Part 1 – An Introduction to the Gospels of Luke and John: The Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ (Luke 1; John 1)

Daily reading assignment: Luke 1; John 1

As we begin our journey through the Gospels, I feel as though I am facing an impossible task: How to write a daily devotional that is brief enough to not be cumbersome, but enriching enough to be enjoyed. I invite you to consider the eternal truths God, in His sovereignty, has inspired and preserved through the words of the Gospel writers (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21). Today’s devotional commentary will focus on the Gospel of Luke.

Luke 1 – A Credible Account of History Received from Eyewitnesses

The apostle Paul identified Luke as, “Luke, the beloved physician” (Colossians 4:14). Luke’s secular occupation was that of a physician. Bible scholars believe he may have been a Gentile covert, and was no doubt an educated man. He was also a traveling companion of Paul on his missionary journeys (Acts 16:10). Luke’s writings reveal he was a man who had a passion for history, especially that of the person and life of Christ, and the history of the early Church. The Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts were historical letters penned by Luke to a friend he identified as Theophilus, “friend of God” (Luke 1:1-3; Acts 1:1).

We can identify Luke as the author of the Gospel of Luke, knowing that his Gospel and the Book of Acts were written to the same man, “most excellent Theophilus” (Luke 1:3; Acts 1:1). Luke introduced himself as a historian, one who was privileged to receive an accounting of the person and life of Christ from “eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word” (Luke 1:1-2). His purpose for writing his Gospel is stated to his friend Theophilus: “4That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed” (Luke 1:4).

Luke 1 introduces us to the miraculous birth of John the Baptist, the long-awaited forerunner of the Messiah (Luke 1:5-25).  From his conception, John was destined for greatness; however, it was not the greatness men thrust upon a child because of his lineage (his father Zacharias was a simple priest who lived in relative obscurity). No, John was prophesied to be “great in the sight of the LORD” (Luke 1:15), because he was called to be the messenger of the LORD and his life was dedicated to heralding the coming of Jesus Christ, the “Lamb of God” (John 1:36).

Luke 1:26-38 records the miraculous incarnation of Jesus Christ, conceived in the womb of the virgin named Mary of Nazareth, a child of the Holy Ghost, the only begotten Son of God (Luke 1:35).

Luke 1:39-56 is the record of the expecting Mary’s retreat from Nazareth, to the home of her elder cousin Elisabeth, whom Mary found to be great with child as the angel Gabriel had spoken (Luke 1:36).  The birth of John the Baptist, his divine mission, and his preparation in the desert conclude our study (Luke 1:57-80).

I close today’s devotional commentary with the prophetic words of Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, who being filled with the Holy Ghost blessed his son saying,

Luke 1:76 – “And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: For thou shalt go before the face of the Lord To prepare his ways.”

Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith