THE GOSPEL OF LUKE FOR READERS
THE GOSPEL OF LUKE FOR READERS
The Gospel of Luke
1. Forasmuch as many eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have
set forth and delivered to us a declaration of those things which are
most surely believed among us it seemed good to me also having had
perfect understanding of these things from the very beginning to
write to you most excellent Theophilus in order that thou might know
the certainty of the things thou has been instructed.
In the days of Herod the king of Judaea there was a priest named
Zacharias of the course of Abia. His wife was of the daughters of
Aaron and her name was Elisabeth. They were both righteous before
God walking blamelessly in all the commandments and ordinances of the
Lord. They had no child because Elisabeth was barren. They were both
well up in years.
According to the custom of the priest's office his lot while he
executed his duty before God was to burn incense when he went into
the temple of the Lord. The multitude gathered outside to pray during
the time of incense.
There appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side
of the altar of incense. When Zacharias saw him he was troubled and
fell down in fear. But the angel said to him Fear not Zacharias: for
thy prayer is heard. Thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son and
thou shall name him John. You shall have joy and gladness and many
will rejoice at his birth. He shall be great in the sight of the Lord.
He shall not drink wine or strong drink; and he shall be filled with
the Holy Ghost even from his mother's womb.
He shall turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.
He shall go in the spirit and power of Elias to turn the hearts of the
fathers to the children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the
just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
Zacharias said to the angel How shall I know this? I am an old man
and my wife an old woman. The angel said to him I am Gabriel who
stands in the presence of God; and am sent to speak to thee and to
show thee these glad tidings. Behold thou shall be dumb and unable to
speak until the day these things are performed because thou believe
not my words which shall be fulfilled in their season.
The people waited for Zacharias and marvelled that he tarried so long
in the temple. When he came out he could not speak to them. They
perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple for he beckoned to
them and remained speechless.
It came to pass that as soon as the days of his official duties were
accomplished he went home. His wife Elisabeth conceived and hid
herself for five months. She said Thus has the Lord now done for me
that which takes away my reproach among others.
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of
Galilee named Nazareth. The angel appeared to a virgin named Mary and
espoused to Joseph of the house of David. He said to her Hail thou
that art highly favored. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among
women. When she saw him she was troubled by his words.
Then the angel said to her Fear not Mary for thou has found favor
with God. Thou shall conceive in thy womb and bring forth a son and
shall call His name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the
Son of the Highest. The Lord God shall give Him the throne of His
father David. He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever. And of
His kingdom there shall be no end.
Then Mary said to the angel How shall this be since I know not a man?
The angel answered The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power
of the Highest shall overshadow thee so the holiness that is born of
thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold thy cousin
Elisabeth has conceived a son in her old age. It is the sixth month
with her who was once thought barren. With God nothing is impossible.
Mary said Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done according to
thy word. Then the angel departed from her.
Mary arose with haste and went to a city of Juda in the hill country.
Here she entered the house of Zacharias and saluted Elisabeth. When
Elisabeth heard this salutation of Mary the babe leaped in her womb
and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost. She spoke out with a
loud voice Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of
thy womb. How is it that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As
soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears the babe
leaped in my womb for joy. Blessed is she that believed for there
shall be a demonstration of those things which were told her by the
Mary said My soul does magnify the Lord and my spirit has rejoiced
in God my Savior. He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden
and henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. He that is
mighty has done great things to me. Holy is His name. His mercy is on
them that fear Him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the
imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their
thrones and exalted those of low degree. He has filled the hungry
with good things; and the rich He has sent away empty. He has helped
His servant Israel in remembrance of His mercy; as He spoke to our
fathers to Abraham and to His seed forever.
Mary stayed with her cousin Elisabeth about three months then
returned to her own house. Elisabeth's time came that she should be
delivered; and she brought forth a son. Her neighbors and her cousins
heard how the Lord had showed great mercy on her; and they rejoiced
On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. They called him
Zacharias after the name of his father. But his mother said No. He
shall be called John. And they said to her There is none of thy
kindred that is called by this name. Then they made signs to his
father asking how he would have him called. He asked for a writing
table and wrote His name is John. Then Zacharias' mouth was opened
immediately his tongue loosed and he spoke and praised God.
This news was carried throughout all the hill country of Judaea. All
who heard were filled with wonder at what kind of child this would be!
And the hand of the Lord was with him.
