The Goal of the Gospel
Topic: Evangelism Verse: Luke 1:1–1:4
Theme: The provision of the inspired text relating the life and work of Jesus Christ will assure saints of the accomplishment of redemption.
I. The Prologue – Luke 1:1-4
A. The Esteem for Accounts – Luke 1:1-2
- The Written Treatments – Luke 1:1
- Luke begins his Gospel by acknowledging that there are others – “many [who] have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us.”
- The word “compile” [ἀνατάξασθαι from ἀνατάσσομαι] - speaks of compiling materials that have been organized in a series; to compose or compile – used only here in the NT.
- “an account” [διήγησις] refers to “an orderly description of facts, events, actions, and words” – essentially a narrative account. This would refer to various partial works that were driven out of existence by the superior treatments of the inspired Gospels. It would also most likely refer to the Gospels of Matthew & Mark.
- The objective of these “accounts” is to treat “the things accomplished among us.” “accomplished” [Perf. Pass. Part. from πληροφορέω] – describes what has been inarguably fulfilled – cp. Romans 4:21. It speaks of acts that were promised by God and that have now fully been brought to pass in the past with constant current relevance. This clearly has as its reference the work of redemption from which saints continue to benefit – even today; the work of Christ in both the active obedience as He lived a sinless life and passive obedience as He laid down His life through the passion.
- The Witnesses’ Testimonies – Luke 1:2
- These accounts that some had attempted to record in writing were also verbally “handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.”
- The accounts of “the things accomplished among us … were handed down to us …” [aorist act. Ind. from παραδίδωμι] – a term that refers to “pass on to another what one knows, or oral or written tradition.”
- Luke looked to those who were “eyewitnesses” [αὐτόπτης] – who “from the beginning” – a reference of either from the days before Jesus was born, or from the beginning of his ministry.
- They could not keep quiet about what they’d seen and so they had to share it and therefore became “servants of the word.” “servants” [ὑπηρέτης] – a person in a subordinate capacity to help. “word” [λόγος] – a reference to the specific authoritative message of the Gospel to which they surrendered themselves; they didn’t determine the message, but merely proclaimed it!
- Although this is most likely primarily a reference to the Apostles, it would also include anyone who had been affected by the life of Christ and had come to faith.
B. The Establishment of Authenticity – Luke 1:3
- The Exploration of Material – Luke declares that his approach was to write after “having investigated everything carefully” [Perf. Act. Part. παρακολουθέω] – a reference to “following something from start to completion.”
- The Exhaustiveness of Material
- “everything” [πᾶς] – every account that was available to him through either the written texts or witness testimonies; he sought to verify all of it
- “from the beginning” [ἄνωθεν] – he went back to the earliest accounts of the first events and followed the account through to the last events.
- The Exactness of Material – “carefully” [ἀκριβῶς] – a statement that references giving attention to details.
- The Exhibition of Material – “to write out for you …” – as the final compilation of his research and investigations while under the inspiration by the Holy Spirit in a perfect, infallible, inerrant account.
C. The Expectation of Authority – Luke 1:4
- Luke had every expectation that Theophilus would gain appreciation for the work of Christ with even greater faith as He came to “know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.”
- To “know” [Aor. Act. Subj. from ἐπιγινώσκω] – refers to recognizing something for what it really is – to perceive or acknowledge the reality.
- “exact” [ἀσφάλεια] – better translated “certainty” – describing the stability of an idea or statement; an invulnerable concept.
- A more literal translation reads: “In order that you might acknowledge the certainty of the truths that have been taught to you by word of mouth.”
- Thus Luke anticipates that this will settle and confirm the faith of those who have been taught of Christ but need additional information about Him.
II. The Provision of the Messiah – Luke 1:5-4:13
- The Prophecies – Luke 1:5-56
- The Precursor – Luke 1:57-80
- The Provision – Luke 2:1-38
- The Progression – Luke 2:39-52
- The Presentation – Luke 3:1-38
- The Preparation – Luke 4:1-13
III. The Promotion of the Messiah – Luke 4:14-9:50
- The Announcement of His Ministry – Luke 4:14-44
- The Authority of His Ministry – Luke 5:1-6:16
- The Attitudes in His Ministry – Luke 6:17-49
- The Activity of His Ministry – Luke 7:1-9:17
- The Aim of His Ministry – Luke 9:18-27
- The Awe in His Ministry – Luke 9:28-50
IV. The Passage of the Messiah – Luke 9:51-19:27
- The Outreach to the Samaritans – Luke 9:51-10:37
- The Opposition by the Wicked – Luke 10:38-13:35
- The Orientation through Parables – Luke 14:1-16:31
- The Offer of Eternal Life - Luke 17:1-19:27
V. The Passion of the Messiah – Luke 19:28-23:56
- Monday – Luke 19:28-44
- Tuesday – Luke 19:45-48
- Wednesday – Luke 20:1-22:6
- Thursday – Luke 22:7-53
- Friday – Luke 22:54-23:56
VI. The Prevailing by the Messiah – Luke 24:1-53
- The Resurrection – Luke 24:1-49
- The Ascension – Luke 24:50-53