Yesterday, I finished reading the Gospel of Luke. The main aspect of Luke that stands out is the Nativity Story, which is not found with the same detail elsewhere.
Overall, I'm not sure what I felt about Luke. Decidedly, much off what was written was perplexing or even downright uninspiring; after finishing the Gospel, I was walking my dog, trying to figure out where I stood on various issues and relative to the Gospel.
Without the Gospel situated in a proper context of Tradition and Mysticism, it's almost uninspiring. I thought to myself, "Why in the world would anyone hear this and be so moved by it?" In and of itself, there's something obviously missing.
The first missing aspect is this: we just don't hear much of what Jesus is teaching. So, this indicates that things Jesus passed on to the Apostles and the other disciples aren't entirely written down, and it would be safe to say those things were not even mostly written down.
So what is the purpose of the Gospel? It's a justification, an argument, a system of rhetoric to support certain teachings attributed to Jesus. It's a way of saying, "These things happened; this is why the teachings we pass on are important."
Another purpose of the Gospel is to show us what it's like to be connected to the Higher Self and the Divine, to walk against cultural currents and to try to explain things to people when you're operating on a different level than they are.
It is an absolutely grave mistake to try to understand the Gospel outside of a tradition of interpretation. Everything falls apart quickly. Without the mystical context, everything becomes a story of history that doesn't make that much sense.
More to come.