Luke: Lesson 1: Introduction
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French scholar Joseph Renan once coined the Gospel of Luke as “the most beautiful book ever written”. This was not only due to its eloquent account of the life of Jesus, but also because of its emphasis on the many encounters Jesus had with marginalized people. Women, shepherds, Samaritans, the poor, and children, all of whom were shunned by the religious establishment of the day, were transformed through Jesus’ proactive attention to their needs. While the other gospel writers also conveyed stories of Jesus healing and delivering many people, Luke’s perspective is unique. He was a Gentile doctor: an educated man who documented miraculous healings done by a Jewish rabbi. He was a traveling companion and a loyal friend of the Apostle Paul. He was the only Gentile author of Scripture and he provided the only detailed account of both the ministry of Jesus and the continued ministry of the early church (Acts). Because of these things, his works have provided credibility to the ministry of Jesus as being accessible and available to the whole world. His emphatic recitation of Jesus’ words that “the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost“(19:10) and that “repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem” (24:47) reveal a God that is actively pursuing the salvation of all people while calling all believers to join with Him in that pursuit. Will we truly follow Jesus?

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