September 1 - Luke 1:1-4

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 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’s intent is to provide an order of events surrounding the life and death of Jesus Christ in a literary manner. This wasn't to be just a list of occasions, but a story which will engage its readers as well.

It is likely that Luke was highly educated and was Greek … but, who turned to Judaism when he was young. We know from Paul’s letters that Luke traveled with him and thus would not have been in the presence of Jesus. As a historian, he spoke with those who knew Jesus and traveled with him, asking questions, writing down their answers and compiling the information into a cohesive story.

Scholars believe that both his Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles were written in the late first century – probably 80 or 90 CE (Common Era), after Paul and Peter had died.  He wrote these two books and sent them to a man named Theophilus, expecting that this man would circulate them throughout the church. He calls Theophilus “most excellent,” affording him an honorary term, which probably means the man was wealthy and had the means to do just that.

Luke is a passionate convert and writes to converted Jews, Gentiles and Christians throughout the region.

He begins with the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus – paralleling their lives until it is time for John to step back, having fulfilled his mission. Jesus begins in Galilee, travels to Jerusalem and then finally finishes his ministry in Jerusalem.

What do we have to do to become a disciple of Jesus Christ? Luke will answer that question along the way, just as he has done for Christians for centuries.