The Gospel of Luke - Overview & Chapter 1

What do we know about the Gospel of Luke?
What do we know about Luke?

Is it important to read this gospel?
Is it important to believe this writer?

Before I start into those questions I thought I should do a quick overview of the Gospel of Luke and the person of Luke Himself.

You will often hear that John's Gospel is the one written around Love but what is Luke's Gospel written around or why was it written or from what aspect because of the person of Luke.

Let's Start With Luke

Who Was Luke?

Author of The Gospel of Luke and The Book of Acts

Also known as Luke the Evangelist, not an eye-witness to the life of Jesus but was a travelling companion of Paul.

He was a doctor and a church historian.

Why Did He Write This Gospel?

Luke said himself in Luke 1 v 3-4
Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, 
 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, 
 it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus,
 that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.

So from that we know he wanted to have an "orderly account" of the life of Jesus so that Theophilus and presumably others would be sure of what they had been told.

How Was He Able To Write it?

He travelled with Paul (as is clear from the Book of Acts)  so would have met many of the Apostles, Disciples and others who had first hand knowledge of Jesus.

He was well educated so would have been able to write down the stories he heard from others.

He was a doctor so would have had an organised manner of recording information.

If you want to know some more about Luke you can go to
or look at some commentaries.

What do we know about Luke and the Gospel he wrote for us?

Now Let's Look Briefly at an Overview of 

The Gospel of Luke

It is the longest Gospel.

It is the longest book in the New Testament.

An account of the Life of Christ set out in chronological order.

It gives us the details of the Life of Jesus.

This Gospel shows Jesus as the seeking Saviour of all people as seen in Luke ch.2 v 30-32

For my eyes have seen Your salvation

Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,

 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.

You can get more of an overview of the Gospel of Luke at

Let's look at the First Chapter of Luke.

Introduction  v. 1-4:

This has also been considered above in the section Why Did He Write This Gospel? 

It is a kind of dedication or greeting to Theophilus who was the person he also wrote the Book of Acts to as is clear in the first few verses of Acts Ch. 1

Again as in my series on the Book of Acts  I have to say that if I had skimmed over this introduction too I would have missed out on something - the fact that Luke wanted to have things written down methodically as I appreciate that type of mind.

The rest of the chapter is divided into 6 sections.

John the Baptist's Birth Foretold  v. 5-25:

Here we get the lineage of both Zacharias and Elizabeth and of course we know from later in the chapter that Mary and Elizabeth were cousins so this gives us part of the lineage of Mary as well.
Zacharias was a priest so that meant he was a levite and Elizabeth is described as a descendent of Aaron hence also a levite.

verse 6 has to be the verse that stands out here

And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

What person today could ever dare to hope that this would be a statement made about them?

Then in verse 13 there is the glorious, precious message from the angel who appears to Zacharias

Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife  Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.

What person today could ever dare to hope that God would answer a heartfelt prayer in such a way as this?

Not only is the prayer answered but detail and praise and honour is given to the son they are to have.

The angel gives his name to show the importance of this message and the authority he has.
Gabriel is an Archangel and was the one who appeared to Daniel in the Old Testament which would have been something a Levite like Zacharias would have know.
Imagine the impact of this revelation - Zacharias was probably sorry he had questioned how the message God had sent would be able to come to pass because of the awe and fear he would have had hearing this was Gabriel but also made confident in what he had heard because the messenger was Gabriel.   
Some people acknowledge Gabriel as the guardian angel of Israel and hence would probably believe this message from him could only benefit and bring good to God's people.

Jesus' Birth Foretold  v. 26-38:

Again we have the archangel Gabriel coming with special news.
It seems only right that it would be Gabriel as this is the greatest news to be told that Jesus the Son of God is to be born, the Saviour of the World is to become flesh.

Mary's lineage is not specifically mentioned but implied by her relationship to Elizabeth.
However Joseph's lineage is mentioned and that is important because he is of the line of David.

The baby's name is given and this baby to be is to have the throne of King David but His reign shall never end.

