September 4, 2019

Luke

By: Larry Shaffer

Introduction 

The physician, the scholar, the servant! 

We are going to spend some time on the life of Jesus. I’ve been reading, studying, and reflecting on Jesus for about 50 years. I still haven’t come even close to plumbing the depth of his Life; His words and the depth, breadth, and length of His person.  

The study of the wonder of Jesus is before us. 

Jesus is everywhere in the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation. But God was kind to give us four distinct pictures of the earthly life of Jesus to begin the New Testament; Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They certainly have similarities, but they are distinct as well. 

Luke is titled after the author of the gospel. A book has more interest for us when we know the author personally. Let’s get to know Luke just a little bit. 

Who is Luke? 

We don’t know a lot about him, but what we do know is that he was a Godly servant of God. God used him to write a substantial part of the New Testament as well as travel with Paul as his physician and servant. 

Also, He was educated and skilled in research and literature, which is reflected in his writing. Additionally, he was educated as a physician. We can observe from the book of Acts that he had a servant’s heart. Of all his skills and talents, his heart to serve stands above all else. 

In his extensive narrative throughout Acts, he writes very little about himself. Even though he was well educated and most likely from a family of means, he humbled himself and took on the role of a servant to the apostle Paul and a servant of God as a researcher and writing of holy scripture.  

God’s gift to Paul 

What I love about Luke is that God created him to be the perfect comrade and ministry partner for the Apostle Paul. Consider this: 

  • Luke was a physician; as such, he was there for Paul during the physically demanding missionary treks, and treacherous journey’s over the challenging Galilean terrain. Cuts, bites, bruises, sprains, broken bones, dehydration, etc., were surely part of Paul’s daily experiences. Not to mention the abuse of his enemies including flogging and beatings. Paul needed a full-time doctor nearby in order to heal and mend and continue his ministry. God was so kind to provide a physician with a servant’s heart to be close to Paul during his adventurous and dangerous life of ministry. 
  • Luke was a skilled researcher and writer. This is evident from his writing. God gave Paul a partner, skilled in literature to document Paul’s life and teaching. What a blessing to Paul and even more to us. 
  • Luke was a servant. He clearly didn’t have an ego issue. He seemed well-pleased to exist in the background, serving Paul and us; writing much about God’s work while writing very, very little about himself or his own needs. God was kind to give Paul a servant-physician AND servant-literary scholar to be his trusted and loyal ministry partner.  

Luke was surely smart, faithful, kind, loyal, trustworthy, and tough as nails! He had to be tough to keep up the travel schedule that Paul traversed in his journeys.  

A book is always more meaningful when one knows the author: meet Luke. Luke is the author of the gospel before us. 

Father, we are excited about studying the life of Your Son through the words of Luke, Inspired by You. What a gift You have given us in Your Word. May we read, reflect, and write under Your care and guidance so that we might walk closely with You! Amen!