Gospel of Luke - Introduction
How exciting to read about Jesus—an actual person who lived in the world and walked the earth some 2,000 years ago. Very few question whether Jesus from Nazareth existed. Yet very few take the time to read who he claims to be, in his own words. As we begin our journey through Luke’s Gospel together, here are some tips:
Find a quiet place, where you can comfortably sit without distraction, and have a notebook and a pen or pencil.
Say a prayer to God. Ask Him to clear your mind and speak to you through this Gospel of Luke. If you don’t believe in God, no worries. You might say a prayer anyway because if God is not real, then your prayer isn’t going anywhere (not trying to be sarcastic). Who knows, you might be surprised.
Read the Scripture FIRST. Don’t read what I, the blogger, wrote. Jot down any thoughts or questions. Maybe something seems weird or preposterous, or you don’t understand it. Just jot down what comes to your mind.
Read my thoughts about that portion of Scripture. I often end with a question. Again, jot down whatever comes to your mind. If the question is not helpful, then don’t worry about it.
Finally, before you end for the day, pause, take a moment, and see what is going on in your heart and mind—just a brief moment—and perhaps there might be something else you will jot down.
Luke 1:1–4 (click for today’s scripture)
I love math and science. I love solving problems, figuring out conundrums, and having confidence I obtained the right answer. Before coming to know Jesus, I was a difficult person, always thinking I was right. Luke tells us he is writing about certainty, certainty about Jesus. It ts how I am naturally wired, yet this certainty should not lead to arrogance.
There is much in Luke’s opening sentences. We notice that he is aware others have compiled narratives. He is not critical of them. Rather, because he has been around “the things accomplished among us,” he is led to write down what the eyewitnesses have been telling him and others. It seems as if Luke, from what he has heard, realizes there are a few missing details, and Luke is set on filling them in.
Indeed, he does. Luke’s Gospel is the longest. It would appear he interviewed Jesus’ mother, Mary, and others, who were eyewitnesses.
He does this all for a fella named Theophilus, so Theophilus can have certainty—not just about anything, but about what he has apparently already been taught. I love Luke’s heart. Which of us, have not had a person in our lives where we deeply wanted them to know something with certainty.
Certainty in his, Theophilus’, salvation. While no amount of head knowledge can save a person’s soul, no one wants to be duped into some false superstition. After all, the claims by Jesus’ followers are rather, well, preposterous. Therefore, grounding faith in Jesus, in his actual life—in his words and deeds—is critical. Critical, so that when we come to take that step of faith, we can know with certainty what we are being invited to believe. Christian faith is not blind, uninformed faith—quite the contrary.