (Luke 23:26-27; 48-49, 55-56; 24:1-9)?
What does that mean to your faithfulness in service to the Lord?
What was the reaction of Jesus' friends after His ascension (Luke 24:50-53)?
Luke presented Christ as the Son of Man. What does this title mean to you?
Seeing the types of people Jesus ministered to, how will this affect your ministry? List several practical ways you can show the kind of compassion Jesus did.
How can Jesus' example of righteousness during suffering help you face crisis in your life?
Read I Corinthians 15:58. Considering the actions of the women during the crucifixion, name one way you can stand firm in your work for the Lord.
Adapted from The 10 Basic Steps Toward Christian Maturity, by Bill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. © Campus Crusade for Christ. All rights reserved.