Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
Putnam, Feb 9 2009, $24.95
In Syrian Antioch in 20 AD, Loukon (later called Luke) was owned by stoic Theophilus, who sees intelligence in his teen slave that he feels if fostered, could lead to the lad rising above his station. Theophilus’ belief is affirmed when Loukon saves a man’s life using knowledge he learned form a physician. Deciding to help his slave, Theophilus pays his tuition to attend the University of Tarsus while the other slaves angrily resent his special treatment. At the school, Loukon meets opinionated Saul who thought the gentile Greek slave was beneath him. Loukon studied hard and graduated; afterward he returned to his master’s’s estate to practice medicine encouraged by his owner-mentor.
Loukon soon provides medical care to the poor and at sea. He hears fables about a carpenter in Judea who preached a philosophy that was heretical to the Jewish powerbrokers. After this man’s murder, His Word spreads. Saul was rooting out these heretics until on the road to Damocles he witnessed a miracle. He buries Saul the killer of the faithful and becomes Paul the believer. He continues his travels, but now as a teacher of the Christ. When he and Loukon meet again, he converts him. Now calling himself Luke, he studies diligently Christ’s teachings starting with a series of dialogues with Paul and later with Mary. Although he never met the carpenter, he feels he knows Him and writes his story of Jesus even as the Romans persecute the followers of the Christ.
As they did with the insightful MARK'S STORY: THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO PETER the Left Behind team provides a deep biographical fiction of one of the Gospel authors. The newest Jesus Chronicle focuses on Loukon the stoic becoming Luke the believer; perhaps the first major figure who never met Jesus except in his heart. The ancient Mediterranean world comes alive as Luke and Paul travel spreading the word in spite of the danger. Although nothing new surfaces, the faithful will rejoice with this profound look at the only Gospel writer who never met the Christ in person.