Dr. Luke is very well known for his two books, actually letter, which are found in the New Testament, the gospel according to Luke and the book of Acts. Dr. Luke was from Antioch in Syria. In fact, he is the only New Testament writer that is not a Jew.
By profession, he was a physician. He is thought to have acquired medical training in any one of these three places – Alexandria, Athens, or Tarsus. Tarsus is thought to be the most likely place of his training, which would have given him an excellent education and also provided him to meet Paul of Tarsus. It is believed Dr. Luke practiced Judaism before he became a Christian, probably through Apostle Paul’s influence. Dr. Luke is credited today as being the first medical missionary, the first ecclesiastical historian of the church and also one of the earliest Christian hymnologists. Tradition has it that Luke was also a gifted artist who had painted portraits of the Lord Jesus, Mary and the chief apostles. In the 13th century, he was chosen as the patron saint of painters. He was also a tireless missionary as can be seen from the fact that he accompanied Paul on a good number of his missionary journeys. It is also believed that it was Dr Luke referred to in 2 Cor.2:18 as “the brother whose fame is in the gospel throughout all the churches”, suggesting that he himself was personally, apart from Paul, involved in mission work.
It seems clear that Dr. Luke did not retire as a medical practitioner even while on missionary exploits because Paul calls him “beloved physician” in Co.4:14. In Luke 5:18, he used a medical term palsied while in the other gospels a common term was used for the woman with the issue of blood. Luke gave medical details like duration (twelve years) and the intractability of the disease. He also said the flow was stanched, a strictly medical term and said to have been used by Hippocrates, the father of Medicine. It is believed that Luke served as Paul’s personal physician in his oft infirmities eve as they went on missionary journeys. He probably would have been physician to the other co-workers in mission work who at times had ailments because of harsh weather, stress of journeys or work and also because of physical assaults from their persecution. Some believe he may have served as the ship’s doctor considering his accurate description of the shipwreck in Act 27.
It is surely possible that we as Christian medics like Dr. Luke, can excel in our profession, use our profession in the Lord’s service, fulfil our individual ministries and also develop our gifts and talents. Dr Luke was a man of like nature with us. If he could serve God so in his generation, so can we for the One (God) who enabled him is also willing to enable us. God help us. Amen.
People Just Like Us pp 181-189
The New Testament
DR. NONSO AGUOLU