When I was a kid, we played a card game called “I doubt it.” It has another name, but I won’t use that word. You would deal all the cards and each person would lay, face down, a card in numerical order and say that number. If someone doubted it was right, the simply said, “I doubt it” and the card was turned over. Whoever was wrong, picked up all the cards in the pile.
Have you ever heard someone say something, and you thought or said “I doubt that really happened?” For most things it’s no big deal. But sometimes the truthfulness of a statement is of utmost importance.
Is the Bible true? Some people doubt the Bible and its truthfulness. The Bible makes some wild claims. Create the universe in 6 days? A worldwide flood? Walk on Water? Raise the dead? Some simply say, “I doubt it.”
Luke opens his gospel with an introduction that helps us trust the accuracy of the details of the life of Jesus. As we can trust Luke’s account of the life of Jesus, we can trust the truthfulness of the entire Bible.
Luke is historically accurate.
Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, (Luke 1:1-3)
Luke claimed to be a good historian. He knew the value of accurate sources. They came from the right time – from the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry. They came from the right people – eye witnesses who knew Jesus. They came through the right channels – those set up to hand down tradition. They came for the right reasons – servants of the word. The message was of prime importance.
The Bible is 100% accurate and has no mistakes.
The Greek word translated “eyewitnesses” derives from the term we transliterate “autopsy” and is not found anywhere else in the Bible. In ancient cultures, and even today, no evidence carries more weight than the testimony of an eyewitness.
Luke’s primary focus in this book is showcasing who Jesus was — and what He came to do. He did so with facts, not fanciful detail.
At one time scholars thought that Luke was mistaken regarding the events surrounding the birth of Jesus (Luke 2:1-3). Critics argued that there was no census, that Quirinius was not governor of Syria, and that everyone did not have to return to his ancestral home. But archeological discoveries show that the Romans had a regular enrollment of taxpayers and also held censuses every fourteen years. This procedure began under Augustus. Further, we find that Quirinius was governor of Syria around 7 BC.
Sir William Ramsey, one of the greatest archeologists to have ever lived, doubted the reliability of the New Testament. But after 30 years of study, he said that, “Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy…this author should be placed along with the greatest of historians.”
You can trust the Bible. Read it to be wise. Believe it to be safe. Practice it to be holy.
Luke leads to belief and trust.
That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed. (Luke 1:4)
Luke was not the first biographer of Jesus. We know of 3 others (Matthew, Mark, John). There were probably others. Luke wrote a thoroughly researched biography of Jesus so that people could trust Him as personal Savior. He researched each part so his readers could trust each part.
Luke had a particular order to his writing. He obviously started at the beginning of Jesus life and ended with His death, resurrection and ascension. However, the order is not necessarily chronological. None of the Gospels claim to be chronological. He had a logical order that a person could read and easily understand and follow. His Gospel was written that people might believe and trust in Jesus.
The Bible was written that people would trust Jesus as personal Savior.
There are many atheists who turned to Jesus after honest research: C.S. Lewis (Chronicles of Narnia), Josh McDowell, Simon Greenleaf (founder of Harvard Law School), Lee Strobel (journalist for Chicago Tribune). Of his conversion, CS Lewis said, “I gave in and admitted that God was God and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.”
The Bible is not just a story book. It is God’s Word. It is a living Word. It is a powerful Word. Those who give it opportunity to enter their hearts and minds will discover that it can change their life.
What if it’s not true? What if Jesus didn’t really live? Or perform all these miracles? What if He didn’t die and resurrect? What if He was just an ordinary guy? If Jesus was not God’s Son, that may be an even bigger miracle that someone could change the course of history as a mere human being. The evidence is overwhelming that Jesus made a greater impact on culture, history, religion, attitudes and laws of our world than any other person or group of people.
Years ago an anonymous writer summed up the influence and impact of the one solitary life of Jesus. You may have read it or heard it, but it is worthy of repetition now.
He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. Until He was thirty, He worked in a carpenter shop and then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He wrote no books. He held no office. He never owned a home. He was never in a big city. He never travelled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never did any of the things that usually accompany greatness. The authorities condemned His teachings. His friends deserted Him. One betrayed Him to His enemies for a paltry sum. One denied Him. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. While He was dying, His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He owned on earth: His coat. When He was dead He was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave. Nineteen centuries have come and gone, yet today He is the crowning glory of the human race, the adored leader of hundreds of millions of the earth’s inhabitants. All the armies that ever marched and all the navies that were ever build and all the parliaments that ever sat and all the rulers that ever reigned – put together – have not affect the life of man upon the earth so profoundly as that one solidary life.