is the first of two works by Luke. The second is the Acts of the
Apostles. The first work, the gospel record, is an historical account
of Jesus' life, and the second, an historical account of the early
preaching of the gospel beginning from the time of Jesus' ascension.
Luke's gospel is different to the other Gospel records because of
its historical approach. Luke is the physician and historian of
the apostles. It is in this way that Luke records Jesus' ministry
in an almost chronological way, similar to the way in which contemporary
historians recorded the work of the time's political figures. It
is also because of this approach that Jesus the man becomes evident.
The almost simplicity of this approach is not to deny the importance
of the record. Luke goes into considerable detail in many events,
and in particular, Jesus' birth. In this, he records the angels'
message to Mary, drawing attention to the salvation possible through
Jesus (1:32) and the fulfilment of the promise made to King David
(1:32 - 33; cf 2 Samuel 7:11).
This emphasis sets the scene for the continual presentation of the
theme of the gospel that is continued through the reference to John
the Baptist (1:67 - 80), the events surrounding Jesus' birth (2:10
- 11), and through incidents in which Jesus indicates that salvation
is possible to people in all circumstances. For example: to the
Jews (1:33), to Gentiles, in this case, Samaritans (10:30 - 37),
to women (10:38 - 42) as well as to men, to poor (7:22) and to the
rich (19:2), although, for the rich, salvation is ore difficult
(6:24). Above all, Jesus came to call sinners to repentance (5:32)
and that includes us all (Romans 3:23).
It is significant that the record concludes with the account of
Jesus' exposition of the aspects of the law and the prophets which
relate to his ministry, his request that the apostles preach the
gospel of repentance and remission of sins, and a brief account
of his ascension (24:44 - 51).
Even though Luke's account is historical, through God's guidance
he never lost sight of the theme of salvation through Jesus.