This Sunday I begin a new sermon series, “Luke: A Rx for the Churches.” It will be taken from the gospel of Luke, with the title connected to Paul’s description of his friend and co-missionary as “our dear friend Luke, the doctor…” (Col. 4:14)
The first interesting moment in Luke’s gospel for us as readers comes in the verses we will use this Sunday to begin our lesson.
Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. (Luke 1:1-4)
One of the most interesting things to me about this passage is that Luke is an inspired writer. Why does he have to do research? Why would he have felt the need to have “carefully investigated everything from the beginning?”
I think the answer lies in the importance of that which he “investigated.” It is the story of Christ; it is the message of the cross; it is the teachings, the life, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Of course one would want to get that right! One would want to believe the truth, to trust in the truth, to give their lives to and for the truth!
That’s why it was so important for the good Doctor Luke. As he began to trust this Jesus more and more; as his faith grew to the point where he would risk his life to share that faith and that story with others; and before he would begin to write everything down for his friend and for the church—the good Doctor Luke would have done his homework, investigating everything carefully, giving himself wholeheartedly to that gospel.
How about you? Have you given your life wholeheartedly to Jesus? If you haven’t, maybe part of the reason is because you haven’t “carefully investigated everything” enough to truly give yourself to this same gospel. And if that’s true, why haven’t you? Too busy? Too lazy? Don’t like to read or study? Or think? This is the most important matter and story you will encounter your whole life! Seems like a good idea to make sure you get it right, doesn’t it? Seems like this eternal Word ought to be planted in your heart and seen in your life, right?
Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (James 1:21-22)