This series is entitled Luke/Acts for Beginners. Lesson number one This is the introduction lesson to this series Each Gospel writer had an audience, and he had a purpose in mind when producing the gospel record that he writes These, of course, naturally influenced the way that they presented the material in each of their books For example, Matthew Matthew is writing his book with primarily Jews in mind His material is well-structured with a series of narrative descriptions of Jesus’s movements and ministry, along with a record of the various discourses that He had with different groups of people In other words, if you read through Matthew, you’ll get a narrative that’ll say: He went here, He did this, He went there, He did that And then, a long section where Matthew describes a discourse, conversations, discussions, that Jesus has with different individuals. Once that’s over, another narrative begins – He went here, He did this, he went there, He did that. Whoops, and then another discourse with the Pharisees, with the priests, with the disciples That’s Matthew’s approach Very structured, very organized Matthew’s Gospel is an apologetic Meaning, a defense. A defense effort, to prove, according to scripture, that Jesus was the Messiah spoken of and promised by the prophets in the Old Testament. So that was his point. The point he was trying to make in the entire book: Jesus is the Messiah and no other So this explains why he supports Jesus’s actions and teachings and miracles with proof texts from the prophecies about the Messiah and what the Messiah would say and do When you read Matthew, he’ll say something and he’ll say, as it was written, as it was written In other words, He did this, as it was written What the prophet said He would do, well here it is. This is where He did it. So he’s talking to the Jews He’s saying, He’s the Messiah according to the scriptures So Matthew, therefore, constructs his eyewitness record using Jewish history, and custom, genealogies. And he presents his arguments based on the fulfillment of prophecy, concerning the Jewish Messiah. If you want to know who is the Jewish Messiah, and how do you prove is the Jewish Messiah? Read Matthew. Mark, on the other hand, His gospel is the shortest and one of the early inspired books, produced somewhere 64 to 67 AD, in the New Testament Mark’s purpose was to present Jesus as the divine Son of God, based on what He did So Mark spends very little time on background information, or theological speculation. He just gets right to the point that he wants to make And, actually, in his opening verse, he introduces Jesus as the Son of God And then he goes on to describe His many miracles, to prove his point. Matthew starts, genealogies, background, you get a lot of before Jesus makes an appearance. Mark, right out of the box, okay? This is Jesus. He’s the Son of God. Let me show you why I believe that This short and direct method of presenting material appealed to the Roman mindset, not to the Jews The Roman mindset. And thus, Mark’s gospel was gentile friendly. It was uncluttered with Jewish genealogies or references to Old Testament prophets, which would have meant nothing to gentiles reading his book. They didn’t care Although Mark’s gospel is the shortest, it is the gospel record most copied from Luke uses 350 verses, taken from Mark He describes, Mark describes, the most miracles There’s a possibility of 35 miracles described in all the gospels, and the short book of Mark recounts 18 of those 35 He does this in an effort to clearly and concisely present Jesus as the Son of God. That’s his goal I have a book on Mark, and the subtitle of the book, it’s the book of Mark, and the subtitle is, The Urgent Gospel The urgent gospel. He was in a hurry to get to the point So if you’re ever teaching somebody and you’re thinking, I’d like to teach somebody, but I don’t know which gospel should I begin with

Somebody new, somebody who doesn’t have a lot of background information on Christianity I would not recommend Matthew right away, because you’d have to explain so much about Jewish history and Jewish prophecies. You’d have to explain so much to someone who’s new. I would suggest starting with Mark Because Mark gets to the point in a hurry. And it’s evangelistically friendly I mean, you could convert somebody using any of the gospels, but if you had your choice to begin, I’d say start with Mark. Follow with Matthew Then do Luke. Finish with John. But I’ll explain why later Let’s talk about John’s Gospel. We’ll gets to Luke in a minute Now John’s gospel was written when the difference between Jew and Gentile had largely disappeared. This is after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD Matthew, Mark, Luke, they all write their gospels before 70 AD John writes his gospel after 70 AD The Jews have been dispersed, the temple has been destroyed, the city has been knocked down So he’s writing from AsIa Minor, which is modern-day Turkey Where false doctrines, such as gnosticism, were challenging the claims of Christianity. And so, his purpose is to show that Jesus was both fully human and fully divine at the same time The reason for this was to counter gnostic teaching that Jesus was either not fully human or was not fully divine, but He was only part of each at different times Gnosticism, coming from the word gnosis, means knowledge People began preaching a gospel that they thought was of