His father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost and prophesied
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He has visited and redeemed
His people He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house
of His servant David; as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets
which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from
our enemies and from the hand of all that hate us; to perform the
mercy promised to our fathers and to remember His holy covenant; the
oath which He swore to our father Abraham that He would grant us
being delivered out of the hand of our enemies to serve Him without
fear in holiness and righteousness all the days of our life.
And thou child shall be called the prophet of the Highest for thou
shall go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways; to give
knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins
through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on
high has visited us to give light to those who sit in darkness and in
the shadow of death to guide our feet in the way of peace.
The child grew and became strong in spirit. He was in the desert until
the day of his showing to Israel.
2 A decree went out from Caesar Augustus. According to the
decree every man was to go to his own city to be taxed. Because he was
of the house and lineage of David Joseph went up from Nazareth in
Galilee to the city of Bethlehem in Judaea to be taxed. With him was
Mary his espoused wife who was great with child. While they were
there the time came for her to be delivered. She brought forth her
firstborn son wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a
manger because there was no room for them in the inn.
In the same country shepherds were in the field keeping watch over
their flock by night. Lo the angel of the Lord came upon them and the
glory of the Lord shone about them. They became afraid. And the angel
said to them Fear not. Behold I bring you good tidings which shall
be great joy to all people. A Savior Christ the Lord is born this
day in the city of David. Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling
clothes lying in a manger. Then there also appeared a heavenly host
praising God. They said Glory to God in the highest and on earth
peace and good will toward men.
The shepherds said Let us go to Bethlehem and see what has come to
pass which the Lord has made known to us. They went with haste and
found Mary and Joseph and the babe lying in a manger.
When they saw they made it known abroad what was told them concerning
this child. Those who heard wondered at what they were told. But Mary
kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds
returned glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had
heard and seen as it was told to them.
When eight days were completed for the circumcising of the child His
name was called Jesus which was so named by the angel before He was
conceived in the womb. When the days of the purification according to
the law of Moses were accomplished they brought Jesus to Jerusalem to
present Him to the Lord as it is written in the law: Every male that
opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord. And also according
to law of the Lord they offered the sacrifice: a pair of turtledoves
or two young pigeons.
There was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was a just and devout
man waiting for the consolation of Israel. The Holy Ghost was upon
him and revealed to him that he should not see death before he had
seen the Lord's Christ.
He came by the Spirit into the temple. When the parents brought in the
child Jesus Simeon took Him up in his arms blessed God and said
Lord now let thy servant depart in peace according to thy word for
my eyes have seen thy salvation which thou has prepared before the
face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of
thy people Israel.
Joseph and Mary marvelled at the things which were spoken of Him.
Simeon blessed them and said to His mother Mary Behold this child
is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign
which will be spoken against. A sword shall pierce thy soul that the
thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
Then a prophetess also spoke of Him. Anna was the daughter of Phanuel
of the tribe of Aser. She was an aged widow who for fourscore and
four years did not leave the temple and served God with fasting and
prayer night and day. She gave thanks to the Lord and spoke of Him to
those in Jerusalem who awaited redemption.
When they had performed all that was required according to the law of
the Lord they returned to their own city of Nazareth in Galilee. The
child grew became strong in spirit and was filled with wisdom and
the grace of God.
Every year His parents went to Jerusalem at the feast of the passover.
When He was twelve years old they went up to Jerusalem after the
custom of the feast. When they had fulfilled the days they returned
but the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem. Joseph and His mother
did not know of it. Supposing Him to have been in the caravan at the
end of the first day's journey they sought Him among their kinsfolk
and acquaintances. When they did not find Him they turned back toward
Jerusalem to find Him.
After three days they found Him in the temple. He was sitting in the
midst of the doctors listening to them and asking them questions.
Those who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.
When His parents saw Him they were amazed. His mother said to Him
Son why has thou done this to us? Thy father and I have been very
worried. He said How is it that ye sought me? Do you not know that I
must be about my Father's business? But they did not understand what
He said to them. Then He went with them to Nazareth and was obedient
to them; but His mother kept all this in her heart. Jesus increased in
wisdom in stature and in favor with God and man.
3 It was the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar.
Pontius Pilate was governor of Judaea; Herod was tetrarch of Galilee;
and his brother Philip was tetrarch of Ituraea and the region of
Trachonitis; and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene. Annas and Caiaphas
were the high priests.
