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 eye witnesses 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 1:1-4 (NIV)
Read: Luke 1
Consider: I said in my last post that in a couple of days Christmas would have come and gone for another year. Well I was right. It is now Boxing Day and for the majority of the world Christmas has become a fading memory of family celebrations, presents and over-eating. Yet that isn’t how it all began. In Bethlehem a baby was born in poverty and squalor over two thousand years ago and that birth still has an impact today.
Looking at the four Gospels it is evident that only two of them (Matthew and Luke) begin with the birth of Jesus, while Mark and John get straight to the point of Jesus’ life. However, all the Gospels seek to give either an eyewitness account of what was seen and experienced by the writer, or to record the eyewitness accounts of those who spent time with Jesus.
In Luke’s Gospel we are told that having investigated everything he decided to write it down so that the ‘… most excellent Theophilus ..’ could be sure of what he had been taught about Jesus. Luke went on to record the ‘Acts of the Apostles’, again for the benefit of Theophilus.
We started with the birth of Jesus at Christmas, but the story doesn’t end there as it goes on to the death and resurrection of Jesus. In fact it goes even beyond this to the account of the early church in Acts and the Epistles (letters). Ultimately the story continues to the return of Jesus and the establishment of a new heaven and new earth where Jesus will reign forever.
The challenge is to get people to weigh up the evidence that is provided in the Bible to give them (and us) certainty of what has been taught about Jesus. As people can’t weigh up the evidence unless they are prepared to read and consider it, and they can’t read it unless someone is prepared to give them either a Bible or a Gospel, then the responsibility falls on each of us to have the courage to share the good news in this way. I’m not talking about standing on a street corner (although this may be right for some), but putting the Word into the hands of close friends or family. It all takes courage!
Pray: Father, we pray for those on whom the Christmas story is lost. We pray that your Holy Spirit would cause them to consider why Jesus was born on this earth and ultimately why he would die on the cross for the sins of the world. Give us the courage to share your Word with those you lay on our hearts. Amen