a higher knowledge. They were saying, Oh, don’t believe in that Jesus, the Son of God resurrection. Oh no, no, that’s much too – that’s all mysticism. We have a much higher gospel. We have a much more refined gospel to teach you. So John launches his gospel with this in mind For example, some of the gnosticism, the divine element of His being, Jesus’ being, they taught, actually descended on Him at baptism, and it left Him at the crucifixion. That’s one of the gnostic teachings So John’s purpose, therefore, was to show that Jesus was fully divine as the Son of God, and that salvation was found in Him alone He was fully Divine, fully human. Again, another book that I’ve done, the Gospel of John, the Subtitle is: Jesus: the God Man Jesus: the God Man. Because He was fully divine, fully human, at the same time John does this thing by presenting a series of events, where Jesus is displaying His divine glory, by His inspired teaching or powerful miracles. And then John describes the reaction of belief or disbelief by those who witness these things. And if you go through John, it’s a kind of, it’s a constant cycle Jesus does something, a miracle or something like that, and then John describes how people reacted to that miracle. Some believe, some disbelieve. Goes on, looks at a section of teaching that Jesus does, and then the reaction to that teaching, some believe, some disbelieve And he follows this cycle all the way through in his book So that’s John Then we get to Luke And what I’d like to do is give you a timeline for Luke, since this is the introductory lesson Give you a little context here. Where did he write this? Why did he write this? Who is Luke? Both Matthew and John were chosen apostles, and personally witnessed Jesus’s baptism, His ministry, His death, His resurrection, and His ascension to Heaven And their record reflects this Mark served as an early co-worker with Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey, but he left in order to return home before that missionary journey was complete He was then mentioned by Barnabas, mentored, rather, by his cousin Barnabas, after Paul refused to have him accompany them on the next journey The beautiful thing about the book of Acts, and we’ll get there in a couple of months, is that it’s so human. You see human beings acting like human beings It’s not some sort of mystical tour or something like that

Paul and Barnabas and Mark, young Mark They leave on the first missionary journey and they head out and they go here, they go there, and then they enter Asia Minor, where they’re really entering foreign territory – paganism It’s really getting dicey. And all of a sudden, Mark, the youngest one, whoops, he gets cold feet and says, you know, I don’t know. Maybe I’m not cut out for this mission work stuff And he turns around and he leaves them and he goes home Paul and Barnabas, they continue. Now, the thing that we know is that Mark was Barnabas’ cousin So they have a family relationship. Paul and Barnabas, they continued the first missionary journey And then, they say, you know what, we ought to go back and visit the churches that we planted. And so, they would go on a second missionary journey and Barnabas says yeah, okay great, let’s bring Mark along. Little Marky, let’s bring him along. And Paul says, no, no, no The kid was afraid to go with us. There’s no way I’m getting stranded The Bible records that Paul and Barnabas, they have this argument, disagreement, to the point where they said, okay, you go your way, you do the Lord’s work over here And I’ll go my way So Barnabas finds Mark, and he brings him along again We’ll talk about that when we go into Acts. Just the idea, it’s so human. You see human nature, right there, in front of you Now, we know that Mark was eventually restored to Paul’s good graces and eventually ended up serving as Peter the apostle’s secretary Peter’s gospel or Mark’s gospel is largely what he wrote and organized, concerning Peter’s witness and experience with Jesus as an apostle. In other words, when you’re reading Mark, what you’re reading is Peter You’re reading Peter’s experience through Mark’s eyes Well, in the same way, Luke was not one of the chosen apostles, but he came by his knowledge of the gospel and the details of Jesus’s life and teachings by association with an apostle In this case, the Apostle Paul So let’s do a, kind of, a timeline here, for Luke. In Luke’s description of an event taking place in Antioch, Acts 11:27 to 30, Luke uses grammar that suggests that he, himself, was present and describing a scene that he personally witnessed That’s how we find out a lot of information about where Luke was, because he says, Paul and I went over here, and then we did this. Well, that suggests that they were together in the same place And what Paul was doing, Luke was a witness of, because he said, we saw this, we did this, we went over here This would mean that he, himself, was a gentile convert Probably coming to Christ as a Christian or as Christians went out from Jerusalem, preaching the Gospel throughout Judea and further north an account of the persecution taking place in Jerusalem So there was a persecution in Jerusalem, the Christians that were there, that was the main center of Christianity at the beginning, they began to fan out, they began to spread out, because of persecution And they began sharing the gospel and planting churches So Luke was a convert