“The Gospel for the Record” 
Luke 1:1-25

“Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.” – Luke 1:3-4 [NIV]

This morning we begin the Gospel of Luke…for the record. In our commitment to take you through the entire Bible, we will spend the next several months in this third Gospel of the New Testament. It is a “carefully investigated” record of the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Matthew, Mark, and Luke are referred to as the “synoptics” because they are noticeably similar. “Syn” means together with, and “optic” means seeing; thus, seeing together. 

Over the course of our study, we will see several of the same things that were in Matthew and Mark but from a unique perspective. Matthew wrote to the Jews; Mark to the Romans; but Luke wrote with the Greek in mind. Matthew presents Jesus as King; Mark as the Servant of God; but Luke emphasizes Jesus as the Perfect Son of Man. 

There are, however, distinctions in Luke. Doctor Luke [a physician] gives us by far the most details on the virgin birth of Christ. He also recorded twenty-three parables, eighteen of which are found nowhere else. The Prodigal Son and Good Samaritan parables are unique to this third Gospel. Also unique is Jesus’ description of Hades in Lk 16:19-31, which I believe is not a parable. 

Luke provides us with the most historical detail among the Gospel writers. One of his goals was to carefully investigate the life of Christ through first-hand eyewitnesses and then compile his findings into an “orderly account” so that “you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.” 

Many feel that Luke received much of his information from Mary, the mother of Jesus, and after reading the first two chapters you will probably agree. Who else would know about the divine conception and virgin birth with so much detail? 

This morning, however, we are going to read of another miracle birth: John the Baptist. Perhaps not of the same magnitude of Jesus, but miraculous, nonetheless. His parents [Zacharias and Elizabeth] were faithful servants throughout their years; and in their old age God not only blessed them with a son but one who would come in the spirit and power of Elijah. 

John the Baptist would become the forerunner of Christ, a prophecy that concludes the Old Testament [Malachi 4] and in its fulfillment begins the New.