Mary then asks a question which could seem to be in the same way as Zacharias asked his question of Gabriel but the reaction of Gabriel is different here.  Zacharias had asked his out of unbelief so there was a consequence from that but Mary's must not have been from unbelief so perhaps hers was more of a simple how because she may have seen it as impossible but she believed the angel's words.
It looks like she asked for information not out of unbelief as is shown in her last words back to Gabriel in verse 38

Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

We can learn from Mary and Zacharias here that our acceptance, attitude and reactions are important when we hear God's Word.

Mary's Visit to Elizabeth  v. 39-45:

When Mary went to visit Elizabeth we have no account of Mary telling Elizabeth of her encounter with Gabriel.
We simply read about John leaping in the womb as Mary greets her.
But no words were needed to be spoken by Mary because the Holy Spirit was at work and gave the knowledge of the full situation to Elizabeth.
Elizabeth speaks words of blessing and is humbled by the fact that her Lord is there even though He was not yet born and she finishes with the words of verse 45 

Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fullfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.

which back up the fact that Mary had previously not spoken out of unbelief when Gabriel had appeared to her.

I think that verse 37 is actually the verse of this chapter that could almost sum it all up

because throughout the chapter there were so many things that could have been unbelievable and impossible in our eyes but not with God.

The Magnificat  v. 46-56:

Here we have the words Mary spoke obviously inspired by the Holy Spirit because true worship in our hearts is always inspired by the Spirit.

She starts in praise to God from herself about the blessings she has received and continues on to end with the blessing God has been to all the people of Israel.

Perhaps this blessing or song of the Lord (whichever way people see it) is not remembered often enough today.

The Birth of John v. 57-66:

Obviously Zacharias had been able to relay to Elizabeth the name their son should have and she was not swayed by what family or others would think but believed the name was from God as well as the baby himself.

When Zacharias wrote out the name John he was able to speak again and the first thing he did was to praise God.

Such an impression was made by this that people were talking to others about it and it truly was received as a sign as to the importance of this child.

Our acceptance, attitude and reactions are important when we hear God's Word.

Zacharias' Prophecy v. 67-80:

Again we see the work of the Holy Spirit as Zacharias prophesied.

Firstly in praise of God and then secondly to speak to the baby to foretell the role John was to play in the Salvation of souls, by the preparing of the hearts of the people for the Saviour to come and stressing the role in bringing peace.

In my blog post for the First Day in the Book of Acts  I made the following statement

We have a lot to learn from Luke.

then I also stated

And we have a lot to be thankful to Luke for.

followed by

Makes you think even before you start reading the story.

Today here starting the Gospel of Luke I have to agree with the first and second statements because we do have a lot to learn from Luke as we have already seen in this first chapter.

Because the details we have here are not all brought to us in the other 3 Gospels.

However I would like to slightly change my third statement to read as follows

Makes you think as soon as you start reading the story.

Makes you think as soon as you start reading the story

Sunday Scripture - Ephesians 4 v 2

Sunday Scripture is just simply a thought or two on a Bible verse that may have struck me afresh or maybe for the first time or has always been special to me.

Today I am looking at Ephesians 4 v 2

 Today's verse talks about





                                                   and love.

Such a lot of virtues to think on and try to put into action.

Can we do this by ourselves?

I don't think so.

I believe we need God's help to provide the lowliness, meekness, longsuffering, and love in our lives because they are not part of our human nature.

With His help we will be able to love others more like He loves them.

With His help we will come to the point where we will be able to

forbear one another in love

because that means to be patient with one another, have self-control in situations with each other, show restraint and tolerance in words and actions which is only possible through truly loving someone.

As always I like to make sure we are taking this verse in context so let's read the first 6 verses of this chapter

I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

From this we can see that the theme here is unity, there should be no strife, no aggression, no impatience, etc. as we walk in the Spirit together and it is all because of love, the love that we all have received and the love which we are called to show to others - His love flowing through us.

It's Holiday time

          and the gardens are blooming

                    so I chose a flower to focus on

                                 when I was making a graphic for today's verse

Have you ever decided to ask God to help you grow these virtues in your life by the work of 
the Holy Spirit?

Have you ever decided to ask God to help you love others as He loves them?

