The Gospel of Luke Notes No. 1 and 2

Luke’s Gospel, and Why he Chose to Write it

These are early handwritten leaves on paper of the
Gospel of Luke in the Coptic language. Paper took
the place of parchment (skins of cows and mature
sheep and goats) and vellum (skins of lambs and
goats – often the fetus) in the 14th and 15th centuries.
It was much cheaper and quite durable since it was
made with a cloth base.*

I have never taught  by systematic exposition the book of Luke, and my final years of ministry should be characterized by my voice speaking much of my Saviour and my heart loving Him more.

Charles e Whisnant, Student/Teacher/Pastor/Expositor     

 Luke’s Gospel 1:1-4   Sermon # 42.1      February 19, 2012

Today February 19, 2012 we begin our study of the Gospel of Luke/Acts. Luke is the 42nd book in the Bible and the 3rd book in the New Testament.

Postmodernism is the prevailing philosophy of our day.

It’s our word. Don’t use it. Don’t try to define it. Above all, don’t label us with it.

Even if we apply it to ourselves.


Today in our culture the main precept of this philosophy is there is no such thing as absolute truth.  Truth is seen as personal and subjective.  Many believe it is not discovered, but created by each individual.

What? I know to you it’s a piece of furniture; but to me it’s fancy facial art





  • Faith in the Bible or in Christ is to a degree a matter of the heart, but it is a matter of the head too.  Yes, there is an emotional aspect of the Christian faith, but that faith needs to be grounded in the historical and doctrinal truth as revealed to us the Word of God.
  • We need a firm foundation when our feelings are called into subjection. If we have no objective basis for evaluation of our feelings we are in trouble.
  • We need a faith that is rooted in objective history and absolute, unchanging truth.


1Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, 2Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;  3It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,  4That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.

Luke wrote this Gospel and Acts to tell the truth concerning the Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ.

Even by the time Luke wrote this book, sometime before 95 A.D., many people were far removed from the ministry of Jesus, both in geography and time.  And Luke took the task to provide them with such an account of the story of Jesus as would enable them to see that the story with which they had already become generally familiar with, was indeed the TRUTH, and what they knew was RELIABLE.  Because what they knew was the basis for their faith in God, in Christ and in their salvation.

Maybe as do many believers, then and now, Theophilus had some troublesome questions about Christ and the ministry of Jesus Christ while on earth.  Maybe he needed some assurance about the TRUTHFULNESS of what he had believed.

I would think that many would have some questions about the Christian faith.  Was it really true and only the truth?  If it was true about Jesus as God, why did so many reject Him and he died on the cross?  Why did the Jews reject the message, while the Gentiles are receiving it?


Verse One:  Forasmuch 1895as many 4183have taken in hand 2021 to set forth in order 392 a declaration 1335of 4012those things 4229 which are most surely believed 4135 among 1722us 2254,

LUKE CHAPTER ONE: Verse One:  Forasmuch 1895 as many 4183 have taken in hand 2021 to set forth in order 392 a declaration 1335 of 4012 those things 4229 which are most surely believed 4135 among 1722 us 2254, \

1   Forasmuch

  • Intensive particle to emphasize importance

As many

  • How many no one knows, but more than 2 or 3.   Luke used the material of Jesus written by Matthew and Mark.

Have taken in hand 2021 (undertake, attempt)

  • With all that had been written, there was room for Luke’s book.  In other words they did not say “Oh not another book about Jesus Christ.”

To set forth in order: 392 (To draw up, a narrative)

  • The expression points to a connected series of narratives in some order topical or chronological rather than to isolated narrative (Bruce)

A declaration  1335  of those things 4229  (a narrative)

  • To lead the way. Something which leads the reader through the mass of facts: a narrative

Which are most surely believed 4135  among us, 1722  (Which have been fulfilled)

  • When used of things it has the notion of completing or finishing. 2 Timothy 4:5, 17.

Verse 2   Even 2531 as they delivered 3860 them unto us 2254, which 3588 from 575 the beginning 746 were 1096 eyewitnesses 845, and 2532 ministers 5257 of the word 3056;

 Even as

  • Luke says that Matthew, Mark and John’s account, narratives had their sound basis.

 They delivered them unto us,

 Luke received this tradition alone with those who he has in mind (the many).

 Which from the beginning were

  • The official beginning, the commencement of Jesus ministry.Acts 1:21-22; John 15:27.

