Luke 1:1-4 (ESV)
1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, 2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, 3 it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.
Luke states that he was not the first to write a biography of Jesus. In fact, many others spoke and wrote about the life of Christ. Luke was a medical doctor, a Gentile, and a companion of the apostle Paul. He was a disciplined student of the life and teaching of Jesus, and his dedication to hard work was used by the Holy Spirit in writing this Gospel. The reason Luke penned this report (and its second volume, Acts) was to provide an “orderly account” for an unknown man, Theophilus, whose name literally means “Loved by God.” This man previously learned about Jesus, and Luke set out to prove that what Theophilus had been taught was true. Jesus made radical claims about himself, and he asked for radical behavior from his followers. If Christianity isn’t absolutely true, if it just exists to help us “get through this life,” then we need to be honest and stop playing the Christian game. If what Luke wrote isn’t certain, we can enjoy his writing like Shakespeare or any other timeless work of literature, but we would be foolish to base our lives on its teaching.
We live on this planet for about 80 years, on average. While we reside here, we must consider how we got here, what the difference is between right and wrong behavior, and what happens after we die. Christianity teaches that a personal God created us, and we all have great value as a result. It also teaches that God, who is outside of time, has revealed to us what behavior is ultimately right and wrong. And finally, every individual soul will stand before God and be fairly judged based on whether she lived in line with God’s perfect design for humanity. Only those who are in Christ, who have repented and placed their faith in Jesus, will be protected from the rightful punishment their sins have earned. Luke said these things are certain (v. 4). Stop and think about the end of your life today. Don’t resist the Holy Spirit’s witness any longer. Choose to trust in God by putting your confidence in his Son and obeying all that he taught. If you are a Christian, then decide to do what God is directing you to do as we study the Gospel of Luke. Live the rest of your life as consistently as possible with the truth.