This is an action on our part that God has told us we must do


we really need God's help because we cannot love others without it,

and we certainly cannot stand by them through everything without it.

Let's think on this as we go through this week.


Ruth & Boaz 2 - Love & Perfection?

What do we look for in Love?

What do we look for in Love?

Can anyone really answer that question?

Perhaps we can look at this question instead.

What do we look for in a husband?

If you have not read the first part of the story of Ruth & Boaz please click through HERE and then come back to continue with this second part.

What do we look for in a husband?

Undoubtedly we will first think of


Then perhaps our next thought might be

Safety  - there is definitely nothing wrong with us expecting to feel safe in all our married life

Companionship   -  after 40 years will he still be worth living with?

Self worth     -   will he understand our feelings and be willing to listen to us?

Contentment   -   I think we all yearn for a genuine happiness to be with him wherever and in whatever period of our lives that may be

Dependability/reliability   -   Will he be there when we need him "in sickness & in health", financial difficulties or just any situation big or small that matters to us?

Trust   -   can he be trusted in anything big or small, personal or public, does he stand on the truth?

Let me give you an example to show the great importance of TRUST.
Some years ago we were having some work done in the garden and at one stage the workman was in the garage when I went in looking for my husband.
Starting up a a little conversation with the workman about where Fred was he made this remark:   

"You should have heard what he said about you in the garage yesterday"

My first reaction was of Hurt because of the way the statement was made I knew the man did not mean Fred had been praising me.
However knowing my husband after all these years this reaction very quickly changed to 


This was because I trust Fred and know that he was not going to say anything unkind about me to this stranger or in fact to anyone, and Fred knows that I would not do that about him either.
I have in the past stopped having conversations and relationships with women who repeatedly malign their husband's character or laugh about them behind their back.

There must always be trust in any relationship but especially in marriage.
What harm can something like that incident with the workman do to a relationship if there is already an unsureness of trust.

The ideal thing is something that covers all those attributes we deem to be important and of course it leads us to thinking of 

Unconditional love

the type of love we see in the Lord Jesus.

Which is quite right because God's Word tells us what a husband should be like

Oh what unconditional love to give up your life for another as Christ did. 

In a marriage the Biblical Truth is that our husbands should love us as Christ loves and that fulfils all those things we listed above that we were looking for in a husband.    

However let us not neglect our part as wives and return the respect a good, truthful, honourable, christian husband is due as we also find in God's Word.       

This of course reminds us of those women I mentioned above who spoke badly of their husbands in my presence  -  they were not respecting them as God has told us to do.


Ruth & Boaz 

I was very taken with Boaz
He just seemed to be the perfect man.

Am I married to a perfect man?   No

Did I think I was marrying a perfect man?    No

Do I look at this story and wish I had a perfect man?   Yes      Seriously No I don't.
That is not the reason we have that story in the bible, we are not supposed to end up discontented when we read it.

There are 2 reasons that I can see why this story is in the bible

  • It shows us the lineage of Jesus and we see that He was born into a family line which included this godly, good husband.
  • But I believe the main reason it is in the bible is to show us Jesus himself.

Boaz is an example of Jesus
In the bible we do not have a marriage relationship shown to us between Jesus and someone because He did not marry, but in Boaz, God is showing us the type of husband Jesus would be.

Why do we need this example?
Because we are the church and the church is the bride of Christ and we need to know that we have a Saviour who has all those attributes that a bride needs to be sure she will have in a husband.

Let's read through that list again.


there is definitely nothing wrong with us expecting to feel safe in all our married life  Boaz definitely looked to the safety of Ruth

after 40 years will he still be worth living with?   -  his character led to the knowledge that he would be a good companion

Self worth 
will he understand our feelings and be willing to listen to us?    -   did he ever give Ruth reason to believe he did not respect or understand her in fact he spoke highly of her behaviour throughout

I think we all yearn for a genuine happiness to be with him wherever and in whatever period of our lives that may be   -   even Naomi recognised that the relationship between Ruth and Boaz would be a happy one

Will he be there when we need him "in sickness & in health", financial difficulties or just any situation big or small that matters to us?    -   Boaz had in the past repeatedly proved his character in this way when he had treated all of his workers well

can he be trusted in anything big or small, personal or public, does he stand on the truth?    -   Boaz proved he could be trusted in all things when he took Ruth's situation seriously and worked through the requirements of the time and culture and God's laws to make sure that he and Ruth would start their relationship off in the honest, right way.

