Luke was a Gentile who came to Christ when Jews dominated Christian leadership.
He was with Paul at Troas when they crossed the sea to bring the Gospel to Greece. (Acts 16:10-17; the first of the “we” sections of Acts)
He was with Paul when he returned to Jerusalem. (Acts 20:5-21:18)
He was with Paul during his trip to Rome and his first imprisonment in the capital city. (Acts 27:1-28:16)
Two of the letters that Paul wrote from jail were to the church at Colossae and its leader, Philemon. Luke is mentioned in both of them. (Colossians 4:14; Philemon 24)
In Paul’s last letter when he asked Timothy to try to come and see him before his execution, Luke was the only one with him. (2 Timothy 4:6-22)
This was a tumultuous time for Christians.
Luke joined Paul in the years when Christianity began to take root among the Gentiles.
There was a pointed confrontation between Peter and Paul at Antioch about whether Jewish Christians could have complete fellowship with Gentile Christians. (Galatians 2:11-14).
A meeting of leaders in Jerusalem had just decided that Gentiles did not have to become Jews in order to become Christians. (Acts 15:1-35)
The Gentile Christian community would grow and become the majority after the Jewish revolts against Rome in AD 70 and 135, if not before.
When Paul was imprisoned in Caesarea before being sent to Rome, Luke had time to research his Gospel.
He was able to talk to eyewitnesses.
He may have even met Mary.
Matthew had already written a Gospel that fit the mindset of Jewish believers. He would write one from his Gentile perspective.
Luke noticed some things that the other Gospel writers did not.
As a physician he had an interest in details that the others glossed over.
When Peter drew his sword on the night of Jesus’ betrayal, Luke, the physician, recorded that he cut off the right ear of the servant. Matthew and Mark do not mention which ear. (Luke 22:50)
He was also a Gentile. When the Gospel writers recorded the ministry of John the Baptist, Luke recorded the complete prophecy of Isaiah 40:3-5. He included the words, “All flesh shall see the salvation of God.” Matthew and Mark left these words out.
The Gospel is For Everyone
Luke recorded John’s preaching and noted the different groups in the audience.
The crowds were Jewish and John suggested that they would say that they did not need to repent because they descended from Abraham.
The Tax Collectors were Jews. However, they were traitors who took money for the oppressors. Some of the money was an overcharge for them to keep.
The soldiers, if Roman, were Gentiles. If Jews, they were traitors who worked for the oppressors.
All of them asked if John’s call to repentance was for them. They were all clearly told that it was.
They were all expected to bring the fruits of repentance when they turned away from their past life to come to Messiah.
John was Messiah’s forerunner.
The gospel was really for everyone.
If you have any thoughts, please comment.
If you like this post, please share it.
If you like this blog, you can sign up in the upper right column for email delivery of new posts.