The Berean Expositor
Volume 36 - Page 90 of 243
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#39.  The Distinctive Purposes of
the Gospels according to Matthew and Luke demonstrated.
pp. 125 - 129
The words used by Luke and Paul have been tabulated, and it has been found that
"every second word in the Gospel of Luke is also used by Paul" and so close is the
language of the Acts of the apostles to the diction of Paul's epistles, that there is
actually a volume of considerable interest published, entitled "Paul, the author of the
Acts" (H. Heber Evans). Moreover, among those who deny that Paul was or could be
the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, are those who maintain that its author was Luke.
This we do not believe, and have every confidence that Hebrews is one of Paul's
fourteen epistles--yet the closeness of language between Paul and Luke is emphasized by
this suggestion.
The message which was given to the apostle Paul for the Gentiles, and the ministry of
the reconciliation committed to him, arose out of the failure of Israel (speaking after the
manner of men) to repent and believe the good news of the kingdom.  The great
teaching of the apostle, which included the Gentile within the sphere of the promise of
Abraham (Romans and Galatians), is scarcely suggested by Matthew's Gospel. We have
already seen that Matthew's Gospel is divided into two parts, each part is connected
with the relationship and covenants indicated in Matt. 1: 1.  The first part, covering
Matt. 4: 17 - 16: 20, is associated with the kingly title "Son of David"; the second
portion, commencing with the announcement of suffering, death and resurrection
(16: 21), is the fulfilling of the title "Son of Abraham". The second phase of the Lord's
ministry could not be made a matter of public proclamation until the great transaction of
Calvary had removed the curse, and made it possible for the blessing of Abraham to flow
out to the Gentiles (Gal. 3: 13, 14). The Acts opens with a renewed witness concerning
the kingdom of Israel and David's throne, but also links with it the wider covenant made
with Abraham. Luke, who wrote the "Acts", had already written a "former treatise of all
that Jesus began to do and teach" and in that treatise he laid a foundation for Paul's
Gospel of the reconciliation. He does not stay at Abraham when he gives the genealogy
of the Lord, but goes back to Adam.
The unfolding of the divine purpose is closely connected with the revelation of Christ
Himself. It will be found that the circle of truth widens and deepens as the time arrives
for some richer title of Christ to come forth. The inner circle, latest in time of revelation,
and first to be fulfilled and exhausted is associated with David. To this the first portion
of Matthew is devoted (1:-16:). The next circle, which goes back in history, and looks
forward beyond the confines of the rule of David, is connected with Abraham. The
second portion of Matthew (17:-28:) and the Acts belong to this section of the
purpose. Luke's gospel goes back beyond both Abraham and David, and traces the
genealogy of the Saviour back to Adam. This forms the basis for Paul's message to the
Gentiles; and indeed it is Paul alone of all the New Testament writers who makes known