Luke is one of the three synoptic Gospels. Matthew, Mark, and Luke are referred to as the Synoptic Gospels because they include many of the same stories, often in a very similar order and using similar wording. This is in contrast to John, whose content is comparatively distinct, dealing mainly with the last few weeks of the Lord’s life on earth. Of the four Gospels, only Matthew and John were Apostles. Mark and Luke were not of the twelve and we really don’t have any credible evidence that either of these two writers ever saw the Lord. How could Mark and Luke give credible accounts of the life of Christ if they never met him? It’s quite simple: “ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16)

Mark is usually understood to be John Mark in the book of Acts. According to Colossians 4:10, he was Barnabas’ nephew. Paul and Barnabas had taken Mark with them on one of their journeys, but during the journey Mark left them and returned home. Later, when they planned on another journey, Barnabas wanted to take Mark with them again. Paul did not want to take Mark because he had forsook them on their first journey. The contention became so strong that Paul and Barnabas parted ways because of their different thoughts concerning Mark. (Read Acts 12 and 15) Later, Paul would call Mark a “fellow worker”. (Philemon 24) Towards the end of his life, Paul would say that Mark was “profitable to me for the ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:11) I mention all this about Mark because he is linked with Luke in both Philemon 24 and 2 Timothy 4:11. We see they knew each other and labored together for the Lord.

Luke was a doctor. Colossians 4:14 speaks of “Luke, the beloved physician.” He was a traveling companion of the Apostle Paul and was one of the last ones to be with Paul before his death as we read in 2 Timothy 4:11, “ONLY LUKE IS WITH ME. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.” As a doctor, I’m sure that Dr. Luke was very helpful to Paul because of his ‘thorn in the flesh’ and because of all the physical sufferings he endured because of his ministry. Luke also wrote the book of Acts. We see that he addressed both of his books to Theophilus (Luke 1:3; Acts 1:1). Luke states his purpose in writing his Gospel in Luke 1:1-4, “Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to SET FORTH IN ORDER a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to WRITE UNTO THEE IN ORDER, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.” We really don’t know who this man, Theophilus was but as Luke refers to him as “most excellent Theophilus”, we can assume that he was a man of some great importance possibly politically or because of great wealth. Obviously he had an interest of learning about Christ, hence it was to him that Luke addressed both his books.

The four Gospels are written from four different perspectives. Matthew presents Christ as the KING. Mark presents Christ as a SERVANT. Luke presents Christ as the perfect MAN. John presents Christ as the SON OF GOD. Matthew gives the genealogy of Christ, going back to David to show that He was the rightful king. Luke’s genealogy of Christ goes all the way back to Adam to show that he was truly a man. Through the years, some have taught that while Christ was truly God, He was not truly a man. Luke’s Gospel shows that Christ was 100% man. Along with John’s Gospel which shows that Christ was 100% God, we learn that the Lord Jesus Christ is 100% man while at the same time, He is 100% God. Blessed truth! The slight differences in some of the details of the life of Christ can be understood when we realize that all four writers were writing from four God-ordained perspectives. (247.10)