The men who were called to be part of the “inner circle” that surrounded Jesus  were a very diverse group of men that hailed from every type of social  background and occupation. These twelve men, other than the traitor, Judas,  formed the foundation of what is today known as “the church.” One of the men who  is not listed as an apostle but had a tremendous effect upon the documenting and  spreading of the gospel was a physician named Luke. He was evidently devoted to science and research before he came to know the Savior. There is no evidence  that Luke ever personally met the man, Jesus, just as Paul never had the  privilege of meeting Him when He walked the earth in the flesh. Luke’s intellect  shows through his writings, and his deep knowledge of things pertaining to the  physical make-up of man is evident in his Gospel.

Luke was a companion  of Paul, who called him “the beloved physician” (Colossians  4:14). Colossians 4:10-11, 14 indicate that Luke was not “of the circumcision,” which means that he was a  Gentile. It appears that he hailed from Antioch, which may be the reason Antioch  seems to be at the center of the book of Acts. This means that Luke is the only  writer in the New Testament who is not an Israelite (Jewish). Not only did Luke  write the Gospel that bears his name, but he also was privileged and inspired by  God to write the book of Acts.

Luke’s writings focus on the preaching  of the good news, which indicates his joy over the plan of salvation. He uses  the term “good news” ten times in his Gospel and fifteen times in the book of  Acts, while it is used only once in the other Gospels. Luke was given the  privilege of explaining the process of salvation and how God controls the mind  and the heart, in both his Gospel and in Acts. Luke 24:45 says, “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the  scriptures.” Acts 16:14 says, “And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of  Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard [us]: whose heart the Lord opened, that  she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.”

The date of  Luke’s death is not known, but the fact that he did not mention the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 or the persecution of believers under Nero that began in  A.D. 64 or the martyrdom of James in A.D. 62  leads to the belief that he passed away sometime before these events. From the life of Luke it is clear that no  matter what course we set for ourselves in life, when God has other plans, He  changes our direction. Luke is an example of an open-minded man, which was  unusual for an educated Gentile in his day, but he is a lesson for all who are  so focused on their own personal agendas and positions that they are firmly  glued in their comfort zone. Luke probably had social status in his community as a physician, but when confronted with truth, he not only recognized it, but he realized that nothing is more important than pursuing it, no matter what the  consequences. Luke recognized that Jesus is truth, and his life was forever changed.