This is meant to be an ongoing informal series of notes and observations from a devotional reading of Luke. I hope to read and meditate on sections every day, but might not post on every section. I love Dr. Luke, the Historian, and his perspective on the life of Jesus. I will deal mostly with his words and not go into deep background, unless my prayers, meditations, and study takes me there. I am posting this to have it entered into the chronicle of my blog for future reference, not necessarily to do my Bible study in public.
Telling a Better Story. Luke 1:1-4.
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)
Others had written about what had happened with Jesus. Luke was not the first. He probably wrote his narrative sometime around and just before AD 60. He followed all of what happened concerning Jesus, met with eyewitnesses and ministers, and endeavored to write his own account. He comes from a Greek background and is a doctor and historian. He was a companion of Paul and traveled with him. Commentaries attest to all of this and I will not spend this time going into a lot of other easily accessed background, Here is another pastor, Galen Doughty, goes in much more depth to detail all of this in his own commentary.
Pastor Doughty, drawing on the work of the Bible scholar Dr. Kenneth Bailey explains:
We have the Gospel of Luke because faithful people endeavored to grasp and pass down the stories about Jesus. Communities formed around these stories and they passed them along to future generations. Luke wrote them down so that we would have them. I am grateful that people in the past formed communities/churches to memorize and live out these stories. Told and lived out the Better Story – the Better Way of Jesus and the whole world has benefitted.
Questions for me today:
What have you seen? What will you be the steward of? We all “steward” a story. We are all huperates of something. We all tell a story with our lives – we all “minister” a word. What is our story? What are we living for? Are we embodying and witnessing to and telling the “better story” of Jesus, or are we investing our lives in telling lesser stories? Whatever we witness to, tell, steward, and attend is what will be passed on through us.
In Acts, the same Luke quotes Jesus in saying that we will be “witnesses” when the Spirit comes upon us. We are all witnesses of something. Lebron James, the great basketball player, started his career by playing under the Nike ad campaign , “We are all witnesses.” He was inviting people to see, tell, and steward his story. It was a lesser story and not really one worth building a life on, though at times it has been spectacular in a basketball sense. There are many “lesser” stories like this that we get wrapped up in. And, they all end.
Luke, however, pushed in, investigated, explored, met eyewitnesses, and sat at the feet of the huperates of the better – the greatest – story every lived and told. And, his devotion to the story of Jesus – the true story – changed his life and changed the world. What if Luke had been captured by lesser stories? What if he lived his life for himself or for the pleasures of this world? What if he just wanted to see the institutions of the day continue and he did not devote himself to the better story and way of Jesus? It would have been a wasted life and his voice would have been rendered meaningless.
What are we eyewitnesses of? What is our focus on? What has God done in our lives? What has God done for us and to us? We can all tell the story of what God has done if we have a relationship with Him. Tell that story.
What story do you steward? What is your life based on? For what are you “under rowing”? What do you serve? Is it the gospel or something else?
Let's join with the nameless huperates of the early church. We do not know them, but we know the stories that they told about Jesus. Their devotion continues to influence us today, 2000 years later. May our devotion to Christ today influence future generations as well.