Gospel of Luke ~ Christian Bible Study
Introduction and 50 Lessons

Painting of St. Luke Author
      The author’s name does not appear in the book, but much unmistakable evidence points to Luke. This Gospel is a companion volume to the book of Acts, and the language and structure of these two books indicate that both were written by the same person. They are addressed to the same individual, Theophilus, and the second volume refers to the first (Acts 1:1). Certain sections in Acts use the pronoun “we” indicating that the author was with Paul when the events described in these passages took place.
      Luke was probably a Gentile by birth, well educated in Greek culture, a physician by profession, a companion of Paul at various times from his second missionary journey to his final imprisonment in Rome, and a loyal friend who remained with the apostle after others had deserted him (2 Timothy 4:11).

Recipient and Purpose
      The Gospel is specifically directed to Theophilus (1:3), whose name means “one who loves God” and almost certainly refers to a particular person rather than to lovers of God in general. The use of “most excellent” with the name further indicates an individual, and supports the idea that he was a Roman official or at least of high position and wealth. He was possibly Luke’s patron, responsible for seeing that the writings were copied and distributed. Such a dedication to the publisher was common at that time.
      Theophilus, however, was more than a publisher. The message of this Gospel was intended for his own instruction (1:4) as well as the instruction of those among whom the book would be circulated. The fact that the Gospel was initially directed to Theophilus does not narrow or limit its purpose. It was written to strengthen the faith of all believers and to answer the attacks of unbelievers. It was presented to displace some disconnected and ill-founded reports about Jesus. Luke wanted to show that the place of the Gentile Christian in God’s kingdom is based on the teaching of Jesus. He wanted to commend the preaching of the gospel to the whole world.

Characteristics
      Luke, the longest book in the New Testament and the most comprehensive of the four Gospels, presents the works and teachings of Jesus that are especially important for understanding the way of salvation. Its scope is complete from the birth of Christ to his ascension, its arrangement is orderly, and it appeals to both Jews and Gentiles. The writing is characterized by literary excellence, historical detail and warm, sensitive understanding of Jesus and those around him. It is the only Gospel in chronological order.

Bible Study on Luke
      I have arbitrarily divided the 24 chapters of Luke into 50 sections for discussion. At the rate of one per week, it takes just about one year to go through. I have found that in small groups (6 to 20 people) each unit takes about 45 minutes to go through. I generally give the group members the handout the week before, although with one group I simply handed it out at the time of the study. The discussion questions are slightly different from traditional Bible studies in that they emphasize the application of the book to your life today. Unlike some of my other studies, there are no Leader's Guides except in a few cases. Many of the questions are designed to be a springboard to further discussion and there is often no truly right or wrong answer. If you have questions or comments, please use the "Contact Me" button on the menu below. I guarantee that I will read your comments, however, as this web site gets more than 3,000 visitors per day, I can't possibly answer every one.
      In response to your requests, these studies are in Adobe PDF format, so they can easily be printed out. Also, one (or more pages) provides the actual scripture verses, usually NIV. For the Bible studies that I lead, I print the scripture verses on one side of a sheet and the discussion questions on the other side. However, if saving paper is not a consideration, print them on two sheets so people can refer to both the verses and the questions without excessive flipping over. If you cannot read PDF files, click to download Adobe Reader.
      Some discussion questions are borrowed or adapted from the book New Testament Lesson Maker from NavPress (ISBN 0-89109-688-4). I highly recommend this book, which is available from CBD as well as most large Christian bookstores.
David Ahl, October 2008

