Gospel of Luke, Gospel of John and the Synoptics

The Distinctive Emphases of Luke

Luke’s gospel is about the life of Jesus from birth to resurrection. The Author of the Gospel relied on what other people said about Jesus and wrote the book systematically for the Christians. According to the gospel, the salvation of God is for everyone who believes in Jesus Christ. According to Luke, the ministry of Jesus started when He preached in Nazareth in a synagogue and the Jews were angry about the sermon and attempted to kill Jesus. Jesus brought the gospel first to the Jews who rejected it before He offered it to the gentiles (Goppelt 293).

Luke’s gospel refers to Jesus as a prophet who was sent by God. He was a Hebrew who faced opposition, rejection, and finally killed by the same people He was sent to save. Although Jesus knew He would be rejected, He presented himself to the Jews. The death of Jesus is regarded as salvation for the Christians because people were to feel guilty of His death and repent so that they could be forgiven their sins.

Luke’s gospel narrates Jesus’ Journey to Jerusalem although He knew His time to die had reached. The narration of the Climatic Journey is the central section of the gospel of Luke. A greater percentage of the content of Luke’s gospel is about teachings, which are in parables rather than deeds (Wenham 3-44).

Luke is much interested in the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. He is regarded as the first Christian to write about the history of the world’s happenings without concentrating only on the history of Jews. Luke’s geographical view of the world in his theological narrations is evident in his gospel. His central point of the gospel is the life of Jesus and His services at the Jerusalem temple where He dealt with people before His teachings spread to other parts of the world (Goppelt 293).

Luke narrates about the views of Jesus that portrayed Him as an ordinary human being than God, which made His humanity shine than in any other book that talks about the life of Jesus. Luke refers to Jesus using similar titles as authors of Mathew and Mark, which includes Christ, Lord, and the Son of God but the tiles lack prominence (Wenham 3-44).

Luke’s gospel recognizes Samaritans and Gentiles where it narrates about the story of the Good Samaritan and the ten lepers. It explains about the only leper who remembered to thank Jesus after being healed and hence received spiritual healing. In Luke’s gospel, the ministry of Jesus is not directed to the Gentiles, as is the case with the other books such as Mathew and Mark. Tax collectors and sinners have also been given a lot of emphasis in Luke’s gospel. For example, Luke’s gospel explains the story of the prodigal son, which is famous and that of Zacchaeous who used to collect the tax. Luke’s gospel mentions many women, which is not the case with other gospels. His gospel has many narrations about birth, which include Elizabeth and Mary while other gospels focus more on Joseph. The gospel contains the Prophet Anna and explains the birth of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem (Goppelt 293).

The parables narrated in Luke’s gospel are presented in pairs with a balance in gender. For example, the narrated stories include the story of the mastered seed and leaven, the occupation of farming by the man, and baking of bread by the woman as well as the lost sheep and coin. Also, Luke’s gospel narrates the healing of both a man and a woman that happened on different Sabbath days (Wenham 3-44).

The gospel of Luke tells about people who are poor being blessed as opposed to other books such as Mathew that discuss the blessings of spiritually poor people. Besides, the gospel explains how the prophecies of Isaiah were fulfilled regarding the spread of the good news according to the ministry of Jesus (Wenham 3-44).

The Differences between the Gospel of John and the Synoptic

John’s gospel lacks some information and significant events that are in the Synoptic gospels. For example, John’s gospel tells about Jesus being tempted, the transfiguration that occurred to Jesus, and the Lord’s Supper. In the gospel of John, there were no people with demons and Jesus teaching about how to pray. The gospel lacks parables but tells about the Vine and branches, which most scholars do not recognize as a parable (Dvorak 201-213).

In the gospel of John, there are contents that synoptic lacks such as those found in John chapters 2 to 4. The gospel tells about the Galilean ministry and visits that were made by Jesus to Jerusalem before the holy week. John’s gospel contains the raising of Lazarus from the dead but the gospel of synoptic omits the resurrection (Dvorak 201-213).

The gospels according to John and synoptic vary in the length of time that Jesus spent in His ministry. In the gospel of John, the length is indicated as four years during which Jesus made several visits between Galilee and Jerusalem. According to synoptic, the ministry lasted for one year and Jesus visited Jerusalem once (Dvorak 201-213).

The Gospel of John narrates events in a way that the narration was done long after the events took place, which is more reflective than descriptive reporting. According to the gospel of Synoptic, the events are narrated from a descriptive point of view as though the author observed all the events happen (Dvorak 201-213).

John’s gospel contains extended dialogue as opposed to the gospel of Synoptic where materials are presented in the form of proverbs. In John’s gospel, the words of Jesus are told predominantly in a category different from the synoptic. The Gospel of John lacks sayings and the use of parables (Dvorak 201-213).

John’s gospel features the use of symbolism and statements that can be interpreted to have two meanings, which is a technique used in literature. For instance, dual symbolism is used when light and darkness are mentioned in John 1:4 and John 8:12 as well as truth and falsehood in John 8:44. Most of the symbolic use of paired words such as freedom versus slavery in John 8:33 and above verses below in John 8: 23 are lacking in the gospel according to Synoptic (Dvorak 201-213).

According to John’s gospel, some statements are not clear, which is a technique that is used in literature. For instance, Jesus is reported to have talked to people in a way they could not understand and had to explain further for them to understand. For example, it was not clear to Nicodemus in John chapter 3 about the meaning of the new birth because Nicodemus thought it was a second physical birth. The gospel according to Synoptic did not feature such misunderstood statements (Dvorak 201-213).

Works Cited

Dvorak, James. “The relationship between john and the synoptic gospels.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 41.2 (1998): 201-213. Print.

Goppelt, Leonhard. “Theology of the New Testament.” Trans. J. E. Alsup 2 (1982) : 293.Print.

Wenham, John. “The Identification of Luke.” Evangelical Quarterly 63:1 (1991): 3-44. Print.

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