This is stated to be an "orderly account" (i.e., summary) of "the things that have been fulfilled" (i.e., Jesus Christ's story). It begins telling of the angel Gabriel (Luke 1) first appearing with "good news" to Zechariah telling him of his wife Elizabeth to have a son (to be called John -- John the Baptist) that will precede the coming of the Messiah. Then, the angel Gabriel goes, a month later, to Nazareth (a village in Galilee) to speak to the "virgin Mary" (who was engaged to be married to Joseph -- a descendent of King David) -- telling her that she will give birth to a son to be called Jesus, who "will reign over the house of Jacob (i.e., Israel) forever; His kingdom will never end." (Luke 1:33) Mary was told that the "Holy Spirit" will let the baby be born "the Son of God" (Luke 1:35). Mary's relative was Elizabeth, who was to be the mother of John the Baptist. The rest of the story of Jesus' birth is told, with Joseph going to Bethlehem to register for the census (decreed by Caesar Augustus, the Roman Emperor) when the Baby Jesus was born, wrapped in cloths, and placed in a manger, since there was no room in the inn. (Luke 2:7) Shepherds in a field saw an angel, telling them that "Today in the town of David (i.e., Bethlehem) a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ (or Messiah) the Lord." The shepherds went to the manger in Bethlehem and saw the Child. In Nazareth, Jesus "grew and became strong..."
Jesus at Twelve (Luke 2:41-52): Going to Jerusalem for Passover, Jesus stayed for three days after His parents left. They found Him in the Temple courts -- sitting among the teachers and amazing them. Jesus said to His parents, "Didn't you know I had to be in My Father's House?" (Luke 2:49)
The lineage of Joseph (Jesus' earthly "father") was traced all the way back to Adam (Luke 3:23-38). Jesus was stated to be "about thirty years old when He began His ministry." Jesus' baptism and temptation by the devil in the desert for forty days was followed by His preaching at Nazareth --where He was rejected. So He preached at Capernaum every Sabbath (Saturday) and at other synagogues throughout Judea.
Well-known stories of and by Jesus include:
- Fish Netting: Jesus told Simon (Peter) to cast his net in a special place leading to an overflowing catch (Luke 5:1-9), after which Jesus said that from now on "you will catch men." (Luke 5:10)
- Caring Woman: A prostitute poured perfume on Jesus' feet and wiped them off with her hair, whereas His Pharisee host did not offer courtesies. Jesus told her, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace." (Luke 7:36-50)
- Good Samaritan A Jewish man attacked by bandits was not helped by a priest or a temple assistant, but a Samaritan (despised by Jews) aided and cared for the man (Luke 10:30-37) -- showing that one should "Love your neighbor as yourself." (Luke 10:27)
- Lost Sheep: Even with 100 sheep, the shepherd will look for the one that is lost until it is found -- so "there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent." (Luke 15:3-7)
- Prodigal Son: A man's son takes his inheritance, goes far away and loses it; then the son returns to a happy greeting from his father and resentment from his brother. The father's response: "...he was lost and is found!" (Luke 15:11-32)
- Ten Lepers: Jesus healed ten lepers, and only one came back to thank Him -- a Samaritan. Jesus said, "...your faith has made you well." This showed that many do not appreciate great gifts. (Luke 17:11-19)
- Rich Man: A rich man had obeyed the laws, yet Jesus said he should give everything to the poor and follow Him. When the man left, Jesus said "...it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." Then Jesus said that for anyone to be saved is only possible because "What is impossible with men is possible with God." (Luke 18:18-27)
- Zacchaeus: A despised tax collector, Zacchaeus (a very short man) climbed into a sycamore-fig tree to watch Jesus, who later went to Zacchaeus' house. Zacchaeus became changed. (Luke 19:1-10)
Jesus spoke of the Kingdom of Heaven, or the Kingdom of God:
- "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger...are you who weep...because great is your reward in heaven..." (Luke 6:20-23)
- "Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves...in heaven...where no thief comes near..." (Luke 12:33)
- "It is like a mustard seed...grew and became a tree...like yeast...mixed into a large amount of flour..." (Luke 13:19-21)
- Responding to the Pharisees questioning when the kingdom of God will begin, Jesus said, "...because the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:20-21)
Jesus had many story-illustrations for people of his time. Examples:
- Farmer Sowing Grain (Luke 8:5-15): Farmer sowed seed onto poor and fertile soil. The seed (God's message) in poor soil (hard hearts) did not grow; in fertile soil (good people) the seed did grow (they believed and spread the Word).
- Persistence Pays #1 (Luke 11:5-10): To borrow bread late at night, if you keep knocking, you will get it. Likewise, with prayer, "...Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
- Rich on Earth, not Heaven (Luke 12:16-21): Storing away crops for the earthly life fills barns...but then you die. So, one should not be concerned with riches on earth and not be "rich toward God."
