Today we begin to read through Luke’s gospel account of the life of Jesus. Here’s an overview of where we will venture over the next several weeks:
- The Preface (1:1–4)
- The Births of John the Baptist and Jesus (1:5–2:52)
- The Preparation of Jesus for His Public Ministry (3:1–4:13)
- His Ministry in Galilee (4:14–9:9)
- His Withdrawal to Regions around Galilee (9:10–50)
- His Ministry in Judea (9:51–13:21)
- His Ministry in and around Perea (13:22–19:27)
- His Last Days: Sacrifice and Triumph (19:28–24:53)
As usual, I’m in no hurry and always appreciate your thoughts as I ponder each paragraph (section) at a time. Obviously, some of those above will take time to consider. That’s the joy of walking through the Bible!
The NIVAC notes that this is the longest gospel account in terms of verses, plus this surprising trivia fact:
Luke as an author is the largest contributor to the New Testament with a total of 2,157 verses (Luke + Acts). Paul has a total of 2,032 verses.NIV Application Commentary, Introduction to Luke
All that to say, don’t be in a hurry to get through Luke! This is gonna take some time and we get to hear from an author who was very intentional about his thoughts.
Pull up a chair, grab some coffee, and let’s get started.
Read: Luke 1:1-4
Between Luke and Paul, we are truly blessed that these two invested their time in writing down their God-inspired words for their followers, words we are able to consider in our daily walk.
Luke begins by telling us that like others who have reported on the fulfillment of Old Testament prophesies through the life of Jesus Christ, he will consider all the facts and provide a detailed perspective on these significant events. Everything will be considered, but as we know, not everything will be written.
With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. Luke 1:3-4
No doubt other writings were circulating when Luke worked on his volume (between the 60s and 80s A.D.). Given the careful attention to oral histories, the eyewitnesses that were still around provide him with a wealth of information. Cities still existed and the destruction of the temple (~70 A.D.) was still current news. Luke has much to consider as he begins.
Some speculate that Theophilus was a Gentile that was first converted to Judaism, then Christianity. From this view, he’s an outsider trying to fit in; one who wants to understand how all this works. I love this perspective as it gives us a framework to work within as we seek to spread the gospel to others in our contemporary context. We need to learn not to speak in churchese, like secret buzz words, etc. We need to be able to talk to the Theophilus’ of today. Luke honors Theophilus by given him the title, “most excellent.” I wonder how much better our conversations might go if we greeted other Christ followers as most excellent. Something to consider!
Certainty of the Things You’ve Been Taught
This is all about the call to make disciples who will make disciples. This is why we need to take time to write things down. We don’t need to publish a book or post blogs everyday, but it is important to pause and write your thoughts down. This is an important way to work out your faith and confirm what you’ve been taught. We are not blindly following the blind. As we invest time to journal (or blog), we get better at making disciples! Our primary mission in life is to go into the world and make disciples. We need to keep this in mind at all times, our motto, our mission, our purpose.
Consider this thought: If the only thing I was good at was making disciples, what more could I possibly want? If I couldn’t write code or play guitar, if I couldn’t create videos or write music, but I could make disciples, how would my life look when it is done and I come face-to-face with Jesus? I think He would be pleased.
That’s not a ticket to disregard our gifts! We must not act like fools. We know the Spirit has given us gifts for the building up of the church, the body of Christ. All I’m suggesting is that this all fits under the umbrella of discipleship. Use your gifts, you must. Make disciples, it’s a command.
I’m so excited to learn from Luke! Lord, help us to read and understand what we need to learn from Your word and how to go and make disciples.
Love God. Love Others. Love Yourself.