As we continue our walk through the gospels, let’s take a step back and be reminded of who Luke, one of the writers of the gospels was. Be inspired to step into your own God-given calling as you learn about Dr. Luke with host Julie Jenkins. (Luke 1:1-4)
Welcome to Walking in the Word, the Biblical teaching arm of our Women World Leaders podcast. My name is Julie Jenkins, and it is my honor to walk with you through the Bible each Wednesday! If you have been with us for awhile, you know that we are currently walking through the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John as we ask God to teach us and give us a clearer picture of His time here on earth.
Have you ever heard someone’s name who sounds very familiar to you, and, in an effort to jog your memory, looked them up on social media? Sometimes it is not their profile picture that connects the dots in your head, but in scrolling through their photos, you begin to remember that you DID know this person at one time; It always helps complete the picture when we have more than one view.
If you are a Christ follower, you, like me, long to see Jesus completely. To know everything about Him – including His life, His family and His culture while here on earth. You hang on every word that He has said, craving to learn from His wisdom and His very being. It has been such a blessing to walk through the life of Jesus with you over these past months – to glean truths as we put the four pictures of Him together into one – to the best of our ability and by the power of the Holy Spirit. John tells us in verse 25 of chapter 21 in his gospel that “Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.” On this side of heaven, we simply cannot know all there is to know about our Lord and Savior – but that shouldn’t keep us from trying! As we walk together, I pray that God is releasing a greater vision of Himself to each of us.
Most recently, we have been studying from the book of Luke, so I thought that today would be a great time to go back to the beginning of Luke, and be reminded of who he was, his giftings, and why he worte his gospel. So our study today is centered on Luke, chapter 1, verses 1-4. Before we begin, allow me to pray for us:
Father God – We give you this time. And we thank you for making yourself known to us, in your Word, through prayer, and by the Holy Spirit. We ask you to speak to us in these minutes ahead. Jesus – we long to see you! We know that until the day of our glorification when we stand face to face with you, we will not see the whole picture. But I pray that today, and every day, you will open the curtains a little wider, so that we may know you a little deeper. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Luke, chapter 1, verses 1-4 as written in the New Living Translation:
Many people have set out to write accounts about the events that have been fulfilled among us. 2 They used the eyewitness reports circulating among us from the early disciples.[a] 3 Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write an accurate account for you, most honorable Theophilus, 4 so you can be certain of the truth of everything you were taught.
All the gospels are historical documents – that is, they were written to convey accurate historical information, and historians, archeological findings, and even science have verified their accuracy throughout the years. The gospels have much in common with biographies that were written to preserve the teachings and lives of philosophers, statesmen, and rulers. But the gospels are more than factual historical documents – they are also theological in nature. Besides giving historical information, they were also written to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ – that Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, fully human and fully God. That He lived a sinless life of compassionate miracle-working, and teaching of repentance, right living, freedom in and honor to God; and then this same Jesus died a horrific death on a cross, preceded by beatings and torture and humiliation; all to give us, as sinners who still go against Him daily, the opportunity to spend eternity by His side, living in God’s presence, free of our own chains of suffering and sin.
Luke, the writer of this gospel of Luke, was a medical doctor. He was a Greek and a Gentile who was a close friend and traveling companion of Paul – and as such, had ample time and access to other disciples. Not only was Luke an eyewitness to the growth of the early church, but he had a formal education which he used as he undoubtedly questioned, interviewed, and just plain picked the brains of those he traveled with and met. His was gifted with an organized and analytical mind, and was able to keep track of facts and information long before he had a computer or smartphone to help him. As a doctor, Luke was on the front lines as Paul and other Christians were physically persecuted for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. Luke wrote about this in the other book he wrote – the Acts of the Apostles. He witnessed God’s healing power as the Holy Spirit enabled the growth of the church despite whips, chains, boat wrecks, snake bites, stonings, and other near-catastrophes that his writings bring to life for us so many years later. He was the physician on call when God’s disciples were physically harmed – but as a true follower of Christ, he himself never took the title as their healer, knowing that God Himself, Jehovah Rapha, is the only source of true healing.
