Believe and Trust
Luke 1:1-4 MSG "So many others have tried their hand at putting together a story of the wonderful harvest of Scripture and history that took place among us, using reports handed down by the original eyewitnesses who served this Word with their very lives. Since I have investigated all the reports in close detail, starting from the story’s beginning, I decided to write it all out for you, most honorable Theophilus, so you can know beyond the shadow of a doubt the reliability of what you were taught." Just as many of us tend to do, we lump Luke in with the original 12 disciples because he wrote one of the four gospels. That really isn't correct. We know from Scriptures that Luke was not one of the original 12 disciples of Jesus, however he was definitely a believer and follower of Jesus. Who was the disciple Luke? Luke is purported to have been a distinguished physician. There is research that suggests that Luke was from a less observant group of Jewish people, but most conclude that Dr. Luke was indeed a gentile. He was also considered to be the most literate of the followers of Christ. In his accounts Dr. Luke adds details that are suggestive of his medical profession and with an expert knowledge of nautical matters. The Great Physician in action was probably of utmost interest for any physician who was there to see it or hear about it. More than likely, the doctor in Luke was first drawn to Jesus because He was healing people.
Dr. Luke is the author of the Gospel of 'Luke' and of the book of 'Acts'. Luke traveled with the apostle Paul on several missionary journeys to Greece, Rome and throughout the region. Most conclude and agree that he was probably among the 70 disciples appointed and sent out by Jesus (Luke 10:1-24). We know that Luke hung out with Peter and the the other disciples because of the book of Acts. He was there at Peter's first sermon and he certainly witnessed the Holy Spirit's arrival on earth. Many suggestions are on the books about his 'investigation in close detail'. There is evidence that Luke took every opportunity to interview and collect evidence about all that Jesus did and said. Perhaps he interviewed Mary Magdalene, the paraplegic and the woman with the issue of blood. He probably spoke with Martha, Mary and Lazarus and confirmed their stories himself. He definitely would have wanted to discuss with Thomas his encounter with the Risen Lord.
Many of us might wonder who the 'honorable Theophilus' was. Theophilus is most prevalently thought to be some sort of high official because of the title 'honorable or most excellent' that is attached to his name in the book of Luke. Their relationship progresses to friendship, as we read the opening to the book of Acts, and find the title has been dropped. Whether a friend, a priest, a lawyer or perhaps someone in a government position that he hoped to convert to Christianity, Luke wrote to Theophilus. Luke wrote to reaffirm his beliefs and as a way to continue teaching him about the work of Jesus Christ. As a disciple, apostle and evangelist, it is easy to understand Luke's need, his calling, to spread The Good News in every way possible. Aren't we glad, because we get to benefit from his writings. However it happened, we know that Luke went where he was sent, he wrote what God inspired him to write, and he loved the Lord Jesus with his whole heart. That's what each of us is called to do. Believe and trust, and then go and do. May each of us, gentiles and Jews alike; do what Luke did. Investigate, research, study and find out the truth of Jesus for ourselves. So the we, you and I, can know beyond the shadow of a doubt the reliability of what we are taught. Believe and trust and then get out there and share the Good News in whatever way God has instilled into you.