What the Bible Tells Us About Luke

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

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

Luke was a doctor. As a companion of Paul, Luke had a traveling medical practice. 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 (see 2 Corinthians 12:7). Paul must have 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 proven accurate. The first words in his Gospel indicate his interest in the truth.

Luke’s compassion reflected the compassion of his Lord. Luke’s skill 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 building our faith. And he accomplished all this while staying out of the spotlight. Perhaps his greatest example is the challenge to be great even when we are not the center of attention.

Strengthens 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.
  • How we work when no one is watching reveals a lot about our concern for excellence and our character.

Vital Statistics:

  • Where: Probably met Paul in Troas
  • Occupations: Doctor, historian, traveling 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 eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 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, 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 1:24.

Content pulled from the NIV Life Application Study Bible, Third Edition






  • Princess Williams says:

    This is the finest writing about Luke I have read. My late husband was a cardiologist and I think he had some of these same qualities. I’m going back and read Luke now and thank you for enticing me with this article to do so.

  • Arlie M Jones says:

    I would like to know more about Luke’s personal life and history.

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