This chapter gives us a glimpse into the ministry of John the Baptist and a moment when he and Jesus crossed paths – at the baptism of Christ. We then get a second version of Jesus’ genealogy.
Dear heavenly Father,
We certainly know that, unlike Jesus, we are in dire need of repentance and forgiveness of our sins. Help us to truly and deeply repent, and then help us to live lives that bear fruit worthy of repentance. As James would later say, let us be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving ourselves.
Please also empower us with your Holy Spirit, so that we can faithfully be your witnesses in this present day. And help us to fully and faithfully entrust ourselves to your Son Jesus Christ, the King and Savior you sent to deal with our problem of sin – who we know will reign forever.
To him and to you be all the glory both now and forever.
Dear Father in Heaven,
We thank you for the work that Luke the beloved physician did in order to help us, generations later, to be more certain about our faith. We thank you for his research, writing and faithfulness to Christ.
Through these words that we have read today and even more as we continue to study this Gospel, inspired by the Spirit, we pray that you would reveal Christ to our hearts.
Like Simeon, we want to see Jesus for who he really is. We want to know him as your salvation, through which you have rescued us from sin and its well-deserved punishment.
Please Father, establish us in our faith, ground us in it.
And like the shepherds or the prophetess Anna, use us to glorify your name before others.
We have repeatedly asked you to teach us from your word and we are asking that again right now. We want to be certain of the things we have been taught.
We pray that you would take the words of this Gospel of Luke and write them upon our hearts. We want to know Jesus better, love him more and serve him more faithfully than ever.
In so doing we want to increase our love for you.
Make us lovers of God in the truest and deepest sense.
Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, 2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, 3 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, 4 that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.
Luke is writing as a historian who wants Theophilus to have certainty concerning his faith. Many have heard of Christ indirectly or unclearly from a long distance. Luke is giving us a detailed historical account.
This is not a once upon a time fairy tale. It does not take place long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away. At the time Luke was writing, it was maybe thirty years from the death and resurrection of Jesus. He was using material he had researched and compiled for years before that. We are confronted with a story that takes place in known places involving people that could still report as eyewitnesses.
Given all of that, one interesting thing is that as we begin to read, there is no shortage of supernatural activity. The very first chapter of Luke records two supernatural births, of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ – who was in fact born of a virgin. These are amazing stories that deserve a careful retelling.
As we go through this Gospel together, let’s be open to the facts as Luke has received them. He is simply reporting what others have seen and heard. He is taking them at their word and we should likewise take Luke at his word.
This is a Gospel that gained respect and popularity from the earliest days of the church. If we want to be certain concerning the things we have been taught about Jesus, Luke’s Gospel is a great place to start.