of that original push, if you wish One of the places where a church was established was Antioch Antioch, up in the North, this is where Luke lived. He lived in Antioch. We know about that, Acts 11:19 He, Luke, is referred to as a physician and a gentile in Colossians chapter 4, verses 10 to 14 He could have received his medical training in Antioch, because there was a famous medical school located there at that time. That’s not in the Bible You have to find that in history, but when you look at the history and – you can put the pieces together So this would mean – think about that, now, this would mean that 1/4 of the New Testament was written by a gentile convert to Christianity Because, Luke wrote the gospel of Luke and he also wrote the book of Acts, two very long books, take up 1/4 of the New Testament So how does he connect with Paul? Well Luke, therefore, was a gentile convert who is a member of the first mixed congregation. Meaning, Jew and gentile, in Antioch He was converted before Paul was recruited by Barnabas to go there and teach The church was established in Antioch. Things were going on

The apostles sent Barnabas. Barnabas goes there and sees the situation Realizes whoa, we need somebody who has a gentile background. Somebody who’s got some understanding about that. Goes and finds Paul. Brings Paul to Antioch. And together they begin teaching and coaching this particular church, because it was a hybrid, it was new Never was a church – there was no congregation where gentiles and Jews were together It was a special case in Antioch. Needed special teaching. Needed special experience, if you wish So this means that he met Paul and received further teaching from him for an entire year, while Paul was in Antioch and was present when Paul and Barnabas and Mark were sent out on their first missionary journey Acts 13, right? The church lays hands on Paul and Barnabas. The spirit says, separate for me. Paul and Barnabas, they’re separated. They’re sent off on their first missionary journey from Antioch and they bring Mark with them Luke was a member of that church He received the teaching from Paul and Barnabas He knew what was going on So let’s talk about Luke’s ministry. The first glimpse that we have of Luke’s ministry with Paul occurs in Acts 16:10, where he is with Paul in Troas Where the apostle receives a vision to go preach in Greece, in Macedonia And this would be on the second missionary journey We’re talking around 49 AD here This is one of those “we” passages, where Luke’s name is not mentioned, but as the author, his presence is assumed, since he is describing events witnessed in the first person plural We saw this. We went there. We did this. Well, it means he was with Paul Luke is also present and ministering to Paul during his imprisonment, his initial imprisonment in Caesarea. After his return from his third missionary journey, where upon arrival at Jerusalem Paul is caught up in a mob and a riot in the temple. He’s arrested. He’s put in jail, 58 AD Luke was there with him More timeline: Luke also accompanies Paul on his dangerous Journey to Rome. Remember, Paul appeals to Rome for his case and the governor says, all right. You want to go to Rome to appeal your case? To rome you’ll go So he’s sent – He’s given over to a centurion He’s given over to guards and they take several ships and they make their way to Rome And we know what happens, those of you who have read Acts. They’re shipwrecked. They have all kinds of problems. Well, Luke is there with them So he accompanies Paul on this dangerous journey to Rome and trial before Caesar. We read about that in Acts 27. Now we’re in 60/62 AD and Luke remains with Paul during this first imprisonment. In Acts 28:30-31, we read about that Paul also mentions Luke one final time in Second Timothy 4:11, during his second imprisonment, awaiting his pending execution. Little bit of explanation there. First time he’s arrested in Jerusalem and through a series of trials and finds himself appealing his case in Rome Apparently he appeals this case, and he wins his freedom and He’s free for a couple of years and during that time he goes back and visits several of the churches that he had – he had planned to go on to Spain Remember? Those of you who have read Romans and Acts He wanted to go on to Spain to preach the gospel in that area, but after his first imprisonment he said, I think maybe I should go back and strengthen the churches that we’ve already planted And then a couple of years later there’s a new persecution, a new uprising He’s caught up in this once again, recognized as a serious leader of this Christianity sect The second imprisonment he’s put in jail and this time he doesn’t get out. This time he’s convicted and he is martyred in Rome. So when I’m talking about, Paul mentions Luke one final time during his second imprisonment, this is what we’re talking about Paul and Luke knew that this was the end Luke is the only remaining worker left to minister to Paul’s needs while he is in prison in Rome

