On this week in which we celebrate the birth of Christ, our primary source of information is from the Gospel written by Luke, a first-century scholar / historian / physician / theologian / missionary who gave us the Third Gospel and the book of Acts. Chapter 2 covers not only the birth of Christ, but also His first thirty years. Here’s a simple outline of the chapter
- Jesus at birth (v. 1-20)
- Jesus at eight days old (v. 21)
- Jesus at forty days old (v. 22-38)
- Jesus’s childhood to age 12 (v. 39-40)
- Jesus at age twelve (v. 41-50)
- Jesus as a teenager and young adult (v. 51-52)
Let me expand on outlines to suggest an overall structure for the entire book. I’ve been reading through Luke garnering the outline, and it seems in the broadest sense that Luke’s Gospel divides cleanly into sections determined by our Lord’s age and geography. Try using this outline for your own study of Luke.
1. The First Thirty Years of the Life of Christ (1:5 – 2:52)
2. The Last Three Years of the Life of Christ (3:1 – 24:53)
- Judea (3:1 – 4:13)
- Galilee (4:14 – 9:50)
- Galilee to Jerusalem (9:51-19:27)
- Jerusalem (9:28 – 24:53)
You can outline Luke using the calendar (our Lord’s age) and the map (our Lord’s location). This tells us that the story of Christ isn’t just sentimental legend; it is a historical record researched by the most accurate writer of the first century who “carefully investigated everything from the beginning” to give us “an order account” so that we “may know the certainty of the things (we) have been taught (1:3-4).
Merry Christmas from Luke!