Gospel According to St. Luke
Luke was not one of the 12 disciples and reportedly was born in Antioch. He was a follower of St. Paul who identified him as a beloved physician in the Acts of the Apostles. St. Luke was a Gentile whose writings were addressed to the newly converted Gentile Christians. He is credited with writing the Gospel that bears his name and the Acts of the Apostles.
St. Paul identifies St. Luke in the Acts of the Apostles. He appears for the first time during St. Paul’s second trip to Philippi where St. Luke remained for several years until Paul returned from his third journey. St. Luke recounts in the Acts of the Apostles accompanying Paul to Jerusalem and remaining near him when Paul was imprisoned in Caesarea. It is around that time it is believed that he conducted the research to write the Gospel.
The gospel of Luke is the longest of the four. His account appears to be more people-centered, and he spends time giving his readers an insight into the lives of personages in the life of Jesus. It is in Luke’s account that we learn about the Annunciation, Visitation, Presentation of the Temple. It is in his gospel we first hear about Zechariah, Elizabeth, and John the Baptist. The beautiful prayers used in the Liturgy of the Hours, Magnificat, and the Canticles of Zechariah and Simeon, are found in the Gospel of Luke.
St. Luke spells out Jesus’ mission after his narrative of Jesus’ temptation in the desert. The parables of the Lost Sheep, Lost Coin, and Prodigal Son are only found in St. Luke’s Gospel. One of my favorite gospels, On the Road to Emmaus is also unique to St. Luke.
Bible scholars describe St. Luke’s gospel under a number of subtitles:
1) The Gospel of Mercy
2) The Gospel of Universal Salvation
3) The Gospel of the Poor
4) The Gospel of Absolute Renunciation
5) The Gospel of Prayer and the Holy Spirit
6) The Gospel of Joy