Just imagine you are the early believer Theophilus and you get this letter from Luke, a dear follower of “The Way.” How precious it would be to get the exact information about the birth of Jesus, the life of Jesus, and the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Savior. In the above scriptures Luke is careful to point out that he has researched fully all that he is writing and that it is true….to the letter. The research of Luke is further proof that our Savior, Jesus Christ, was born of a virgin, lived and walked on this earth, and then went to the cross for the remission of our sins. Remission (def) – cancellation of a debt. As we give presents during this holiday and we make the famous statement, “Jesus is the real gift we celebrate” really celebrate the gift!! Luke’s account of all the details he could find about Jesus’ life is very telling for all of us, but it had to be most inspiring to Theophilus, who was the recipient of such a letter. Theophilus was the name of the recipient of the book of Luke and the book of Acts. The name Theophilus means “friend of God” and this man was trusted with a two volume written account containing both Luke and the book of Acts. They are arguably two of the most important books in the New Testament in the area of salvation.
In reality, we are also recipients of this great information given by Luke, just as though he were writing to us. This is almost overwhelming when you think about the magnitude of the information for, not only Theophilus, but mankind. This “friend of God” was in a way commissioned by receiving this letter from Luke and our “friend of God” status through the blood of Jesus means it is handed to us as well. Because of the faithfulness of Theophilus and the importance he put on the words in these letters we have a reference point of truth to derive our faith from that points us to Jesus again and again.
The question is “what are you going to do with this information as you read it in the Bible? Will you proclaim it as pure truth without error as Theophilus did or will you water it down to make it palpable for a modern audience. You might think the choice is yours to make, but in reality a true commissioning that comes from reading the Word of God cannot and should not stay with us. The pure truth of the Word has to be passed on to others. If churches no longer elevate the teachings of the Bible to a lost a dying world, then we must do it in our daily life. In other words, wherever we go, lift up the word. Of course, an important element in lifting up the word, is KNOWING the word. As a minister in a Southern Baptist church I realize that Bible Study is a must and that the interaction of believers around the Word of God is the affirmation that commissioning needs.
As we approach the recognition of the birth of our Savior, make a point to read the account of Luke as a way of commissioning each of us to make that word come alive in each of us. Jesus was born, lived, died, and lived again to give us eternal life as only a true Savior can do. Don’t let the words stay on the pages of the Bible. Let them come alive through your speech and your life. Then hopefully one day someone will say about you that you were a friend of God who shared the real story with them and it changed their life. He is born!! Glory to God in the Highest!!!
The Pilgrimage continues…..