Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us,  just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us,  it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,  that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught. (ESV)
- Luke/Acts are based on eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ life.
It is not uncommon for people to think of Christianity as a set of values or morals. While the Christian faith certainly profoundly affects the way in which a person thinks about values and morals, Christianity is not primarily about values or morals. Rather, Christianity is primarily concerned with the person and work of Jesus Christ. Christianity is based on public historical events that were witnessed by many others, researched by Luke, a doctor, and recorded for us to read. The stories contained in Luke/Acts are not meant to simply warm our hearts. They are meant to be read and received as historical eyewitness accounts of events that actually took place. Either they happened or they didn’t. There is no other option.
- There are enough eyewitness accounts and information available to provide us with certainty regarding the person and work of Jesus.
Luke/Acts was written by Luke for a man named Theophilus. While we cannot be sure exactly who this person was, it is clear that Luke believed that his thorough research and documentation of Jesus’ life was sufficient to provide Theophilus, and all other readers, with certainty regarding Jesus and his Gospel. Luke does not tell us to trust our own hearts or to seek out our own truth. Rather, he tells us to trust the facts, the truth of Jesus’ death and resurrection that were witnessed by many and recorded for our own benefit.
- What does Luke tell us about the reliability of his research work regarding Jesus?
- How does this affect the way you might approach reading Luke/Acts?
- How do Luke’s sources and material compare to what modern people might write regarding Jesus?
- What does Luke hope will be the result of our study of his work in Luke/Acts?
Call to Worship
 LORD, you were favorable to your land;
you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
 You forgave the iniquity of your people;
you covered all their sin.
 You withdrew all your wrath;
you turned from your hot anger.
 Restore us again, O God of our salvation,
and put away your indignation toward us!
 Will you be angry with us forever?
Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
 Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you?
 Show us your steadfast love, O LORD,
and grant us your salvation. (ESV)
Prayer of Confession
Our Father in Heaven, our sins have made a separation between us and you, our God, and have kept good from us; and by them, we have defiled our minds and consciences. Father, for the sake of our advocate Jesus Christ, blot out all our transgressions, and enter not into judgment with us. Speak peace to us, and let us hear joy and gladness. Amen.