Journal Luke 1 (all references are from the ESV unless noted otherwise; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “In as much 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
Observation: Key words: Certainty; Orderly; Compile (or compilation)…all so this guy, Theophilus, will know what he has been taught confidently.
How does this change the way I want to learn Jesus and His Word?
Analysis: Luke: A doctor, a historian, a storyteller, a disciple. Luke is committed to tell the Story of the Savior.
His student of record? Theophilus. The name Theophilus roughly means Friend of God (Philus-friend; Theo-God or divine—both Greek derivatives)…and by roughly, I mean 40 grit sandpaper roughly. I am not a Greek scholar and prone to take liberties.
I like to look at the beginning of chapters and especially books. The beginning of books attempts to set the tone for the reader…and I think it does for the Gospel of Luke.
Luke wants to write and present an orderly account for Theo, something that would support Theo’s learning to date and give him data to fall back upon. Objective? To have CERTAINTY concerning the things he has been taught to date.
My learning didn’t begin like that. My learning was a smorgasbord type of learning, a little bit of this, a little of that…go back for something else to add to the plate and remember to chew good. Me? There was some stuff that I swallowed whole and later, didn’t sit well.
What do I want to be CERTAIN of…and this refers to more than my salvation?
What do I want to be able to speak of in an ORDERLY manner?
How do I COMPILE information accurately?
I remember this morning in Journal Group as the guys were chatting, Felix (a governor) and his wife talking with Paul. (Acts 24) The scripture said that Felix and his wife were “familiar” with the “Way” (as Christianity was referred to then).
Paul spoke to them about “righteousness, self-control, and the coming judgement” and Felix became frightened—sent Paul away with a lame excuse—“We’ll do lunch another day, eh, Paul?”
Could I string these three doctrines together coherently? Not that it would be my objective, but would someone be afraid on account of what I said? Not in a million years, I think, but is this a result of being ACCURATE, ORDERLY, and CERTAIN, expositing COMPILED learning?
Or would I just be flapping my jaws stubbornly; my stubbornness being mistaken for faith?
Prayer: Father, how many times have I just let my stubbornness rise up when trying to communicate something I knew was right, but I couldn’t say it convincingly or persuasively? My goodness, you know how many times and I imagine that You shook Your head at each incident.
Hopefully, I am learning to be calm and persuasive, even if I have to abandon an argument—knowing that You are directing my steps SO THAT I learn to rest in You.
Preaching the Gospel (in any aspect) is not about wins (notching the spine of my bible for each conversion), but it is doing what you command and leaving the conversion/enlightenment duties to You and You alone.
Ricky Two Shoes