For years, I had retold a story from a time in Ghana when my brother and I were toddlers. As I recalled it, he had parked our old iron tricycle on a small cobra. The trike was too heavy for the snake, which remained trapped under the front wheel.
But after my aunt and my mother had both passed away, we discovered a long-lost letter from Mom recounting the incident. In reality, I had parked the tricycle on the snake, and my brother had run to tell Mom. Her eyewitness account, written close to the actual event, revealed the reality.
The historian Luke understood the importance of accurate records. He explained how the story of Jesus was “handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses” (Luke 1:2). “I too decided to write an orderly account for you,” he wrote to Theophilus, “so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught” (vv. 3–4). The result was the gospel of Luke. Then, in his introduction to the book of Acts, Luke said of Jesus, “After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive” (Acts 1:3).
Our faith is not based on hearsay or wishful thinking. It is rooted in the well-documented life of Jesus, who came to give us peace with God. His Story stands.
Father, our hope is in Your Son. Thank You for preserving His story for us in the pages of the Bible.
Genuine faith is rooted in reason.
Luke was a highly educated physician in the Greek academic tradition. As a result, his word choice and grammar are eloquent and descriptive. Today’s reading is an introduction to his narrative of the life of Christ. We can be assured that what Luke writes is not based on hearsay but is deeply rooted in a well-documented eyewitness record of Jesus as the Christ. Luke acknowledges that other trustworthy biographies of Jesus of Nazareth had preceded his account. But he felt compelled to write his own eyewitness narrative. It’s interesting to note that the book is addressed to Theophilus, which in Greek means “lover of God.” Most believe Theophilus was an actual person, but others say this name is a term that could refer to any of us who are lovers of God and yearn to learn more about His dear Son.
How does knowing eyewitnesses wrote the Gospel accounts of Christ encourage you in your spiritual life?
For further study read Beyond Reasonable Doubt at discoveryseries.org/q0411. Dennis Fisher