In this episode of our volunteer-driven research project “Walking The Way with The Saints”, we focus on St. Luke the Evangelist, whom we commemorate on October 18 according to the Syriac Orthodox Liturgical calendar. Bryant Wong presents us with his research into the life of the saint and how he used his skills to serve his Lord Jesus Christ.
St. Luke was born in Antioch and was a Gentile. He was a physician and a disciple of the apostles. St. Luke traveled with St. Paul. This is found in Philemon 1:24 and 2 Timothy 4:11. St. Luke collected the materials from the other apostles to write a Gospel account and the Acts of the Apostles. He is the only Gentile writer in the Bible.
Since he was a Gentile, St. Luke wrote his Gospel to Gentile Christians and addressed it to Theophilus, a Gentile and a new believer of Christ, to reassure that God was still at work in the Christian community founded by Jesus. In his Gospel, St. Luke went into details about St. Mary’s point of view of the birth of Christ, including The Magnificat, (Luke 1:46-56). St. Luke drew the picture of Mary, which is preserved at St. Mark’s Syrian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem. Both the picture and the details in his Gospel of St. Mary, showed he might have been in direct contact with St. Mary. St. Luke also wrote about the women who accompanied Jesus.
The Acts of the Apostles is a spiritual and theological record of how the church developed, as seen through the actions of the early Christians. It recounts the triumphant march of the Christian mission from Jerusalem throughout the Roman empire. The Book of Acts points out the work of the Holy Spirit descending on the early church and empowering the apostles and other missionaries to carry the good news of salvation, expanding by means of small congregations. Finally the Book of Acts, tells the importance for understanding the organization and structure of the Church, method of resolving controversies, the roles of apostles, bishops, priests, and deacons; and the spiritual life of the Church.
St. Luke departed at the age of 84 in Boetia or Bithynia.
- The Orthodox Study Bible. St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology, Elk Grove, CA: 2008.
- Rajan, Cor Episco K. Mani Martyrs, Saints, and Prelates of the Syriac Orthodox Church One Volume. Puthencruz, Kerala, India: J.S.C. Publications: 2017
May St. Luke’s prayers be with us all, and glory be to God forever. Amen!
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