Introduction to Luke
Who is Luke?
Now as we begin this study of the book of Luke. I want to do as is my custom and give an introduction to the book, so that you know a little bit about the book, it’s author and why it is important to us.
The book of Luke is actually the firs of two volumes, written by the same person, to the same person. Both this book and the book of Acts are addressed to Theophilus. who was most likely a real person, not a group of people. Scholars believe this because of the use of the term :most excellent” in his address. The other times that title is given, it is to a high ranking government official.
While the book never outright names the author, it has been widely understood that the author is in fact Luke. Church tradition has understood that to be true. It can also be seen in some of the passages in Acts that speak of “we”. Since we know that Luke was a companion of Paul, it is most likely he who was there with Paul.
So, what do we know about the man called Luke? Well, the first thing about Luke that separates him from the authors of the other three Gospel accounts is that he was not an eye witness to the events he is writing about in the life of Jesus. He even states that expressly in the introduction. We also know that Luke was a physician by profession. Col. 4:14. We also know that Luke was a close companion of Paul. He travelled with him, and is mentioned in several of Pauls letters. Colossians 4;14, 2 Tim 4;11, Philemon 24. We also know that Luke was a Loyal friend, that when others had abandoned Paul after persecution began, Luke did not. So, Luke has the intellect to do this task, but he also believes deeply in the message he is recording.
Luke most likely wrote this book sometime around AD 62.
Lets look for a little bit at the first few verses to get a better understanding of why he wrote this book, and what we hope to accomplish in studying it.
The first thing we see in his intro is that people have already started to write accounts ago what had happened with Jesus. Not just a few, but “many” have undertaken to compile narratives. So, that is informative for us as students of the Bible. why? well, it first off acknowledges that there were accounts of the life of Christ that were around as Luke was writing this. In fact, it is believed that Luke had access to Mark’s Gospel as he was writing because a lot of Luke’s book is that same as Mark’s.
So he has other documents, and he says it seemed good that he should also write an orderly account of Christ’s life for Theophilus and for us.
So we know that this is well researched and orderly.
We also see his purpose for writing in these verses as well. So that Theophilus might have certainty concerning the things that he has been taught. From this I see something that I want to encourage us all to take away from this verse.
Certainty about the things of God, is not neglecting faith. Faith and certainty go hand in hand. Its ok to keep asking questions to gain clarity on theological issues. Don’t be too quick to say, “well, you just have to have faith.” That is true, but when someone is asking deep questions, what we need to do, is be like Luke.
Tough question about matters of Faith should drive us to study.