The word of God came to John the son of Zacharias when he was in the
wilderness. He went into all the country around Jordan preaching the
baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. This was according to
what is written in the book of Esaias the prophet: The voice of one
crying in the wilderness Prepare the way of the Lord make His paths
straight. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill
shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight and the
rough ways shall be made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation
John said to the multitude that came to be baptized by him O
generation of vipers who has warned you to flee from the wrath to
come? Bring forth fruits worthy of repentance. Stop saying to
yourselves We have our father Abraham: for I tell you God is able
to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. Now the axe is laid
to the root of the trees. Every tree which does not bring forth good
fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire.
The people asked him What shall we do? He answered He that has two
coats let him give it to him that has none. He that has food let him
do likewise. The publicans who came to him to be baptized also asked
Master what shall we do? He said to them Exact no more than that
which is appointed you. The soldiers likewise asked What shall we
do? He said Do violence to no man do not accuse anyone falsely; and
be content with your wages.
People lived in expectation and wondered whether he was the Christ.
John answered by saying to them all I baptize you with water; but one
mightier than I comes the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to
unloose. He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with a fire
whose fan is in His hand. He will thoroughly purge His floor. He will
gather the wheat into His garner; but He will burn the chaff with fire
Herod the tetrarch had been reproved by John on account of Herodias
his brother Philip's wife and for all the evils which Herod had done.
Herod held this against him. Then when Herod heard what John was
saying he had John imprisoned.
When Jesus also being baptized was praying the heaven opened and
the Holy Ghost in a bodily shape like a dove descended upon Him. A
voice came from heaven which said Thou art my beloved Son. In thee I
am well pleased.
Jesus was about thirty years of age the son of Joseph which was the
son of Heli the son of Matthat which was the son of Levi which was
the son of Melchi the son of Janna which was the son of Joseph son
of Mattathias which was the son of Amos the son of Naum the son of
Esli which was the son of Nagge the son of Maath which was the son
of Mattathias the son of Semei the son of Joseph the son of Juda.
Juda was the son of Joanna which was the son of Rhesa which was the
son of Zorobabel which was the son of Salathiel which was the son of
Neri the son of Melchi the son of Addi son of Cosam son of
Elmodam which was the son of Er the son of Jose son of Eliezer
which was the son of Jorim the son of Matthat son of Levi.
Levi was the son of Simeon which was the son of Juda which was the
son of Joseph which was the son of Jonan which was the son of
Eliakim the son of Melea which was the son of Menan which was the
son of Mattatha which was the son of Nathan which was the son of
David the son of Jesse son of Obed which was the son of Booz which
was the son of Salmon.
Salmon was the son of Naasson son of Aminadab which was the son of
Aram which was the son of Esrom the son of Phares son of Juda the
son of Jacob which was the son of Isaac.
Isaac was the son of Abraham the son of Thara son of Nachor which
was the son of Saruch the son of Ragau son of Phalec which was the
son of Heber the son of Sala son of Cainan which was the son of
Arphaxad the son of Sem son of Noah.
Noah was the son of Lamech which was the son of Mathusala which was
the son of Enoch which was the son of Jared the son of Maleleel son
of Cainan which was the son of Enos which was the son of Seth which
was the son of Adam which was the son of God.
4 Filled with the Holy Ghost Jesus returned from Jordan and was
led by the Spirit into the wilderness. For forty days He was tempted
by the devil. During this time He ate nothing and when His fasting
ended He was hungry.
The devil said to him If thou be the Son of God command this stone
to be made bread. Jesus answered It is written: Man shall not live by
bread alone but by every word of God.
The devil then took Him up into a high mountain and showed Him all
the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. The devil said to Him
I give thee the power and glory of all this that is mine and to
whomever I give it. If thou will worship me all shall be thine. Jesus
said to him Get thee behind me Satan. It is written: Thou shall
worship the Lord thy God and Him only shall thou serve.
The devil brought Him to Jerusalem set Him on a pinnacle of the
temple and said If thou be the Son of God cast thyself down from
here. It is written: He shall give His angels charge over thee to
keep thee and in their hands they shall bear thee up lest at any
time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said Thou shall not
tempt the Lord thy God.
When the devil had ended all the temptation He departed from Him for
a season. Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit. His
fame spread throughout all the region. He taught in the synagogues and
was glorified by all.
