We are going to spend the next 62 days on a wonderful journey through the gospel of Luke, studying the life and work of Jesus.There is little in the Christian life more important than having confidence in the Bible. Everything we know about the life of Jesus comes mostly from the four Gospels in the New Testament. The old chorus remains profoundly true: “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” Therefore, we need to be certain of the Bible’s authenticity. That is why Luke begins his gospel with a prologue, a defence for the trustworthiness of all that he is about to write.
Luke was one of Paul’s missionary colleagues, a friend of the apostles, and a doctor. He is writing this gospel for a noble Gentile called Theophilus, literally “friend of God”. Theophilus may have been a Christian, or perhaps a seeker after God. However, no matter who Theophilus was, Luke’s gospel has been written for every man and woman, both then and now.
Yes, we can trust Luke’s gospel. First, because the good news he records came from the many eyewitnesses who were present. All he has written is about “things that have been fulfilled among us” (v. 1). God promised salvation. Jesus accomplished it. Many people witnessed it. Luke has written it down for us.
Second, we can trust Luke because he has carefully investigated everything (v. 3). A historian must be thorough and organised, concerned with both accuracy and truth. Luke assures us that there is nothing in his account that he hasn’t checked, doublechecked, and verified.
Sometimes we can doubt the truth of our faith. Many people dismiss Jesus, and some eminent scholars even ridicule the authenticity of the Bible. On a personal level, we may wonder if Jesus is really God’s Son and our Saviour. But through his gospel, Luke is saying to us, “You can be sure!” These words are true, and you can build your life on these truths.
Sometimes, people speak of “blind faith”, or of faith as being a “leap in the dark”. In the light of Luke 1:1–4, are such metaphors appropriate? What do these verses tell us about the character of true Christian faith?
Why does Luke call the eyewitnesses “servants of the word” (v. 2)? What is this “word” to which Luke refers? What is it about the work of a servant that makes this description so significant?