Answering Our Doubts: Luke 1:1-4

Focus Passage: Luke 1:1-4 (GW)

Many have attempted to write about what had taken place among us. They received their information from those who had been eyewitnesses and servants of God’s word from the beginning, and they passed it on to us. I, too, have followed everything closely from the beginning. So I thought it would be a good idea to write an orderly account for Your Excellency, Theophilus. In this way you will know that what you’ve been told is true.

Read Luke 1:1-4 in context and/or in other translations on BibleGateway.com!

When I read Luke’s opening to his gospel, I am amazed at how this opening message sounds. While the other three gospels open with something related to Jesus, Luke opens his gospel addressing another believer – and it is in this opening that we get a picture of what Luke’s purpose was for writing his letter, and what was happening in the decades that followed Jesus’ ascension back to heaven.

Luke opens his gospel by saying, “Many have attempted to write about what had taken place among us. They received their information from those who had been eyewitnesses and servants of God’s word from the beginning, and they passed it on to us. I, too, have followed everything closely from the beginning. So I thought it would be a good idea to write an orderly account for Your Excellency, Theophilus. In this way you will know that what you’ve been told is true.” (v. 1-4)

We can see from this introduction that there was a lot of talk and speculation surrounding Jesus in the years that followed His ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension. Many people had pieced together gospel narratives from what they could find, and it is even possible that Mark’s gospel and Matthew’s gospel had already been written when Luke decided to write his.

However, also in this introduction, we are introduced to an otherwise unknown person: Theophilus. While Luke addresses him as a dignitary, official, king, or governor, I wonder how they knew each other prior to this letter being written. Since Luke was a doctor, perhaps Luke had seen Theophilus as a patient, and perhaps they had a conversation about Jesus where Theophilus had shared some of his doubts about the rumors and how they were too good to be true.

In this way, Theophilus becomes a representative for everyone in history who has ever had doubts about Jesus. Luke writes his gospel to help answer the doubts and the skepticism that some may have over whether Jesus is really who people claim Him to be.

Luke opens his gospel like one would open a letter to a friend or a research article before sharing what he has discovered through his personal interviews and research. If the story of Jesus was a scam that Jesus’ earliest followers pieced together, then Luke would have researched his way into this conclusion through all the people he interviewed and through all his research.

Instead, Luke becomes the gospel to help answer the skeptics, and Luke writes for those who have reservations about Jesus. If you have ever had doubts about Jesus, perhaps reading from Luke’s gospel is the place for you to start. Luke may have written his gospel for someone like you!

This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus "Reflective Bible Study" package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today!

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