The Good News According to
Author: Luke, physician and traveling companion of Isa's emissary Paul
Place written: unknown
Date written: probably about A.D. 60-62.
The Holy Scriptures open with the story of creation followed by a description of the first humans enjoying a harmonious relationship with Allah in the beautiful Garden of Eden. This harmony is shattered however when the man and woman rebel against Allah's rule, bringing shame and the curse of death upon themselves. As a result, they are expelled from Paradise (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:1-24). But the story does not end there: through his prophetic messengers Allah promises to send his Messiah (Arabic al-Masih, “the anointed one”—a righteous king and savior), who would establish the kingdom of Allah and provide the way for fallen humanity to be restored to a harmonious relationship with the Creator (Genesis 3:15; 12:1-3; 49:10; Deuteronomy 18:18; 2 Samuel 7:10-13; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7; 11:1-5; 42:1-9; 52:13–53:12; 61:1-2; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Ezekiel 37:24-28; Micah 5:2).
Each of the first four books of the Injil is an account of the “good news” about how this promised Messiah, Isa al-Masih, came and began to establish Allah's kingdom; but not in the way most people were expecting. In the years just before Isa was born, the Jewish people were suffering under Roman occupation, and were eagerly awaiting deliverance. Because they were Allah's “Chosen People,” many of them reasoned that when the Messiah came, he would free them from pagan Roman rule and set up a righteous kingdom in Palestine. But as the accounts of the good news relate, such people, including most religious leaders like the Pharisees, completely missed the point—that Allah's kingdom is not an earthly kingdom established and upheld by military force. Ultimately, it is the reign of Allah in the hearts of his people which is reflected in every aspect of life. Allah was acting to remove the curse of Eden and to free all of humanity (including pagans) not from slavery to Rome, but from slavery to the thoughts, words and deeds which will bring us shame and punishment on the Day of Judgment.
Luke, the author of this account of the good news, was a faithful traveling companion and co-worker of Isa al-Masih's emissary Paul, who remained with Paul even when everyone else had deserted him (2 Timothy 4:9-11); he was also a well-educated medical doctor (Colossians 4:14). Luke was very careful in compiling his data, and diligently researched every account, collecting many eye-witness testimonies, before he composed the most extensive and comprehensive narrative of the life and teachings of Isa al-Masih that we possess (1:1-4).a It is likely that Theophilus, a wealthy gentleman, financed Luke's research and writing, and oversaw the distribution of the completed work. This was a common practice in the first-century Roman world, and would explain why Luke addressed his account to Theophilus (1:3).
Luke had come to believe that Isa was the promised Messiah. He was probably born into a pagan family and he was writing to a largely non-Hebrew audience, demonstrating that they too could become subjects of Allah's kingdom, regardless of their ethnicity or background (2:29-32; 7:9; 10:25-37; 17:11-19). Hence, Luke emphasizes Isa's compassion for the afflicted, despised, and outcasts of society, including women (7:11-17; 8:1-3, 43-48; 13:10-17), pagans and Samaritans (7:1-10; 17:11-19), tax-collectors and notable sinners (5:27-32; 7:36-50; 19:1-10) and the poor (21:1-4). Luke also emphasizes the importance of prayer (5:16; 6:12, 28; 11:1-13; 18:1-8), and the ministry of Allah's Holy Spirit (1:35, 41, 67; 2:26-27; 4:1, 14, 18; 10:21; 11:13; 12:11-12). He testifies to the joy which the news about Isa brings to those who receive it (2:10; 6:23; 10:20; 19:5-6; 24:52-53). He also records how Isa frequently referred to himself by the Messianic title, “Son of Man” (5:24 with footnote; see also Daniyal/Daniel 7:13-14), who would come “to seek and to save people who are lost” (19:10).
Luke's account is a literary masterpiece, written in the most refined Greek. He begins his narrative with earlier events than the other accounts record, relating prophecies of the births of Prophet Yahya (1:5-25) and of Isa al-Masih (1:26-38). Then he describes Isa's birth in detail, including many events that no one else wrote about (2:1-40). He is also the only author of the Injil who speaks of Isa going up to the temple in al-Quds as a twelve-year old boy (2:41-52). After that, Luke gives the details of the beginning of Isa's public ministry, including his undergoing a ritual washing by Yahya (3:21-22) and his withstanding Shaitan's temptations in the desert (4:1-13).
After telling about the events of Isa's ministry in and around Galilee (4:14–9:50), Luke gives a detailed record of the journey to al-Quds, including much material that is unique to his account (9:51–19:10). He then tells about how, after arriving in al-Quds, Isa died at the hands of the religious and political establishment, who could not accept his claim to be the Messiah (23:26-49), and how, on the third day, he rose again from the dead (24:1-48)! From the beginning, Isa knew that this was his destiny, and that it was necessary to fulfill prophecies (9:21-22, 44; 18:31-33; 24:25-27). Luke ends with an account of the disciples' joy and anticipation as they await the day when Isa would fulfill his promise of sending them Allah's Holy Spirit after he had ascended to his heavenly Father (24:49-53).
Prologue (1:1-4)
Isa's birth, infancy, and childhood (1:5–2:52)
Preparatory events: Prophet Yahya's birth and the pregnancy of Maryam (1:5-80)
Isa's birth (2:1-7)
The shepherds' visit (2:8-20)
The dedication of Isa in the temple (2:21-40)
Isa's childhood visit to the temple (2:41-52)
The beginning of Isa's public ministry (3:1–4:13)
The testimony of Prophet Yahya (3:1-22)
Isa's genealogy (3:23-38)
Isa tested by Iblis (4:1-13)
The ministry in Galilee (4:14–9:9)
Isa rejected at Nazareth (4:14-30)
The ministry of healing and casting out demons (4:31–6:16)
Teaching the multitudes (6:17-49)
Further ministry of healing (7:1-50)
Parables of the kingdom (8:1-21)
Further ministry of healing and casting out demons (8:22–9:9)
The ministry in outlying regions (9:10-50)
Ministry across the Sea of Galilee (9:10-17)
Ministry in Caesarean Philippi (9:18-50)
The ministry in Judea (9:51–19:27)
The journey through Samaria (9:51-62)
The mission of the seventy disciples (10:1-24)
The ministry of teaching and healing, and the resulting opposition (10:25–14:35)
A collection of parables (15:1–16:31)
Further ministry of teaching and healing (17:1–19:27)
The ministry in al-Quds (19:28–21:38)
The triumphal entry (19:28-44)
Controversy escalates in al-Quds (19:45–21:4)
Prophecies of the destruction of the temple and the end of the age (21:5-38)
Isa's death and burial (22:1–23:56)
The last supper (22:1-38)
Isa's betrayal, arrest, and trials (22:39–23:25)
Isa's crucifixion and burial (23:26-56)
Isa's resurrection and ascension (24:1-53)