Luke the Evangelist begins his account of Jesus Christ with a note explaining how and why he has written his Gospel: Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. Luke 1:1-4 (NIV)
Luke wanted to assure his first reader, Theophilus (who may have been Luke’s patron or publisher) that what Theophilus held in his hands was a thoroughly investigated, researched, and reliable report of the events surrounding the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Luke’s description of his approach implies a very different view than the all too common one: that faith is belief based on nothing deeper than personal feeling and emotional response. Unfortunately, even today some Christians have this view of faith. But Luke isn’t asking Theophilus to believe the account of Jesus Christ because of its emotional impact. Luke is assuring him that the Christian faith Theophilus has been taught rests on a foundation of well-established facts, actual events, and eyewitness testimony, and that Theophilus can know the certainty of these things. Come Join Dr. Koch this fall as we look into the reasoned defense of the “faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 4). Childcare will be provided—we hope to see you here!