While he is awaiting execution Luke’s gospel, itself. So Luke had many firsthand resources to draw from in the writing of his gospel As an early member of the church at Antioch, he was immersed in the first century preaching of the apostles and their disciples. Barnabas was there, too He was also taught by Paul for a year and accompanied him on several missionary journeys, hearing his preaching and teaching and witnessing the miracles In addition to this, he spent years interacting with the apostle Paul while he was in prison, writing his many epistles. Do you think for a moment – and again, you have to go between the lines – Luke is ministering to Paul. Paul is in Prison. Paul is writing his letters to the different churches from prison Do you think, maybe, there might have been a conversation between Luke and Paul, these co-workers, who had jointly planted these churches, who had dealt with the problems. Do you think, maybe, they might have had a conversation? I think so So Luke also had a working relationship, not only with Paul and Barnabas, but also with John Mark, who was the writer of the gospel, from Peter’s point of view In Philemon 24 and in Second Timothy 4:10, we note that both these men ministered to Paul while in prison and were present at his execution. Luke saw Paul being executed So this background prepared Luke to write under the direction of the holy spirit, of course This prepared him to write a gospel account. Which was not based on his own eyewitness of Jesus’s life, death, and burial, and resurrection, but on the eyewitness accounts of his contemporaries, among the apostles Peter and Paul, as well as the disciples of the apostles, Mark and members of the early church in Jerusalem, Barnabas So Luke states in his opening verses that his gospel is a compilation of several sources of information about Jesus, which he will carefully lay out, in order to explain and reveal the truth of the gospel concerning Jesus Christ. He makes no bones about – remember, I went through, this is what Matthew is about, this is what Mark is about, this is what John is about But in none of those gospels do the authors actually say, this is what my gospel is about. You have to read it and you have to deduce it as you read Oh, that’s what his gospel is about But Luke isn’t like that. Luke, right away, you know from the very beginning what it is he’s trying to do He sets it forth right away. So you know, you’re absolutely sure when you read Luke’s gospel, where you’re going, you know where he’s going Now, most scholars agree that when the codex book form for the New Testament was produced, codex, in those days, first century times, the books, or the writing material, was on scrolls. You know these rolled papers, but a new format, an upgrade, scrolls two came out. And it was called the Codex form. And it was the precursor to the modern book form. In other words, instead of roll papers, that were glued together and then rolled into one. You started to have paper pages that were stacked one on top of another and then glued or bound. Well, that was referred to as the codex form When the codex form for the New Testament was produced, it placed the four gospels in the order of writing. When you had a roll of paper it was one thing, but when you’ve got pages, you had to know, when does this story stop and this story begin over here So that’s when the four gospels – well, which one should go first and which one should go second and which one should go third So scholars believe it’s the order of writing, not the order of importance. And so, with this in mind, and again, when you’re speculating about when things were written, 2,000 years ago, it’s not always – you can’t get it to the month and the day, but generally, Matthew is 60 to 64 AD, Mark 64 to 66, Luke 66 to 68. And, as we say,

John, much later, after the fall of Jerusalem 80 AD The theme of Luke The theme of Luke is simple, an orderly account I will make an orderly account, a step-by-step This is what happened, and this is what happened, and then after, this is what happened. An orderly account So while other gospels have theological goals, Matthew: Jesus is the Messiah Mark: Jesus is the Divine Son of God John: Jesus is both God and man. Those are theological objectives Luke’s main theme is not to show that Jesus is God, but that the Son of God lived among man in a historical setting, in a certain time and place Whereas, Matthew went to great lengths to support his premise that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah, by providing numerous proof texts from the Old Testament prophets Luke, provides all kinds of historical markers, such as names of local Kings and Rulers, historical events, intimate interaction with disciples and friends, in order to situate the presence of Jesus, not only in human history, but in human settings as well Luke is very careful to let the reader know this happened during this time in history and also at this geographical location Because he wants to make sure that his readers know that the story of Jesus is not some myth It’s not just some sort of airy spiritual story It’s a historical thing. It happened in history That’s why he says, during the reign of this king, in this particular town, when this guy was the mayor, well, maybe not that far, but you know He sets it in history So Luke presents a well-structured narrative of Jesus’s extraordinary birth, and life, and death, and resurrection, and ascension, against the very ordinary setting of first century Jewish life, in and around the areas of Jerusalem and the region of Galilee So let’s take a look at an outline here. I’m not going to touch the text this morning We’re going to do all this preparatory stuff first, and then we’ll jump into the text next week So here’s the outline: H.R. Lensky, in his