- Many Invitations (Luke 14:16-24): A man had invited many to a great feast, and nobody showed up. Then, he invited anyone, and his house became full -- implying that Jews were invited first by Jesus, then everyone in the world.
- Ten Coins (Luke 15:8-10): Happiness occurs when one lost coin (out of ten) is found; angels rejoice similarly when a sinner repents.
- Dishonest Accountant (Luke 16:1-13): The accountant cleverly regains the admiration of his employer, yet his honesty was still in question. "You cannot serve both God and money."
- Rich Man - Beggar Man (Luke 16:19-31): A rich man would not aid a beggar. Both died, with the rich going to hell (or Hades) and then asking for help from the beggar, who was in heaven. There was no way for one to cross from heaven to hell.
- Persistence Pays #2 (Luke 18:1-8): An evil judge was bothered by a woman who asked for justice until finally the judge helped her. God will also answer the persistent.
- Pharisee - Tax Collector (Luke 18:9-14): A Pharisee and a (despised) tax collector both prayed, with only the tax collector being truly sincere, so the tax collector was forgiven. "For everyone who exalts (i.e. elevates; praises) himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
- Nobleman's Investments (Luke 19:12-27): Ten men were given equal money to invest by the nobleman: those who earned the most were rewarded.
- Leased Vineyard (Luke 20:9-18): A man's vineyard was rented to farmers who refused to pay him his share of the crop and killed his messengers and his son. The owner, Jesus said, would kill them and rent the vineyard to others. Jesus then added, "The Stone the builders rejected has become the Capstone... " -- with all this implying that Jesus and His ministry were to be rejected by the Jews/Pharisees and thus would be passed on to others.
Jesus performed many healings and miracles, summarized here:
- Man with advanced leprosy cured (Luke 5:12-14)
- Paralyzed man on sleeping mat, lowered from roof -- healed (Luke 5:18-25)
- Cured deformed hand on Sabbath, enraging the Pharisees (Luke 6:6-11)
- Cast out many demons; healed everyone who touched Him (Luke 6:18-19)
- Slave of Roman captain (Gentile) -- healed (Luke 7:2-10)
- Only son of widow -- brought back to life from funeral procession (Luke 7:11-15)
- Storm threatening disciples and Jesus -- calmed (Luke8:22-25)
- Demon-possessed man in cemetery -- demons sent to pigs that drowned (Luke 8:27-39)
- Dead twelve-year-old daughter of Jewish synagogue leader -- life returned (Luke 8:41-56)
- Woman with long-term bleeding -- healed by touching Jesus' clothes (Luke 8: 43-48)
- Feeding 5000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish, with 12 basketfuls left over (Luke 8:12-17)
- Only son with demon -- healed (Luke 9:37-42)
- Woman bent double for 18 years -- healed on Sabbath (Luke 13:10-17)
- Blind man near Jericho -- healed (Luke 18:35-43)
Jesus had many other main points, some including:
- "But I will show you whom you should fear: fear Him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell." (Luke 12:5)
- "And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man (i.e., Jesus) will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes (speaks profanely/irreverently) against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven." (Luke 12:10)
- "You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him." (Luke 12:40)
- Referring to heaven: "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many...will try to enter and will not be able to...Indeed there are those who are last (probably referring to the poor people on earth) who will be first (in heaven), and first (probably referring to the rich/important people) who will be last." (Luke 13:24-30)
- "And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple." (Luke 14:27)
- "...any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be My disciple." (Luke 14:33)
- "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery." (Luke 16:18)
- "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you." (Luke 17:6)
- "Beware of the teachers of the law (i.e., religious leaders)...in flowing robes...love... places of honor...and for a show make lengthy prayers..." (Luke 20:46-47)
Jesus' disagreements with the Pharisees and Sadducees were further told:
- Pharisees question on why Jesus ate with sinners and tax collectors. Jesus answer: "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick." (Luke 5:31)
- Pharisees question on Jesus' breaking the heads
off wheat and eating grains (working) on the Sabbath
(Jewish holy day, our Saturday). Jesus answer:
"...David...entered the house of God (i.e., the
Temple), and taking the consecrated (i.e., sacred)
bread...ate." (Luke 6:2-4)
- Pharisees question on why Jesus did not perform ceremonial washing before eating. Jesus answer: "...you Pharisees clean the outside... but inside you are full of greed and wickedness." (Luke 11:39)
- Pharisees questioned: should Jews pay tax to Rome? Jesus answer: "...give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's." (Luke 20:25)
- Sadducees (nonbelievers in resurrection) questioned about a woman married seven times on earth: whose wife is she in heaven? Jesus answer: "The people of this age (i.e., people on earth) marry...But...in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels..." (Luke 20:34-36). Since Jesus considered their real question about resurrection itself, Jesus continued that when Moses called the Lord "the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob" it meant that those persons were alive, since God was their God: or, "to Him (i.e., God) all are alive." (Luke 20:37-38)
Jesus' interactions with his disciples were described:
- "...Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." (Luke 6:27-28)
- "If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also...Do to others as you would have them do to you." (Luke 6:29;31)