If we would want these things in a husband then we would want them even more in the Saviour we are putting our whole trust in.

Boaz was full of great qualities and can point us to the Lord (which is the reason of all Scripture) but he was not perfect.

God provided an example of the Saviour He would send - His own Son who is the perfect One.

God loves us with an unconditional Love and Jesus proved that to us,  to help us understand this we have been given the example of love from Boaz to Ruth.

The Book of Ruth may have been named after Ruth but that does not mean this book is only relevant to women.

Look at the truths men could learn and the good example they have here also.

We can always learn together.


Where Should Our Focus Be? - A Dose of Encouragement

Where is your focus?

Where is my focus?

Where are we told our focus should be?

What are we focusing on?

What should we really be focusing on?

Have you noticed the I, I, I mentality that people are exerting these days?

So many blog posts, tweets, facebook posts are all trying to direct us to focus in on 

what we feel, 

          what we think, 

                    what we want to do, 

                              who we want to be, 

                                        where we want to get to etc.

I saw a tweet a few months ago where someone wanted to encourage us to know 

"who we were and to cultivate the person we wanted to be"

Even in Christian circles and unfortunately also in some churches we are being led in the same direction with the focus being on how great we are and how we can be better if we see and know and push on to be the great person who is within us.


Does the Bible tell us that?

Does the Bible focus on us?


The Bible always focuses on Jesus
 and is constantly directing us
 to His Death on the cross
 not to ourselves.

Jesus is the one who leads us to God, 

               Jesus is the one who stood in our place, 

                              we cannot do anything without His strength, 

                                             we are not the overcomers Jesus is the overcomer.

Preachers like to take the story of David and Goliath and turn it all to be about us.
We are not going to overcome our giants as so many people preach today. 
God will do that. 

Any limelight is not for the preacher, 
 not for the congregation 
but for 


Preachers like to preach about us and our mountains.  
But what does the Bible really tell us?
Prayer will move mountains.
Faith will move mountains.  
We should not take the credit for anything we must give all the credit to God.

Preachers quote Mark 11 v 23

For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.

and preach on it giving the impression that if we believe it, then it will happen.

However as with all scripture it must be taken in context and then we see more of what Jesus had said hence giving a clearer picture.

Mark 11 v 20-24 

The Lesson of the Withered Fig Tree
20 Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. 21 And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.”22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

This clearly shows us that:

  • Our prayers will be answered if we have Faith in God.
  • God will move the mountains.

Preachers also like to quote Matthew 17 v 20

20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 

However again let's take it in context and see the clearer picture. 

Matthew 17 v 19-21
19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your [e]unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

Nothing will be impossible for us because nothing is impossible for God.  
If God was not there then the things would be impossible for us.

We also know that Scripture backs up scripture and so looking at other places in the Bible such as Nahum we see the definite proof that it is God who has all power and not us.

The mountains do not tremble before us they tremble before God.

And further this is the reason it is God who has power over the mountains

Psalm 95 v 3-5

For the Lord is the great God, And the great King above all gods.  In His hand are the deep places of the earth; The heights of the hills are His also.  The sea is His, for He made it; And His hands formed the dry land.

because they are His.

Why does faith do anything?   
To bring glory to God.
Not to bring attention to us.

What is man’s purpose on earth?  
To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

So why should we be told that we are great?  or that we are the conquerors of our Goliaths?  or that we are strong?  or that we are the overcomers?  or that we can work miracles?

We can't 

But God can.

We can't, but God can!

Let us focus on Jesus and His love for us shown by His death on the cross and our salvation through faith by the grace and mercy of God.

Only by knowing Jesus and the Bible better will we grow in faith.

If you are wondering about this faith we are talking about then please click on the short 3.2.1. video on my sidebar.