December 3, Luke 1:1-4
By Andrew L. Pratt, William Jewell College
Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed. (Luke 1:1-4)
One sentence containing 77 words begins the Gospel of Luke. One sentence tells us so much. It tells us that before Luke were others who wrote gospels about Jesus of Nazareth. It tells us that the earliest Christians circulated these gospels among themselves and their churches. It tells us that the early gospels were based on the testimony of people who knew Jesus, listened to him, believed in him and followed him. This one sentence tells us that Luke's Gospel was carefully researched, compared to other sources, and accurately composed. It tells us that the gospels were meant to teach the truth about Jesus to those who love God and are loved by God.
Most precious and fulfilling to me is my calling to teach the Bible. For 17 years, I have taught the Bible to college students as professor and chaplain. I love to study the Bible and to share that study through teaching and preaching. There are many wonderful books for Christians to read. The books of C. S. Lewis and Max Lucado come to mind. There are also books about Jesus that distort the gospel and confuse people. I am thinking of the "The Da Vinci Code."
Nothing is more important for Christians than to know the gospels and know ourselves through the gospels. Luke felt compelled to take the gospel that had been given to him and accurately pass it on to his generation and generations to come. When we know the gospels, we are able share the gospel with people, the people for whom God sent his Son, our Lord and Savior.