We have made it to the book of Luke. As we were nearing the end of Mark I was kind of hoping it would stretch on longer. We are nearing the advent season and I really wanted to tell the Christmas story during the Christmas season. It is not going to happen that way though. Mark’s telling of Jesus’ birth is my favorite. The traditional Christmas plays combine Mark’s and Matthew’s accounts. I’m thinking about posting advent readings during this year’s advent season. Let me know what you think of that idea.
Sorry, got side tracked there. Let’s get back to our introduction in the gospel written by Luke. One more rabbit trail first though. Who was Luke? I wanted an answer to this question to satisfy my curiosity. So, I went to Google, of course. I found a very good article at Crosswalk.com that told me quite a bit about him. Luke was initially a physician. I think his training in that profession helped him a lot in his compilation of the book of Luke and Acts. As a physician he was trained to be methodical, to dig deeper into the story, how to interview people, and to examine all the facts before coming up with a conclusion. This appears to be the path he took for this process. The most important “tool” though was the Holy Spirit. The Spirit guided Luke in his endeavor and the result is the orderly and detailed writings penned here.
Ok. We are finally going to get into the story. Luke opens his writings with a greeting to his initial intended audience. We don’t get a name for his intended recipient until verse three, where Luke names Theophilus. We are told by other sources that Theophilus was a high ranking Roman official. Theophilus had apparently been hearing the gospel and wanted to know for certain what he was hearing was the truth. I don’t know if Theophilus commissioned Luke to investigate and write him a report, or if Luke was writing as a favor to Theophilus to help him understand more about Jesus.
Luke took his time in compiling the stories he will share. He obviously conducted interviews with first hand observers and participants in Jesus’ life and ministry. He also organized everything he had learned into an orderly presentation. This does not mean everything contained in his account is in exact chronological order, but it is at the very least in logical and topical order. I’m looking forward to seeing just how his account of mixed stories flows.
Luke was also in the trenches helping spread the gospel and minister to the new church. Luke traveled with Paul quite a bit, so he was exposed heavily to the needs of the people. I believe he used all his talents and training wherever he could. This humble and inspired servant wrote to one man what has now been shared across the centuries. Talk about going viral!
Than You God for inspiring Luke to take on this task. I’ve read his account before, but please make it fresh and new again as we move through it again. Help me find Your buried treasures. The nuggets placed under the surface. I’ll take the surface things too, if that is what You have for me that day. Please let me listen each time I come to Your word. Don’t let me rush through. Help me be methodical and focused like Luke. Help me dig deep into what You place before me. Thank You for the love You poured into each story. More than anything else, help me shine Your love through what we write.