Luke was Paul’s traveling companion. Luke was a part doctor, part historian, and part adventurer—but most of all, he was a dedicated, articulate, compelling advocate for the good news of Jesus Christ.
Surprisingly little is known about the man who wrote a quarter of the New Testament. What is known, however, is that Luke brought his unique set of skills to bear—including his expertise as a physician and his keen eye for detail—in writing an account of the life of Jesus and the early church.
Luke was not an eyewitness to Jesus’ ministry. At the beginning of his Gospel, he described himself as a researcher who
“carefully investigated everything” (Luke 1:3).
Of the four Gospels, Luke’s has the most in common with classical Greek literature—its sophisticated style of writing reflects favorably on the author’s education.
However, Luke was no ivory tower academic, writing about things from afar. Luke was friends with the apostle Paul. Beginning with Paul’s second missionary journey, the two men became traveling companions.
(Notice Luke’s use of the pronoun “we” starting in Acts 16:10.) As such, Luke witnessed firsthand many of the incidents recorded in the book of Acts. He may well have suffered imprisonment and persecution alongside Paul.
He was there with Paul
when a ship bound for Crete broke apart, nearly drowning everyone on board. Some believe he put his medical training to use at key moments, such as when Paul was bitten by a snake on the island of Malta.
Luke is probably the only Gentile author represented in the New Testament. Near the end of his letter to the Colossians, Paul included Luke in a list of Gentile companions who sent their greetings to the believers in Colosse (see Colossians 4:14).