In the Gospel of Luke the emphasis is on Jesus as the Perfect Man who cares about people. His friends include ordinary people, women and children. (See also ‘Why are the four Gospels so different?’ ‘Jesus the King’ in the Gospel of Matthew, and ‘The Suffering Servant’ in the Gospel of Mark.)
The face of the Perfect Man shows up in the following ways in the Gospel of Luke:
# Jesus’ birth
Luke gives more attention to the birth of Jesus and mentions people the other Gospels don’t.
- In Matthew 2:1-12 the Magi seek the King and present gifts to Him. In Luke, ordinary shepherds see the angel of the Lord who brings them the good news.
- Only Luke mentions the parents of John the Baptist, Zechariah and Elizabeth, and that he was related to Jesus.
- Only Luke mentions Simeon and that God told him he would not die before he saw the ‘consolation of Israel.’
- Only Luke mentions Anna who lived most of her life in devotion to God. She worshipped, fasted and prayed in the temple. 1
# Nineteen incidents that involve women
- The women who cared for Jesus. 2 Matthew and Mark also mention them, but Luke gives more details: some were saved out of dire circumstances or diseases, three are named and he added specifically that they supported Jesus out of their own means. The message is clear, their gratitude and devotion don’t pass Jesus’ attention.
- In the parables of the lost coin and the unscrupulous judge, women are the main characters. 3
- Luke records the healing of the crippled woman. 4
- The widow from Nain’s life turned around for the better when Jesus brought her son back to life. 5 We see Jesus’ compassion when He told her, ‘Don’t cry.’
- Luke gives women as examples of perseverance, generosity, faithful disciples and the first witnesses to the resurrection.
- He mentions that the first New Testament person who was filled with the Holy Spirit was a woman, Elizabeth, the wife of Zechariah. 6
# Jesus is an ordinary, poor member of humanity.
- His parents could only sacrifice a pair of pigeons. 7
- He took the side of the lowest members of society like the tax collectors and despised women.
- His first resting place was in a lowly manger, His last in another man’s grave, and in between He had no place to lay His head.
- Only Luke records Jesus’ intense agony in Gethsemane, ‘His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.’ 8
# Jesus is a Man of prayer.
He, as the Son of Man, shows His life of prayer to us, sons and daughters of men.
- He prays at His baptism and before He chooses the twelve.
- When He prayed in private, He asked His disciples who they thought He was. Their answer, ‘The Christ of God,’ was Holy Spirit inspired.
- His disciples asked Him to teach them to pray.
- He told them not to stop praying.
- He took action because people used the temple for business instead of prayer. 9
# At Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion
- Only Luke records the healing of the servant’s ear which Peter cut off. 10
- Only Luke records that Jesus promised the dying thief that he would be with Him that very same day in paradise. 11
The Gospel of Luke shows us the Perfect Man, who cares for us, takes note of us and will never leave us alone. It is wonderful beyond comprehension.
- Luke 2:25-38
- Luke 8:1-3
- Luke 15:8-10; 18:1-5.
- Luke 13:10-17
- Luke 7:11-17
- Luke 1:41
- Luke 2:24
- Luke 22:44.
- Luke 3:21; 6:12; 9:18; 11:1; 18:1-8; 19:45,46
- Luke 22:51
- Luke 23:43