Why are there four different Gospels
Lesson #3 (The Book of Luke)
In this lesson we are going to continue looking at the gospels and answering the question of why are there four different gospels. This lesson will focus on the Gospel of Luke.
As we have seen the Gospel of Matthew presents Jesus as the King of the Jews. In the Gospel of Mark we see Jesus presented as a Servant. In the Gospel of Luke we will see Jesus presented as the Son of Man. What we mean here is that in Luke’s Gospel you will see the human side of Jesus Christ more than in the other gospels.
We know that Luke was a physician therefore who better to write about the man side of Jesus Christ that someone who understood the physical side of man. Therefore once again even the author who is chosen for writing this gospel is in line with the way this gospel is presenting the Lord Jesus Christ. Also something that is unique to the gospel of Luke is the fact that it is written to a person. In Luke 1:3 we see it is addressed to Theophilus, Luke is the only one of the gospels like this, but since it represents Jesus Christ as a man then it makes since that it would be addressed to a man.
Also the placement of this gospel in scripture is important in presenting Jesus Christ as the son of Man. We failed to mention this in the previous lessons but each gospel placement is important. In the word of God numbers have meanings as we have seen in previous studies. Now the book of Matthew is the 40th book overall in the word of God, and 4 + 0 = 4. The number 4 is usually connected with the earth in the word of God and Matthew is the gospel which presents the Lord Jesus Christ as King, and he will one day rule the world from the throne of his father David (Luke 1:32-33). The Gospel of Mark is the 41st book in the word of God and 4 + 1 = 5. Five in the word of God represents death and the gospel of Mark presents Jesus Christ as the servant who came to give his life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). Luke is the 42nd book in the word of God and 4 + 2 = 6. Six in the word of God is connected with man or is man’s number and the gospel of Luke is the gospel that presents Jesus as son of Man. John is the 43rd book in the word of God and 4 + 3 = 7. Seven is the number of completion or perfection in the word of God and is connected with God, and John is the gospel which presents the Lord Jesus as the Son of God. So even the placement of the books in the word of is important and not random, they also show us the fourfold presentation of the Lord Jesus Christ that is seen in the gospels.
Some things in Luke that show the Lord Jesus as the son of Man :
1) There are more details about his birth and life as a child.
- In Luke 2:1-20 we see the details given concerning the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. No other gospel gives us these. Matthew does give us the visit of the wise men but this could have been upwards of two years after the birth and remember they are looking for a king.
- In Luke 2:21-24 we see Jesus being circumcised according to the Law.
- In Luke 2:41-52 we see the visit of Jesus to the temple when he was twelve years old. This is only found in the gospel of Luke.
- In Luke 2:51 we see he was subject unto his parents.
2) We see his age at the start of his ministry Luke 3:23.
- His age was 30 which matches the age for a priest to begin serving in the Old Testament Tabernacle (Numbers 4:3). This makes since because the Lord Jesus Christ is now our High Priest (Hebrews 3:1).
3) We see a genealogy all the way back to Adam.
- In Luke 3:23-38 we see the genealogy of Mary and it goes all the way back to Adam. The genealogy in Matthew is Joseph’s. Note that it only goes back to Abraham, remember Matthew is dealing with the king of the Jews and the Jews started with Abraham. Luke is presenting Jesus as the son of Man therefore the genealogy goes all the way back to Adam.
4) Notice the difference in the order of the Temptations.
- In Matthew 4 we see Jesus being tempted and the last temptation deals with Satan offering him all the kingdoms of the world. In Luke 4 we see Jesus being tempted and the last temptation is Satan tempting Jesus to throw himself of the top of the temple.
- Once again remember that Matthew is presenting the King and the kingdom is the last temptation and Luke is presenting the Man and his life is the last temptation.
5) Luke is the only gospel to record the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37).
- This parable is famous for showing us how to deal with our fellow man and it is only recorded in Luke.
6) Shows man what happens after death (Luke 16:19-31).
- Luke is the only gospel to record Jesus speaking about a specific man that went to paradise and a specific man who went to Hell.
- Man today has one of two choices for eternity; it is either Heaven or Hell. And the way to heaven is through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ alone (John 14:6)
7) Luke shows Jesus praying over and over again.
- Prayer is one of man’s greatest needs and Jesus does it many times in Luke. (3:21 ; 5:16 ; 6:12 ; 9:28,29 ; 11:1 ; 22:31,32 ; 22:41,44 ; 23:24)
8) Luke shows Jesus eating many times.
- One of man’s main concerns is what am I going to eat, and we see Jesus eating many times in Luke. (7:36 ; 11:37 ; 14:1 ; 19:7 ; 24:41,44 ; 23:24)
9) Jesus is shown to be a friend of the common man in Luke.
- In Luke we see Jesus eating, visiting with, and receiving publicans and sinners. (5:29 ; 7:33, 34 ; 15:1 ; 19:7)
Luke clearly presents the Lord Jesus Christ as the son of Man.