Devo 12/2/20: Luke 1:1
Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.Luke 1:1-4, ESV
Luke is often considered to be a first-rate historian among first-century writers like Josephus or Tacitus. However, Luke’s goal of evangelization and discipleship isn’t something he tried to sneak in through “the back door” of his narrative. That twofold goal is seen in this little phrase “accomplished among us” or translated in the KJV as “most surely believed among us”. Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of the coming Messiah, and through fulfilling the Old Testament texts He fully persuaded His followers. Luke’s unambiguous intention is to fully persuade his reader to believe the same things that the eyewitnesses believed.
How will Luke attempt to convince his audience to confess, and persevere in the same faith as the original eyewitness? To answer that question, let’s flip to the end of this gospel. In Luke 24, the last chapter, you can read the story of Jesus opening the minds of two disciples to finally understand the Scriptures that they had loved and read their entire lives. Why couldn’t they understand their beloved Scriptures before this encounter? I don’t have all the answers, but it seems that there were at least two major factors that caused them to “see clearly” as it were, for the first time. First, Jesus had already died and then risen from the dead. Second, the Holy Spirit was at work in their midst in a fresh new way as their “hearts burned” as Jesus interpreted all the Scriptures. As you continue reading Luke 24, you’ll notice a second account of the eyewitnesses being fully convinced as they had the Old Testament Scriptures interpreted for them in light of the resurrected Christ.
Luke’s evangelistic methodology is to convince his audience through the Spirit’s use of the written Scriptures. From the outset, his goal is fixed upon evangelism and discipleship. Throughout his work, his method is to interpret the person and work of Christ in light of the Old Testament. In the end, his hope does not rest in the wisdom of men, the eloquence of words, but in the power of God. Luke is convinced, as we ought to be, that God’s Word is the tool of the Spirit in the conversion and continuation of saints.