Luke 1 New Testament verses 1–4

Reading and exploring the Bible.


1 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

comment for 1–4

Christ’s life begins earlier than Matthew or Mark. We thank God for them all, which in one make up what is wanting in the other, while all put together make a harmony. In this chapter we have Luke’s preface to his gospel, or his epistle dedicatory to his friend Theophilus. The fuel of pride are justly condemned by the wise and good; but it doesn’t follow, that such as are useful and instructive are to be run down; such is this, Luke dedicates his gospel to his friend Theophilus, not as to his patron, though he was a man of honor, to protect it, but as to his pupil, to learn it, and hold onto it. It’s not certain who this Theophilus was; the name signifies a friend of God; some think that it does not mean any particular person.

Over 50% of Luke’s gospel is unique, containing materials found nowhere else. Without Luke, certain periods of Christ’s life and ministry would be unknown to us. Luke alone gives certain important notations (2:1; 3:2; 3:23). Luke has a greater focus on individuals than do the other three gospels. For example, Luke mentions thirteen women not found in the other gospels. It can also be said that Luke’s gospel has more comprehensive range than the others. It begins with the announcements concerning the births of John the Baptist and Jesus and ends with a reference to the ascension of Christ. It is impossible to say how many miracles Jesus Christ performed during His ministry, because many are referred to collectively. There are about a dozen passages in the gospels where miracles are summarized for us. There are thirty-five miracles specifically detailed in the gospels, twenty of which are found in Luke. Of the twenty in Luke, seven are unique to this gospel alone.

It is certain that Luke was moved by the Holy Ghost to write, but in the writing of it he had to consider the events he wrote about were mostly believed among all Christians. Things which they ought to be instructed in, that they may know what they believe, and things which ought to be transmitted to posterity (who are as much concerned in them as we are); and, in order to do that, to be committed to writing, which is the surest way of conveyance to the ages to come. He will not write about things of doubtful disputation, things about which Christians may safely differ from one another and hesitate within themselves; but the things which are, and ought to be, most surely believed. Note, Though it is not the foundation of our faith, yet it is a support to it, that the articles of our creed are things that have been long most surely believed. The doctrine of Christ is what thousands of the wisest and best of men have ventured their souls upon with the greatest assurance and satisfaction. That it was requisite there should be a declaration made, the history of the life of Christ should be , and committed to writing, for the greater certainty of the transfer. When things are put in order, we know the better where to find them for our own use, and how to keep them for the benefit of others. The labours of others in the gospel of Christ, if faithful and honest, we ought to commend and encourage, and not to despise. The apostles were ministers of the word of Christ, who is the Word, or of the doctrine of Christ; they, having received it themselves, ministered it to others. Jesus had his disciples with him when he worked Jesus’ first miracle. The written gospel, which we have to this day, exactly agrees with the gospel which was preached in the first days of the church. That he himself had a perfect understanding of the things he wrote of.

Let us pray. Dear Father, The Book of Luke is one which can greatly bless and benefit us in our Christian lives. Let us approach our study of Luke with eager anticipation. In your name I pray. Amen