Before Dr. Luke wrote about the growth of the church in Acts, he wrote to us about Jesus Himself, THE good news, in the Gospel of Luke, arguably the most detailed of the four gospels, which stresses Jesus’ relationship with people, including an emphasis on his relationship with and care for women. Much of what is in Luke is not found in any other gospel – which makes studying his writings so fun. In his book, Luke affirms Jesus divinity, but he also strives to show us Jesus’ humanity.
Luke begins his book by detailing his method of writing as a man of science and detail – sent by God to report the facts as a thorough, humble historian and man of God. He knows, per his words, that many others had written of the events of Jesus’ life, but he is sure of his calling – he says he has “carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write an accurate account for you…so you can be certain of the truth of everything you were taught.”
What do we learn about God in these first 4 verses of Luke? What can you and I walk away with today? That, by the way, is always a great question to ask yourself as you read any scripture!
I can’t help but notice that God puts the right people in the right place at the right time – for His glory!
Luke was positioned to experience, study, interview, organize, and write the words in his book so that you and I can study his words today – so that we can see Jesus more clearly and learn more accurately from a time period that is so foreign to us. Despite time, distance, and culture, God made a way for us to know the Jesus who walked the earth.
Ephesians 2:10 tells us “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things that he planned for us long ago.”
Luke was God’s masterpiece, created on purpose, for a purpose. And you can take it to the bank that God has a purpose for you, too! YOU, like Luke, are positioned to complete a picture for someone else – but it is only through your obedience to His daily commands for you that you can fulfill that purpose. Women World Leaders strives to walk beside you and empower you as you fulfil your God-given purpose. Just this week, we are releasing a new book, written by women just like you from around the globe who have stories to tell of God’s glory working in their lives. Many of these women did not start out as writers, but God impressed on their hearts that they had a story that the world needed to hear. So they stepped forward and partnered with Women World Leaders to create the book Surrendered: Yielded With Purpose. I’d encourage you to go to our website, www.womenworldleaders.com, and check out that book or one of our many other best-selling books. Maybe God is even calling you to write your story.
Back to Luke. Luke was not an eyewitness to the accounts of Jesus’ life, becoming a Christ-follower after Jesus’ death. At times, I bet Luke must’ve felt like he missed out. Do you ever feel like that? Like you came late to the party? I’m the youngest of seven, and also, live far from each of my siblings – I certainly understand the feeling of being left out. I know we all do. But we can be assured that God sees things in a different way than we see things in this world and He has a purpose specifically designed for you right where He has placed you!
Luke was perfectly positioned to gather information about the life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and he was perfectly gifted to accurately record the information so that generations to come, you and me included, could close our eyes, and feel like we are there – beside Mary and Elizabeth as they each received news of their children to come; singing amongst the shepherds at the birth of Jesus; celebrating with Simeon as he praised God for seeing the Messiah with his own eyes as He was dedicated at the temple; catching a glimpse of 12-year-old Jesus sitting with the teachers in his father’s house; …I could go on and on! It would be impossible to list out all the ways that Luke’s gospel has allowed individuals throughout the years to relive the life of Jesus Christ. And it would be impossible to list all the ways that God has pre-ordained for you to impact the world.
Will you humbly submit today to where God has called you? Will you use your gifts, as Luke did, to step into your calling? You likely won’t know, this side of heaven, exactly who you will impact or what lives you will change – but that’s ok – because God knows. He has called you for a specific purpose. When you sit with God, ask Him to reveal to you what He wants you to do today. And then walk in obedience, trusting that He alone will provide the fruit of your actions. I know I, for one, am glad that Luke obeyed!
Dear Most Holy God! We thank you for positioning us, like you positioned Dr. Luke, for your glory. Father, I ask you to come into each listener’s heart right now and give her a divine assignment from you. Grant her your power to step into her God-given assignment with purpose and grace – knowing in her heart what you want her to do, and trusting that you will walk with her every step of the way. Father, will you give us each a humble excitement right now – that we may spend our days in search of your glory, and on a mission to shine your glory for all the world to see? In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.