  • Luke 1:1-45   Introduction, Birth of John the Baptist and Birth of Jesus foretold
  • Luke 1:46-2:7   Mary's Song, Birth of John the Baptist and Birth of Jesus
  • Luke 2:8-52   Shepherds and Angles, Jesus Presented in the Temple, the Boy Jesus at the Temple
  • Luke 3:1-38   John the Baptist Prepares the Way, the Baptism and Genealogy of Jesus
  • Luke 4:1-27   Temptation of Jesus, Jesus Rejected at Nazareth
  • Luke 4:28-44   Jesus Drives Out an Evil Spirit, Jesus Heals Many
  • Luke 5:1-16   Calling of the First Disciples, Man with Leprosy
  • Luke 5:17-39   Jesus Heals a Paralytic, Jesus Questioned About Fasting
  • Luke 6:1-11   The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath
  • Luke 6:12-26   The 12 Apostles, Blessings and Woes
  • Luke 6:27-42   Love for Ones Enemies, Judging Others
  • Luke 6:43-7:10   Tree and its Fruit, Wise and Foolish Builders, Centurion's Faith
  • Luke 7:11-28   Jesus Raises a Widow's Son, Jesus and John the Baptist
  • Luke 7:28-8:3   Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman
  • Luke 8:4-15   Parable of the Sower
  • Luke 8:16-39   A Lamp on a Stand, Jesus Calms the Storm, Jesus Heals a Demon-Possessed Man
  • Luke 8:40-9:9   A Dead Girl and a Sick Woman, Jesus Sends Out the Twelve
  • Luke 9:10-27   Jesus Feeds the 5,000, Peter's Confession of Christ
  • Luke 9:28-43   The Transfiguration, Healing of a Boy with an Evil Spirit
  • Luke 9:43-62   Who Will be the Greatest? Samaritan Opposition, Cost of Following Jesus
  • Luke 10:1-24   Jesus Sends Out the 72
  • Luke 10:25-37   Parable of the Good Samaritan
  • Luke 10:38-11:13   At the Home of Martha and Mary, Jesus' Teaching on Prayer
  • Luke 11:14-36   Jesus and Beelzebub, The Sign of Jonah, The Lamp of the Body
  • Luke 11:37-54   Six Woes
  • Luke 12:1-21   Jesus Speaks Against Hypocrisy, Parable of the Rich Fool
  • Luke 12:22-48   Jesus Warns About Worry, Preparing for His Coming
  • Luke 12:49-13:9   Jesus Warns About the Coming Division & Future Crisis, Call to Repent
  • Luke 13:10-30   Jesus Heals the Crippled Woman, Entering the Kingdom of God
  • Luke 13:31-14:24   Jesus Heals a Man With Dropsy, Seeking Honor, Parable of the Great Feast
  • Luke 14:25-15:10   Cost of Being a Disciple, Parables of the Lost Sheep and Lost Coin
  • Luke 15:11-32   Parable of the Prodigal Son
  • Luke 16:1-18   Parable of the Shrewd Manager
  • Luke 16:19-17:10   The Rich Man and the Beggar, Forgiveness and Faith
  • Luke 17:11-37   Jesus Heals Ten Men With Leprosy, Coming of the Kingdom of God
  • Luke 18:1-17   Parables: Persistent Widow, Two Men Who Prayed; Jesus Blesses Little Children
  • Luke 18:18-43   Jesus Speaks to the Rich Young Man, Predicts His Death, Heals a Blind Beggar
  • Luke 19:1-27   Jesus Brings Salvation to Zacchaeus' Home, Parable of the King's Ten Servants
  • Luke 19:28-48   Jesus Enters Jerusalem on a Donkey, Jesus Clears the Temple Again
  • Luke 20:1-19   Religious Leaders Challenge Jesus, Parable of the Wicked Tenants
  • Luke 20:20-40   Religious Leaders Question Jesus About Paying Taxes and the Resurrection
  • Luke 20:41-21:4   Jesus Warns Against Religious Leaders, A Poor Widow Gives All She Has
  • Luke 21:5-38   Jesus Talks About the Future, Signs of the End of the Age
  • Luke 22:1-30   Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus, The Last Supper
  • Luke 22:31-62   Jesus Instructs Apostles, Prays; Betrayal and Arrest; Peter Denies Jesus
  • Luke 22:63-23:25   Guards Mock Jesus; Jesus Before Pilate and Herod
  • Luke 23:26-49   The Crucifixion
  • Luke 23:50-24:12   Jesus Burial and Resurrection on Easter
  • Luke 24:13-35   Two Men On the Road to Emmaus
  • Luke 24:36-53   Jesus Appears to the Disciples (twice); the Ascension


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