Lesson 1 of5
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Summary of Luke


Beginning with angels announcing the conceptions of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ, and concluding with the resurrected Jesus being carried up into heaven, the Gospel according to Luke offers an account of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Luke presents the story of Jesus as the fulfillment of God’s promises. Jesus is Christ, the Lord, the redeemer sent by God to the people of Israel, the one who declares God’s salvation to all people. Jesus proclaims God’s reign, heals the sick, raises the dead, casts out oppressive spirits, restores people to full participation in society, and teaches his followers through vivid parables.


A main focus of Luke’s Gospel is the nature of the salvation that Jesus Christ provides. Because Jesus encounters a wide variety of people in Luke, this Gospel offers a glimpse into the different facets of salvation–its spiritual, physical, and social dimensions. Because Jesus speaks many parables in Luke, this Gospel also becomes a source for deep reflection about the nature of God’s reign and the ways of living faithfully in this world.


The Gospel according to Luke is the third book in the New Testament. It follows two books that speak about Jesus from a similar perspective, the Gospels of Matthew and Mark.


The Gospel according to Luke is anonymous, yet the author reveals in the opening verses that he was not an eyewitness of the events he describes. Christian writings from the latter half of the second century identify Luke, an associate of the Apostle Paul, as the Gospel’s author, but nothing in the Gospel itself can confirm this claim.


Like the other Gospels, Luke was written some time after Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. The best analyses conclude that it was written after Mark and Matthew, probably between 80 and 90 C.E. However, much material in Luke certainly comes from oral and written sources that had already been in circulation among Christians for some time.


Through his words, deeds, death, and resurrection, Jesus Christ, the Savior that God promised to the people of Israel, proclaims God’s good news of deliverance for all peoples.


The author of Luke wrote to reinforce a Christian audience’s confidence about what it knew concerning the good news of Jesus Christ. The Gospel of Luke aims to instruct and reassure its readers by telling the story of Jesus in an “orderly” manner, meaning that Luke’s account is arranged and narrated in a way that attempts to express Jesus’ significance. Notice, then, how Luke’s story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection makes claims about what God declares through Jesus and about God’s purposes for the world.