Exploring the Gospel of Luke

by Glen H. Jones

This volume on Luke's Gospel is one in the John Phillips Expository Commentary Series. The first 50 pages give us an extended outline of the Gospel of Luke. Phillips suggests that the letter was written to Theophilis, a convert to Christ, and probably a high Roman official. The letter was probably written at Caesarea, where Luke was a companion of the imprisoned Paul.

Luke presents Jesus as a doer. Consequently, this book is filled with Jesus' traveling, healing, and teaching. Phillips offers exposition of all the works of Jesus.

His approach is conservative. He treats the works of Christ as true miracles, e.g. the healing of the demon-possessed man, the raising of the dead, and the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus.

Two examples of the author's exposition provide fresh insight into the character of Jesus. The first concerns the dinner invitation of Simon of Capernaum. We do not know which of the nine New Testament Simons this is. He may have been a Pharisee. When the immoral woman of the street came in to anoint the feet of Jesus, Simon believed that Jesus was a fraud because He should have known this woman's character. Jesus turned the tables on Simon and hinted at Simon's spiritual poverty in contrast to the woman's rich faith and repentance.

The second example is set on one of the slopes of Mount Hermon. Moses and Elijah appeared before Peter, James, and John. Jesus' countenance was altered and His clothing was white and glistening. Jesus by this event affirmed that those godly ones who have died are with the Lord. This momentous event was forever burned into the disciples' memory. Peter later wrote about it (2 Pet. 1: 16-18).

The letter closes with the expectation of a Spirit-endued event that would come ten days after the heavenly ascension of the Lord Jesus. Luke wrote of this Pentecost experience in a subsequent letter (Acts) to Theophilis.

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