One of the essential qualities of a good doctor is compassion. People need to know that their doctor cares.  Even if he or she doesn’t know what is wrong or isn’t sure what to do, real concern is always a doctor’s good medicine.  Doctor Luke was a person of compassion.

Although we know few facts about his life, Luke has left us a strong impression of himself by what he wrote. In his Gospel, he emphasises Jesus Christ’s compassion.  He vividly recorded both the power demonstrated by Christ’s life and the care with which Christ treated people.  Luke highlighted the relationships Jesus had with women.  His writing in Acts is full of sharp verbal pictures of real people caught up in the greatest events of history.

Luke was also a doctor. He had a travelling medical practice as Paul’s companion.  Since the gospel was often welcomed with whips and stones, the doctor was undoubtedly seldom without patients.  It is even possible that Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” was some kind of physical ailment that needed Luke’s regular attention.  Paul deeply appreciated Luke’s skills and faithfulness.

God also made special use of Luke as the historian of the early church. Repeatedly, the details of Luke’s descriptions have been proved accurate.  The first words in his Gospel indicate his interest in the truth.

Luke’s compassion reflected his Lord’s. Luke’s skills as a doctor helped Paul.  His passion for the facts as he recorded the life of Christ, the spread of the early church, and the lives of Christianity’s missionaries gives us dependable sources for the basis of our faith.  He accomplished all this while staying out of the spotlight.  Perhaps his greatest example is the challenge to greatness even when we are not the centre of attention.

Strengths and accomplishments:

  • A humble, faithful, and useful companion of Paul
  • A well-educated and trained physician
  • A careful and exact historian
  • Writer of both the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts

Lessons from his life:

  • The words we leave behind will be a lasting picture of who we are
  • Even the most successful person needs the personal care of others
  • Excellence is shown by how we work when no-one is noticing

Vital statistics:

  • Where: Probably met Paul in Troas
  • Occupations: Doctor, historian, travelling companion
  • Contemporaries: Paul, Timothy, Silas, Peter

Key verses: “Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eye-witnesses and servants of the word.  Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught” (Luke 1:1 – 4).

Luke includes himself in the we sections of Acts 16 – 28.  He is also mentioned in Luke 1:3; Acts 1:1; Colossians 4:14; 2 Timothy 4:11; Philemon 24.


©KingsWay 1973.



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