Posts Tagged ‘Luke’

Luke 1:1-4 — Today we begin another book of the Bible. The Gospel of Luke is where my heart has been led. The thing that is being shouted into my heart this morning as we begin is reasonable faith. Christianity is a reasonable faith. Modernists say that the Christian faith is just an opiate of the people. They claim that we use religion to explain things that we are too lazy to investigate. However, Luke screams to us that it is a reasonable faith.

From other references to Luke in Acts and in the writings of Paul, we know he was a physician. He was the equivalent of a doctor to us. Therefore, he had to be a logical person. He had to be a person who researched medical problems and came to conclusions. He was very much an “if x, then y” kind of guy. He knew the importance of being thorough. He used his skills of observation and analysis to draw conclusions about the illnesses that he encountered as a doctor. Thus, for him to undertake this account of the life of Jesus, he would have researched, observed, and drawn conclusions. He would have been thorough. You can read Luke’s account of Jesus’ life with confidence that it was written by a clear thinker, a logical mind, and a thorough researcher. Because the gospel, the Good News, is founded in historical fact and grounded in truth, our spiritual growth must include careful, disciplined and thorough investigation of God’s Word so that we can understand how God has acted in history. It is a reasonable faith. Luke used research. He relied on other written accounts of Jesus. He used eyewitness interviews. He used all resources available to him. Many scholars believe that prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD because it is not mentioned in his writing (some conjecture that is was written as early as between 55AD-60AD – only 30 or so years after Jesus’ death). Thus, many of the eyewitnesses of Jesus life were still alive. They would have debunked his book easily if it contained falsehoods and fabrications. Just the opposite happened. It quickly because accepted as a valid rendering of Jesus’ life by the early Christian church. Because the truth was important to Luke, he relied heavily on eyewitness accounts. It is a reasonable faith.

Real Christianity does not ask us to close our eyes and jump off a cliff. It welcomes criticism and asks to check it out. The Bible encourages us to investigate the things we doubt. Luke says it himself in Luke 1:4, “so that you can be certain of the truth of everything that you were taught.” While man-made religions rely on mystique and unverifiable legend as the basis of their belief systems, Christianity stands clearly rooted in history. There is ample evidence outside the Bible to verify its accuracy. Modernists who debunk the Bible as inaccurate are continually proven wrong as man makes new archaelogical discoveries. The Bible thus is evidence of God entering and intervening in human history. There is ample evidence outside the Bible, for example, that Jesus existed. It is commonly accepted throughout the world that Jesus existed. No man-made religion can make that claim. Every religion in the world has a position on Jesus. These religions feel compelled to respond to Jesus in their religious writings. Christianity does not feel the need to respond to man-made religions because it does not have to. Christianity is based on the truth. Our faith welcomes your scrutiny. It is a reasonable faith. It does not rely on mysterious beasts in a time that cannot be verified. It does not rely on superhumans of the past that we cannot research and verify. It does not rely on other religions to create our own holy book and create a political system to unify our people and have that book revealed as being completely inconsistent within itself. Everything in the Bible. Everything in Jesus’ life is original, historical and verifiable.

We can have confidence in our faith that it is not just a bunch of hooey that cannot standup to scrutiny. This gives me great comfort. If the gospels were written in a time when many of the eyewitnesses were still alive and the authors were trying to editorialize and make Jesus more or less than He really was, wouldn’t they have screamed foul. This gives me great confidence in what I believe in. There is a whole and complete line of reasoning that we could go down called apologetics, which is a fancy word for the defense of our faith, that we do not have time to go down here. But, I know that every couple of years, there is new evidence to support the historical claims of the Old Testament. And, I know for a fact that my Savior actually lived, breathed, walked this planet and was not some lie created by Christianity, the religion. I know my Savior existed. I know this because extrabiblical sources say the same thing. Jewish and Roman historical records admit his existence. I know He existed. For the many things non-believers dispute about our faith, they DO NOT dispute that Jesus existed. How amazing is that! How much comfort is that! My Savior is not some made up human fantasy. He is not some opiate of the people. My Savior invites you to understand that He did actually come down from heaven and walk as God in the flesh. We know He existed. How much greater now are His claims in the Bible if you fully understand that He existed and is not simply something made up within our own faith. Ahhh, this is amazing stuff when you discover it. Christianity welcomes your scrutiny. It is a reasonable faith.

Father, thank you for opening my eyes to the real facts of our faith, the main one being that Jesus was indeed a real historical figure. Thank you for revealing to me that He was real. Thank you for revealing that to me because for me personally it gives credence to the basis of my faith. There are things that I have to take on faith about our faith but it is grounded in a real man who lived on earth. The fact that He is and was and always will be the Son of God is the faith part. The things that require faith are the difference between seeing Jesus as a radical rabbi that existed and God in the flesh that existed. I choose to believe by faith that Jesus Christ is your Son Father. You gave us reasonable faith that can take us 95% of the way there but real faith gets us the last mile. Thank you for Jesus as the historical man. Thank you for Jesus as my Savior. Amen.