Are you a Theophilus?
Luke 1:1-4 (NIV) Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, (2) just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. (3) Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, (4) so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
What a rich introduction to the book of Luke. As Luke himself states that many have undertaken to draw up an account, so too many contemporary theologians and Bible scholars have undertaken to draw up an account and an understanding of who Luke was, what his purpose was in writing the Gospel of Luke, who Theophilus was and why was Luke writing to him.
A few things are clear though from this passage alone. Luke says that many had undertaken to draw up an account. This tells us that his account was not the only account. He says many, not few. Therefore, I may even be so bold as to say that the four Gospels as we have them today were most likely not the only accounts drawn up concerning the things of Jesus, with Luke’s being but just one of the many. And yet it is these four that the Holy Spirit chose to allow to remain as a witness and testimony to us today.
Notice too that Luke is speaking first hand. He says that he is reporting on the things that have been fulfilled among us, among him. This is not a reporter writing an article for the news paper of what others have encountered and experienced. No! This is a record of his own account. This is what he has personally experienced. And now wants to share it.
But he did not experience or encounter everything himself. His sources though, did! Something has happened in the life of Luke and he has investigated it and believed it. And for whatever reason we may possibly try to ascertain today 2000 years later, he wanted to share this information with Theophilus.
That Theophilus was a seeker is clear – he wanted assurance of what he had been taught. Take note. He was taught. He was not just told. Teaching and instruction are more than just a conversation, more than just gossip. Teaching and instruction suggest depth of understanding. Theophilus was wanting to know more.
Maybe, Theophilus was like so many of us today. We hear the Word. We believe the Word. We encounter the Word. Then we doubt the Word. Maybe Theophilus wanted to share the Gospel and was laughed down. Maybe the struggles of life were chocking his new found faith. Maybe persecution was looming and he wanted to be assured that his suffering would not be in vain.
And Luke does what we are all called to do – to preach the Gospel. To make disciples. To give people hope. And to show them the way to Jesus.
The good news of the kingdom of God and His love, are sure, true and certain. Luke, living just a few years after the resurrection of Jesus, has investigated the claims with those that personally witnessed it and served with Christ, “so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught”.
Be assured that your hope is not in vain.
my name is darryl
and this is what i have to say