“Since it is well known and a fact of importance that many have undertaken to draw up in its historical sequence a narrative of events concerning which there has been a wide diffusion of knowledge among us, even as they delivered them to us for safekeeping, those who from the beginning were personal witnesses of and ministered the Word, it seemed good to me also, having traced the course of all things from the beginning in the minutest detail, to write to you in a consecutive order, Your Excellency, Theophilus, in order that you may come to have a full and accurate experiential knowledge concerning the undoubted truth of the matters in which you were instructed” Luke 1:3-4 (Wuest Expanded Translation)
This week begins the third of the Synoptic Gospels.
The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are called the Synoptic Gospels because they are similar in structure and present similar narratives of the life and death of Jesus Christ. Though similar, each Gospel tends to communicate Christ's ministry to different audiences. Matthew, as a Jew, speaks to his fellow Jews, who understood the impact of Genealogy, loved the Scriptures and prophecies of God. Mark (Marcus), a companion and interpreter for Peter, speaks primarily to the Romans, whose language spoke of action and immediacy. Luke, attributed to the gentile physician and companion to Paul, was a Greek speaking to the Greeks.
Luke wrote to Theophilus: philus (“friend of”) Theo (“God”), which means beloved by God or loving God. Though the specific, most excellent, individual is lost to history, he was someone who wanted to hear an accurate gospel, because of his love relationship with God.
What is a “Gospel”? The noun in Greek refers to the message of victory, whether political or private, that brought joy. In short, gospel is news that is good to hear. (What can we call the “news” we see and hear today?)
Luke’s story challenges me, less that he was well-educated and skilled, and more that he used his background to be a sensitive, observant, and careful writer. Although the only known gentile, Luke undertook to make a chronological record from those who were personal witnesses of and ministered the Word. Though a gentile, he contributed over 27% of the New Testament.
Putting myself in the sandals or boat with Luke, I am neither trained or practiced as a lawyer nor as a writer, but neither was Luke. As Luke traveled and wrote, he became more a man of prayer, as evidenced in his writings. My life is certainly more comfortable than anyone from Luke’s time, but is it impactful? As I consider Luke, it makes me more of a man of prayer.
Daily Battle Order:
Most Excellent Theophilus, the Gospels are to be considered and studied as if chewed and digested as to become a part of our being. The Gospels are more than literature but a way of life. Take time today to re-read part of Luke “in order that you may come to have a full and accurate experiential knowledge concerning the undoubted truth of the matters in which you were instructed.”
Come join TJC and build relationships with other men on the battlefield at Gettysburg, now rescheduled for Nov 17-18: https://www.joshuacommission.org/event-details/rescheduled-gettysburg-battlefield-maneuver-2023