I recently opened a leadership team meeting here at ABC with a reading from the first four verses of the Gospel of Luke. What with it being less than a month until Christmas and our last meeting until January, I thought it fitting to begin there. It’s interesting though, that those four verses don’t mention the arrival of Jesus into the human race. Instead, it’s an introduction, which is a good way to begin any narrative.
In Luke’s intro he tells the recipient of the account, whose name, by the way, is Theophilus, which means in Greek, “one who loves God”, that he has interviewed the eyewitnesses of Jesus’ life here on earth and he has sought to make a careful investigation. This is not surprising because not only was he the Apostle Paul’s travelling companion and right-hand man, he was also a physician. As a man of science he wanted to get to bottom of any phenomenon and Jesus and his fully devoted and ever-growing number of followers were just that. He too, was one of those devoted followers, but, unlike many of the people he and Paul encountered in their journeys, he had never met this amazing man, Jesus, who had turned the world upside down.
Luke’s final words before he launches into a rather detailed account of Jesus birth and the months leading up to it are poignant. He tells his friend Theophilus that he has decided to write an orderly account so that [Theophilus] may know the certainty of the things [he has] been taught. (Luke 1:4). As I read that, I was struck by the thought that I had never really looked at these opening verse very closely before, and I was sad that it had taken me 60 years to realize their power. I was then reminded of Paul’s words to Timothy, All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 2 Timothy 3:16. I promised myself at that point to make sure I neglected nothing else in the Word of God.
As I shared this with my leadership team, one of our number wisely said. “We all need a little bit of Luke.” And by that he meant we all should make a careful study of what we have been taught so that we too, may know the certainty of the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Let’s have a little bit of Luke.