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The New Testament | The Gospels


Things to know

Where does the book begin?

Luke begins with stories about how John the Baptist was born.

Places to go

Jesus met John the Baptist.
Luke 7:18-35

Jesus told the story of the farmer.
Luke 8:1-15

Jesus fed 5000 people.
Luke 9:10-17

Jesus told the story of the lost things.
Luke 15

Jesus was raised from death.
Luke 24

Where does the book end?

Luke ends when Jesus left his disciples to go up into heaven*.

People to know


The Story of Luke

Luke was a disciple* of Jesus. But he was not one of Jesus’ apostles*. Luke was a friend of Paul. He was also a friend of many of the men and women who followed Jesus. He was probably not a Jew*. He listened when they told stories about Jesus. He wrote many of their stories in this book.

He wrote his book to tell a friend about Jesus. He put many of the things that Jesus said into his book. He wrote about some of the things that Jesus did. He went step-by-step through Jesus’ life. He wanted his friend to know the truth about Jesus. He wanted him to follow Jesus too.

The book of Luke is a Gospel*. You will find many stories about Jesus here. Luke put many of the parables that Jesus told in his book. He put more of those parables* in his book than Matthew or Mark did.

Luke was a doctor. He travelled with Paul on many of Paul’s trips. Luke also wrote the book of Acts. He told about many of his trips with Paul in that book.

The key words in Luke are ‘son of man’. He put those words in his book almost 80 times.

Luke began with the story of John the Baptist. John was very important to Jesus. So Luke talked about John the Baptist many times in his book. John was the prophet* that came just before Jesus. He told people that God was going to send a saviour* to rescue them. He told them to remember God and turn away from the bad things that they did.

Then Luke told the story of the birth of Jesus. This was a very important story to Luke. He put many details of this story in his book.

Luke included a list of names in his book just like Matthew did. But this list follows the family of Mary. She was from the family of King David too. Luke included this list so that we know two things. First, Jesus had no human father. He was ‘the son of God’[1] Second, Jesus was a son from the family of David.

Then he moved to stories about John. God sent John to prepare the way for Jesus. One day, John baptised Jesus in the river. After that, Jesus began to speak in public. That is what Luke talked about in the next part of his book.

Jesus did not stay in one place in those days. He went from place to place and spoke with many different people. He spoke to some people that no one else cared about.

As Jesus travelled, he told stories. He healed the sick. He helped people that no one else would help. Luke included many of Jesus’ stories in this book. You can read more of these stories in Luke than in any of the other gospels*.

Jesus met many people. Some of them believed what he said. One soldier asked him to make his sick servant well again. He knew that Jesus could do this. He said,

‘Just say the word, and my servant will be healed’. [2]

Luke wanted people to see that Jesus was the son of God. He was the son that God promised to David. Only God’s promised saviour* could do what Jesus was doing.

After this, Jesus started his trip to Jerusalem. [3] He did not go there right away. But he was making ready for that trip. He told his friends why he needed to go there.

‘The Son of Man is going to be turned over into the hands of men’[4] and he ‘must suffer many things and be killed and…raised to life’[5]

Luke included many stories about what Jesus did along the way. He said what Jesus said to his friends. One of the things that Jesus talked about was the kingdom* of God. [6] He told people to be prepared. Being a member of God’s kingdom* could be dangerous sometimes. [7] Members of the kingdom* should not try to get things for themselves. They should depend on God to help them. Sometimes, God used other people to help those who serve him. [8]

Many people were following Jesus. He told his disciples* to be true and honest before God. Trust* in God, not wealth. The kingdom* was not for the proud but the humble. The kingdom* was not for the rich but for the poor.

The last part of Luke’s book tells about the last days that Jesus was on earth. He went into Jerusalem. Many people were happy to see him. But only a few people knew who Jesus really was. He was ‘the king who comes in the name of the Lord*’. [9] But most people did not understand that. [10] That made Jesus weep. He was sad that the people did not know who he really was. He was also sad because God would judge* them because they did not follow him.

Jesus went to the temple* and told the people many things. But the more Jesus said, the more they hated him.

A few days before Jesus died, he ate a special meal with his friends. He told them that he was going to be arrested and killed. He also said that he was starting a new covenant* for everyone who would follow him. When he shed his blood, the covenant would begin. [11] He would die so that people would know that what the prophets* said was true. [12]

One night, one of his friends decided to turn away from him. Soldiers arrested Jesus. Some people told lies about him. So the soldiers beat Jesus with a whip. Then they put him on a cross. In a few hours, Jesus died.

But that was not the end of Luke’s story. In some ways, it was only the beginning. After three days, Jesus came back to life again. He went back to see his friends. He told them not to be afraid. He would always be with them. And he had a job for them to do. They were to go everywhere and tell people the good news.


[1] Luke 3:38; see 1:35

[2] Luke 7:1-10

[3] Luke 9:51

[4] Luke 9:44

[5] Luke 9:22

[6] Luke 10:9

[7] Luke 10:3

[8] Luke 10:4-16

[9] Luke 19:38

[10] Luke 19:42

[11] Luke 22:20

[12] Luke 22:37

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