commentary, provides the simplest outline that matches Luke’s division of material So this is how Luke sets it out: the beginning, well, the beginning, his birth and the beginning of his time chapter 1:1- 3:38 Then, Jesus’s life in Galilee We don’t realize that most of the time Jesus’s ministry was taking place in Galilee, up in the north So chapter 4 all the way to the end of chapter 9, that’s all about His ministry in Galilee Then, Jesus facing Jerusalem. What this is, is Luke recounts, in order, the activity taking place as Jesus leaves the north and begins heading south, to go to Jerusalem. And it’s amazing all the things that take place on this particular journey. Because remember, they didn’t take the train, they walked 75, 80 miles And 75, 80 miles, not Jesus and two guys, and alright, okay, today we’re really going to hump it We’re going to do 9 miles today, 10 miles. No You ever see either a politician or somebody famous, and they’re walking around? What’s around them? Newspaper people, people taking pictures, people who – hey, look who’s here. So and so star. Kevin Durant A big basketball star. You think Kevin Durant could go to a mall, for example You think he could go to an outlet mall or he could go to a Quail Springs mall? Just walk around, buy himself some sneakers, and nobody pay attention? Are you kidding? Wouldn’t take five minutes to be hundreds of people around right? Well, Jesus was one of those people of that time He could go nowhere publicly, especially a year or so into His ministry. He can go – He couldn’t go anywhere without people. So it’s from the north to the south with the disciples, with the apostles, and the disciples and the crowd, and the priests, and the onlookers and the drive-by media They were going from North to South

So Jesus facing Jerusalem is the story of that trip and what takes place And then Jesus entering Jerusalem. Well, He didn’t just go in for one day, right? He’d go in and do something and then He’d stay in Bethany, and He’d go back in He’d go back Luke talks about the action that takes place when He goes to Jerusalem and then the consummation. The consummation Luke devotes only two chapters to that, but of course, it’s the passion Jesus, the suffering that He had. His trial, His death, His resurrection. All that, that’s in part number five To summarize here, Luke writes a step by step account of Jesus’s life that lays out the signs and events that preceded His birth He follows with a precise historical account of His ministry, leading up to His death and resurrection Several descriptions of His interactions with disciples after His resurrection. And he finishes with the His ascension and a brief epilogue about the apostles after Jesus ascended into Heaven All of this, in a simple, straightforward style that helps the reader imagine the Divine Son of God actually living among ordinary men at a particular time in human history So this series on Luke that I’ll be doing, will have 13 lessons Now think about that for a second. We’ve already burned one lesson today. We haven’t even touched the text yet So now we’ve got 12 lessons to cover the text. And Luke is the second longest gospel at 24 chapters Matthew has 28 So we’re not going to be able to drill down and examine every single event and teaching in Jesus’s ministry contained in Luke What I’m going to try to do, therefore, is to address everything that Luke includes in his gospel In other words, we’re going to start at chapter 1, verse 1, and we’re going to go down verse by verse But I’m going to pay special attention to those things that are only found in Luke and not in the other gospels Remember I said, Luke, he took several hundred verses out of Mark. Because Luke, he’s putting stuff together for his gospel So we’re going to, kind of, talk about, briefly, each thing that happens But I’m going to stop and go deeper into those things that are only found in Luke’s gospel, but they’re not found in Mark or Matthew So in this way, we’re going to be going through Luke’s record, section, excuse me, we’re going to be going through Luke’s record section by section with a line-by-line comment on each, but we’re going to concentrate our focus of study on the things that only Luke talks about or perhaps what he has borrowed from only perhaps one other writer and, kind of, developed a little further Hopefully, with this approach, we’re going to cover the entire book with special emphasis on Luke’s unique contribution All of this completed, Lord willing, in 13 lessons. So next week, we’re going to start. And you have reading assignments, because we don’t – normally, if I’m doing a book, a short epistle, I’ll read every single line I’ll put it up on the screen, and we’ll read every single line, and we’ll go through every single line We won’t have time to do that with Luke, so it’ll be, okay these next fifteen lines here talks about this I’ll make a few comments But I’m not going to read them, because we won’t have time to read them. I’m going to let you read them So you have homework and the homework is simply, keep up with the reading, all right? So if you’re in this class, if you choose to do this class, if you’ve done the reading, you’ll know what I’m talking about, when I make reference to it. So the first three chapters, 1:1 to chapter 3, verse 38, that’ll be the reading assignment for you. That’s it for this time. Hopefully, we’ll see you next week. God bless