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The characteristics of Luke's gospel

A gospel of prayer
One of the features of the gospel of Luke is that it is a gospel of prayer. Luke alone showed a marked interest in the private prayer life of Jesus. In the book of Luke, one would discover three different parables on prayer, for example, the parables of the “friend at midnight”, “the Pharasee and the Publican” and “the unrighteous judge”. Also when his disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, it was after Jesus himself had finished praying. Again, at cardinal points in his life and ministry, Jesus prayed. Jesus prayed at his baptism and during his transfiguration, for example. Luke was interested in prayer; that is why his book is called a book of prayer.

Interest in women
Another feature of the book is that it is interested in women. Luke gives a lot of space for women and women’s issues in his gospel. Luke wrote about the Prophetess Anna, who, it was said was not going to die until she had seen the savior with her eyes. Luke vividly captured her feelings and reactions when she saw the Christ. Luke also recorded the story of the widow at Nain. This makes Luke’s gospel a gospel of women.

Gospel of the Holy Spirit
The other characteristic with which the book of Luke is associated is the fact that it is a gospel of the Holy Spirit. In Luke’s account of the birth of Jesus, the Holy Spirit features highly. Also, in the account of the baptism of Jesus, the Holy Spirit was described as having descended in a bodily form like a dove. Jesus himself is recorded to have said that “the spirit of God is upon me”. This goes to prove that Luke’s gospel is gospel of the Holy Spirit.

A gospel of praise
The book of Luke is also described as a book of praise and joy. In the early parts of his book, especially, Luke recorded the “Benedictus”, the “Ave Maria” and the “Magnificat”. These were songs that were offered in praise of God and done with joy in the hearts of the people who offered them.

Luke’s gospel is also tainted with a global outlook. It sought to appeal to the world rather than to the Hebrews exclusively. For example, Luke traced the family tree of Jesus to Adam, who is seen as the father of the human race and not to Abraham, who is considered as the father of the Jews, as Matthew did. Another example of universalism is the fact that when the child Jesus’ life was in danger, God appeared to Joseph and told him to flee to Egypt, a gentile nation.

A gospel of people
Luke had a lot of interest in individuals. He showed a lot of interest in the personal lives of people. It is one reason his book is called a gospel of people. He wrote about the personal experience of the woman called Elizabeth, the wife of Zachariah and how she had a baby in her old age. He wrote about Zacchaeus and the relationship between Martha and Jesus. That is why it is called the gospel of people.

1. Highlight six characteristics of the gospel of St. Luke.

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