 Eyewitnesses, 845  and

  • Personal knowledge and practical experience was necessary elements of an apostle.

 Ministers  5257 of the word;  3056

  • Under rowers, or servants. Matthew 5:25, 26:58; Mark 14:54,65.

From the beginning 746

  • it seems that refers to the beginning of the ministry of Jesus as was true of the apostles. Acts 1:22 and the early apostolic preaching. Acts 10:37-43.
  • The Gospel of Mark follows this plan.

Verse 3  It seemed 1380 good to me also 2504, having had perfect 199 understanding 3877 of all things 3956 from the very first 509, to write 1125 unto thee 4671 in order 2517, most excellent 2903 Theophilus 2321,

It seemed good to me also,

  • Would you say this would be a natural conclusion and justification of Luke’s decision to write his narrative. 

 Having had perfect 199  understanding 3877  of all things  3956 (Having traced the course of all things)

  • The writer says Vine:
  • Humbly differentiating himself from those who possessed an essential apostolic qualification, declares that he “traced the course of all things.” 2 Thess 5:2. 2 Timothy 3:10

 From the very first,

  • Maybe the matter in 1:5 to 2:52. The Gospel of the Infancy.

To write 1125 unto thee

  • to commit to writing (things not to be forgotten), write down, record

In order,

  • Chronological order in the main following Mark’s general outline.

Most excellent Theophilus,

  • The name means god-lover or god-beloved. Friend of God. He may have been a believer. Note notes above.

Verse 4 That 2443 thou mightest know 1921 the certainty 803 of 4012 those things 3056, wherein 3739 thou hast been instructed 2727 .

That thou mightest know

  • Full knowledge, in addition to what he already has. Matthew 7:16.

 The certainty  803

  • Make no slip, or fall. Firmness, stability, undoubted truth

Of those things,

  • Literally “words” the detains of the words in the instruction.

 Wherein thou hast been instructed

  • Has sounded forth. Is our word “echo” I Thessalonians 1:8, Romans 2:18; 1 Corin. 14:19
  • To instruct, to give oral instruction  Acts 21;21,24; 18;25


Luke 1:1-4     42.2

Charles e Whisnant, February 26, 2012


Remember the motion picture titled: “The Greatest Story Ever Told”?   Well, God has a story that is the greatest ever.


1A      What  was God’s plan for History?

       1B    The plan was formed before the Creation

  1. Isaiah 46:10: “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.”
  2. Proverbs 16:33
  3. 3.    “This is the plan devised against the whole earth; and this is the hand that is stretched out against all the nations. “For the Lord of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it? And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?” Isaiah
  4. 4.     Ephesians 1:4, 11; 2 Timothy 1:9, Psalms 33:10-11, James 1:17; Numbers 23:19;

2B       God’s Plan includes where and when men live.  Acts 17:26

3B       God’s Plan includes all of the Acts of Men:  Proverbs 16:9

4B       God’s Plan includes the Sinful Acts of Men:  Genesis 50:19-20

5B       God’s Plan includes “Chance Happenings.” Proverbs 16:33

6B       God discloses His purposes in sacred or redemptive History

7B       God planned for a SALVATION HISTORY.  God’s plan was to bring salvation to a fallen mankind.



  • 1B       Luke gives us a prologue: 1:1-4.
  • 2B       Luke is the author and writer of the book of Luke.
  • 3B       Luke was humble.
  • 4B       Luke was a careful scholar, an exact scholar, and very accurate writer.
  • 5B       Luke liked geography.
  • 6B       Luke was a physician.
  • 7B       Luke was a historian.
  • 8B       Luke was a theologian.

9A       Luke was a Pastor

10A     Luke was a fellow missionary with Paul


1Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us

        1B        Luke’s method of researching for truth about Jesus and His ministry

               1C        Early Roman Newspapers Daily:  Handwritten news sheets.

2Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;  

        1B        Luke’s getting eye-witnesses of the events of Jesus and ministry.

            2B        Luke was a great interviewer.  Critical to getting to the truth:

3B        The eye-witnesses were ministers of the Word.

3It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,

1B       As I have reviewed all the first hand material, I find the information accurate and to be creditable. And I have come to a perfect understanding of everything from the beginning of the gospel.  And now after all this research and coming to a perfect understanding, I am now ready to write this book about Jesus Christ and the Gospel unto salvation

“Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eye witnesses and servants of the Word have handed them to us, it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus, so that you might know the exact truth about the things you have been taught”


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