Jesus went to Nazareth where He had been brought up. As was His
custom He went into the synagogue on the sabbath day and stood up to
read. He was given the book of the prophet Esaias. When He opened the
book He found the place where it was written: The Spirit of the Lord
is upon me because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the
poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted to preach deliverance
to the captives recover sight to the blind to set at liberty those
who are bruised and to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
He closed the book returned it and sat down. The eyes of all who
were in the synagogue were fastened on Him. Jesus said to them This
day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
All bore Him witness and wondered at the gracious words which
proceeded from His mouth. They said Is this not Joseph's son? He said
to them Ye will surely say to me this proverb Physician heal
thyself. Whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum do also here in
And He said No prophet is accepted in his own country. But I tell
you many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias when the heaven
was shut up three years and six months when great famine was
throughout all the land; but to none of them was Elias sent except to
Sarepta a city of Sidon to a woman who was a widow. Many lepers were
in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was
cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.
When they heard these things all who were in the synagogue were
filled with wrath. They rose up and pushed Him out of the city. They
drove Him to the top of the hill upon which their city was built so
they might cast Him down headlong. But passing through the midst of
them He went His way.
Jesus went on to Capernaum in Galilee and taught them on the sabbath
days. They were astonished at His doctrine for His word was powerful.
There was a man in the synagogue who had a spirit of an unclean devil
which cried out with a loud voice Let us alone; what have we to do
with thee thou Jesus of Nazareth? Art thou come to destroy us? I know
who thou art; the Holy One of God.
Jesus rebuked him saying Hold thy peace and come out of him. When
the devil had thrown him in the midst he came out of him. The people
were amazed and said What words are these! With authority and power
He commands the unclean spirits and they come out. His fame went out
into every corner of that country.
Jesus went out of the synagogue and entered Simon's house. Simon's
wife's mother had a serious fever and they besought Him to help her.
Jesus stood over her rebuked the fever and it left her. Immediately
she arose and ministered to them.
Now when the sun was setting many who were sick with divers diseases
were brought to Him. He laid His hands on every one of them and healed
them. Devils came out of many crying out and saying Thou art
Christ the Son of God. Jesus rebuked and silenced them because they
knew that He was Christ.
When it was day He left and went into a desert place. The people
looked for Him. When they found Him they tried to prevent Him from
departing from them. But Jesus said to them I must preach the kingdom
of God to other cities also. This is why I was sent. And He preached
in the synagogues of Galilee.
5 As the people pressed upon Him to hear the word of God He
stood by the lake of Gennesaret. He saw two ships standing by the
lake. The fishermen were gone out of them and were washing their nets.
He entered one of the ships which was Simon's and requested that he
thrust out a little from the land. Then He sat down and taught the
people from the ship.
When He finished speaking He said to Simon Launch out into the deep
and let down your nets. Simon said to Him Master we have toiled all
night and have taken nothing. Nevertheless at thy word I will let
down the net.
When he and his crew had this done they enclosed a great multitude of
fish and their net broke. They beckoned to their partners who were in
another ship to come and help them. They came and filled both the
ships so full that they began to sink.
When Simon Peter saw it he fell down at Jesus' knees and said Depart
from me; for I am a sinful man O Lord. James and John the sons of
Zebedee who were partners with Simon and all those who were with
them were astonished at the great number of fish. Jesus said to
Simon Fear not. From now on thou shall catch men. When they landed
the fishing boats they left everything and followed Him.
It came to pass when He was in a certain city a man full of
leprosy on seeing Jesus fell before Him and said Lord if thou
will thou can make me clean. Jesus stretched out His hand touched
him and said I will. Be thou clean. Immediately the leprosy left the
man. Jesus then directed him to tell no one about this. He said Go
and show thyself to the priest. Offer for thy cleansing according to
Moses command for a testimony to them.
Nonetheless His fame was spread even more abroad. Great multitudes
gathered to hear and be healed of their infirmities by Him. Jesus
withdrew Himself into the wilderness to pray.
One day He was teaching and the power of the Lord to heal was upon
Him. There were gathered people that had come out of every town of
Galilee and Judaea and Jerusalem. Pharisees and doctors of the law
sat among them.
Men approached carrying a bed with a man who had a palsy. They looked
for a way to bring him in and lay him before Jesus. When they could
not find a way to bring him in because of the multitude they went
upon the housetop and lowered him down on his couch through the tiling
and into the midst of where Jesus stood. When Jesus saw their faith
He said Son thy sins are forgiven thee.
The scribes and the Pharisees began to question saying Who is this