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Volume 24 - Page 12 of 211 Index | Zoom | |
The Gentile in the Gospel of Luke.
pp. 41 - 46
As the writer of the Acts speaks of a former treatise which he had written, and as the
first fourteen verses of the Acts traverse the closing verses of Luke's Gospel, it will be
necessary to make some acquaintance with that Gospel, and to examine the portion that
is, in measure, repeated in Acts 1: 1-14.
It would be too great a digression to attempt an analysis of Luke's Gospel here, but
there have been provided for us means whereby its distinctive features can be seen clearly
enough to give some idea of the purpose of the writer, and with it some indication of
what to expect in the second treatise, the Acts itself. These means consist of the
comparison of a series of passages in Luke's Gospel with parallel ones in Matthew's
Gospel. The first obvious comparison is the genealogy given by both writers.
(1) The genealogy of Christ (Matt. 1: and Luke 3:).--It is evidently sufficient for
Matthew's purpose if he proves that the Lord Jesus was heir both of David and of
Abraham. Matthew knew as well as we do that Abraham was not the first man, but with
the object he had in view, no good purpose would have been served by taking the Lord's
genealogy back further than the Patriarch himself. With Abraham commenced the
purpose of God that had Israel as a nation in view, and with David commenced the
purpose of God that had the kingdom and the throne in view. When we turn to Luke's
account, we find that he, too, traces the Lord's genealogy back to David and to Abraham
(Luke 3: 31, 34), but the purpose for which he wrote necessitated the prosecution of the
genealogy back still further, and consequently it does not end until Luke records:
"Which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God" (3: 38).
Investigation of the further differences observable between the two genealogies would
demand a lengthy article, and as we are dealing with Luke's Gospel merely to get its
general trend, such an examination would but distract. Keeping in mind, therefore, the
first point of departure observable between the two accounts, let us make another
(2) The birth of Christ (Matt. 2: and Luke 2:).--In Matthew's account the birth of
the Saviour is heralded by wise men, and in Luke's account by angels. Matthew makes
no reference to the angels and the shepherds; Luke takes no notice of the wise men.
Is there a reason? There must be. Can we discover it? We can, if we compare the
"Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judæa in the days of Herod the King,
behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, where is He that is born
King of Jews? for we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him"
(Matt. 2: 1, 2).
"And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus,
that all the world should be taxed (and this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was