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The Epistles Of Luke

The writings of Paul, the apostle (see Paul's Ministry) and Pharisee (see Was Paul Among Them?), provide a large portion of the "New" Testament. He wrote the largest number of the epistles, the teaching letters, to Christians throughout much of Turkey and Greece.

But there is someone, a gentile, who composed more of the volume of Biblical communications than Paul. Luke wrote twice to a man named Theophilus - large expository letters which became known as the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts.

"1:1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, 1:2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; 1:3 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, 1:4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed." (Luke 1:1-4 KJV)

"1:1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 1:2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen" (Acts 1:1-2 KJV)

"Luke, the beloved physician"

As a gentile, Luke served as a perfect bridge between the apostles who were sent to the people of Israel (e.g. Peter - see Peter's Ministry) and those who were sent to the "gentiles," the rest of humanity (e.g. Paul - see the Fact Finder question below). Luke's advantage (i.e. it was not a disadvantage that he had to overcome, as most of the others at the time, in order to make room for the Holy Spirit) was that he was not mind-locked by national propaganda, political or religious; Luke had a "world view" right from the start - just as Jesus Christ did.

The Holy Scriptures Luke is mentioned in Paul's epistles, in this example as "Luke, the beloved physician."

"4:14 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you." (Colossians 4:14 KJV)

Considering the brutality that Paul was subjected to, having a physician around seems more than just a coincidence. It may have been how Paul and Luke first met - and from which Luke became a Christian.

"11:24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 11:25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 11:26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 11:27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness." (2 Corinthians 11:24-27 KJV)

Luke remained with Paul to the very end. The Demas in "Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you" (quoted above) was later only Luke i.e. "For Demas hath forsaken me ... Only Luke is with me":

"4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

4:6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

4:9 Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. 4:11 Only Luke is with me." (2 Timothy 4:1-11 KJV)

Fact Finder: Did the people of Israel originate from "gentiles"? Was Abraham a "gentile"?
See The Apostle To The Gentiles


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