We begin with the first four verses of Luke’s Gospel.
In our first look at Luke’s Book, we ask four questions:
(1) What is Luke’s story about?
(2) Where did Luke get his story from?
(3) How are we to read Luke’s story?
(4) What can we learn from Luke’s story?
(1) What is Luke’s story about?
We might ask this question differently: Who is Luke’s story about?
The answer is Jesus.
Luke is the writer of this Gospel.
Jesus is the Theme of the Gospel. Jesus is the Gospel. He is the Good News.
Luke tells us many things about Jesus.
The first thing he tells us is this: Luke’s Gospel is “an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us” (Luke 1:1).
“Fulfilled” – This is not the beginning of the story. It’s the fulfilment of a story which has been many centuries in preparation. Long before the birth of Jesus, the prophets were speaking of the Messiah or Christ who was to come.
The story told by Luke is part of a much larger story – the Story which begins at the start of Genesis and continues on to the end of Revelation.
The Gospel of Luke tells us about “the things that have been fulfilled among us”. The Christ has come. Jesus is the Messiah. God has fulfilled His promises. God has sent His Son. He is Jesus our Saviour. This is the Good News. This is God’s Good News.
(2 ) Where did Luke get his story from? Luke’s Gospel is not a work of fiction. He didn’t make his story up. It’s not a figment of his imagination. He’s telling us about things that happened. His Gospel is based on eyewitness testimony. Luke tells us that these “eyewitnesses” were also ministers (or servants) of the Word.
* When we read of the Word, our thoughts turn to God. He is the One who has given the Word to us. It is His Word.
* When we think of the Word of God, we think also of Jesus Christ. He is the living Word of God.
* We think also of the Scriptures. The Bible is the written Word of God.
* Our thoughts also turn to the preaching of God’s Word. We study the Bible, learning what it says to us concerning our Saviour.
(3) How are we to read Luke’s story? Here, we can learn from the name of Luke’s first reader – Theophilus.
In Bible times, names had their own meaning. The meaning of each name was very important.
There are two shades of meaning in the name, Theophilus. These two shades of meaning are closely related to each other. They are both concerned with love. They are both concerned with God.
Theophilus means “loved by God.” It also means “lover of God.”
“Loved by God”, “Lover of God” – these two phrases indicate to us the way in which God wants us to read the Gospel of Luke.
* We are to read the Gospel of Luke with a view to learning about God’s love. The Gospel of Luke will show us how much we are loved by God.
* We are to read the Gospel of Luke with a view to increasing our love for God. The Gospel of Luke will help us to love God more.
As we read this Gospel together, let us pray, “Lord, show me how much You love me. Lord, help me to love You more.”
(4) What can we learn from Luke’s story? We will learn many lessons as we take a close look at Luke’s Book.
In his introduction, Luke highlights one very important lesson. It is the lesson of “certainty” (Luke 1:4). We read the Gospel of Luke so that we might “know the certainty of the things we have been taught.”
Our God is trustworthy. We can put our trust in Him with confidence. God’s Word is truth. We can trust His Word. It is His Word of truth.
Reading the Gospel of Luke will strengthen our faith.
Let us pray that the Gospel of Luke will change us, making us more like Jesus.