- "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn (i.e., criticize), and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you..." (Luke 6:37-38)
- To His disciples, He asked, "Who do you say I am?" Peter replied, "The Christ (i.e., Messiah) of God!" He strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone, saying, "The Son of Man must...be killed and on the third day be raised to life." (Luke 9:20-22)
- "For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it." (Luke 9:24)
- To Peter, James, and John on a mountain top, Jesus became changed in appearance, becoming "as bright as a flash of lightning." A Voice said, "This is My Son, Whom I have chosen; listen to Him." (Luke 9:28-35)
- "Whoever welcomes this little child in My name welcomes Me; and whoever welcomes Me welcomes the One who sent Me. For he who is least among you all -- he is the greatest." (Luke 9:48)
- "...but he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me." (Luke 10:16)
- "All things have been committed to Me by My Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him." (Luke 10:22)
- "Let the little children come to Me...anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." (Luke 18:17)
With implications for the future yet to come, Jesus talked about the events that would signal the "End of the Age" (or the world) and His return:
- "For the Son of Man (i.e., Jesus) in His day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky ...But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation." (Luke 17:24-25)
- "It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed." (Luke 17:30)
- "...the time will come when not one stone will be left on another..." (Luke 21:6)
- "When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away...When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near." (Luke 21:9-20)
- "There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars...the heavenly bodies will be shaken...the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory...When these things begin to take place...your redemption (i.e., rescue) is drawing near...Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away...Be always on the watch..." (Luke 21:25-36)
Jesus in Jerusalem (Luke 19:28-48):
Jesus rode a colt, not yet broken for riding, into Jerusalem to shouts: "Blessed is the King who comes in the Name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" (Luke 19:38) In Jerusalem, in the Temple, Jesus drove out those who were selling things.
Jesus' Passover (The Last Supper) in Jerusalem (Luke 22):
With the twelve disciples, in a large upper room, Jesus observed the Passover supper. Jesus broke the bread, and gave it to them, saying "This is My body given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." And, the cup of wine was given to them, with Jesus saying, "This cup is the new covenant (i.e., new agreement) in My blood, which is poured out for you." Jesus said that one at the table would betray Him. Then, He told the disciples that "the greatest among you should be like... the one who serves..." and that they would "sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." Jesus told Peter that he would deny Jesus three times before the rooster crowed that day (the next morning). Going to the Mount of Olives He prayed, "Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done." Later, Judas came to kiss Him on the cheek and betrayed Him to a crowd who had come to take Him. Shortly thereafter, Simon Peter denied that he knew Jesus three times: then the rooster crowed that morning.
Jesus' "Trial" (Luke 22:23):
Meeting the council of the chief priests and teachers, when they said, "Are You then the Son of God?," Jesus answered, "You are right in saying I am." They carried Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor, and Jesus responded to the question, "Are You the king of the Jews?" with "Yes, it is as you say." Pilate referred Jesus to King Herod, who controlled Galilee. Later, Jesus was taken back to Pilate, who wanted to release Him, but eventually sentenced Him to die and released Barabbas, a prisoner/murderer.
The Crucifixion of Jesus (Luke 23):
Simon from Cyrene carried Jesus' cross to a place called the "Skull," where He was crucified with two criminals -- one on either side. Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." Soldiers gambled for His clothing, mocked Him, and offered Him wine vinegar. One criminal said "We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this Man has done nothing wrong." Then, that criminal said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into Your Kingdom," and Jesus replied, "...today you will be with Me in Paradise." Darkness occurred for three hours; the curtain of the Temple was torn in two (showing that God was then accessible to all), and then Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into Your Hands I commit My Spirit" and "breathed His last." Joseph, a Jewish Council (Supreme Court) member from Arimathea, asked Pilate for Jesus' body, took Jesus' body down from the cross, wrapped it in linen cloth, and (on Friday) placed it in a new tomb cut into rock. The Sabbath (Saturday, Jewish holy day), everyone rested.
The Resurrection of Jesus (Luke 24):
Early on Sunday, Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary (mother of James) and other women took spices to the tomb, found the stone (entrance covering) rolled away, and saw two gleaming men (i.e., angels), who said "He is not here; He has risen!" The women told the disciples and others of this, and Peter ran to the tomb, seeing the strips of linen (wrappings). Jesus appeared to two followers that Sunday but they did not recognize Him at first; when they did recognize Him, He disappeared. Jesus then appeared to Peter, then to the eleven disciples -- showing them His hands and feet and body, saying that He was not a ghost. Jesus instructed them:
- "...repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations."
Then, in the vicinity of Bethany, Jesus rose up into the sky to heaven. (Luke 24:50)