Facts and Truth: Research and investigation

An Introduction to the history of Christmas.

“…that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.”             Luke 1:4 (NKJV)

“…but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” John 20:31 (NKJV)

Reading: Luke 1: 1-4

As we approach Christmas, a very important holiday in the Christian tradition, we would like to share the story of how it all began. Christmas is not just about toys, gifts, and Santa Claus; it’s really about the coming of Jesus to the earth. It’s a story of love. Most religions claim their founders as men who became gods, but only Jesus is the God who became a man because of God’s great love to save people from sin. God knew there was no way people could reach Him and meet His standards, so He sent Jesus to reach down to us, His created beings.

Although I have not seen Jesus physically, I know He lives! His story of coming to earth from heaven as a baby, His life, death, and resurrection are true facts. The story of Jesus is not a myth, nor a legend, but a real story that was written in accurate and orderly narrative as shown in Luke 1:4, “…so that you might know how well-founded are the things about which you have been taught” (Complete Jewish Bible). To give a short introduction to the writer of the third Gospel in the New Testament, here is a brief background of Luke who did a thorough investigation and research of the life of Jesus.

Luke the writer of this Gospel was a highly educated person. According to tradition, Luke was a medical doctor, perhaps a personal physician of Paul. According to the Complete Jewish Bible (CJB), Theophilus was a high priest during or around the years 37-41 A.D. Theophilus may have been retired when Luke met him in A.D. 60. Other Bible scholars think Theophilus may have been a Roman official.

Luke was not around during the time of Jesus but had met some of His followers. He was taught by some of the followers of Jesus, like the Apostle Paul. Luke became a faithful companion of Paul in his missionary journeys, even during times of imprisonment. Paul, during his imprisonment and last days, wrote, “Only Luke is with me” 2 Timothy 4:11 (NKJV). Luke later wrote the book of Acts.

In his Gospel, Luke wrote an orderly narrative from eyewitnesses of the life of Jesus when He was still on earth. (See Luke 1:2.) Luke did a systematic investigation and research of the life of Jesus through the personal testimonies of the people who had personally seen and known Jesus. Perhaps Luke interviewed some of the original disciples of Jesus, some of His friends, relatives, and family members such as His mother and other followers. Perhaps Luke even talked to some of those who had received healings and miracles directly from Jesus when He was still on earth.

So, from “word of mouth” oral tradition, Luke carefully investigated and wrote down testimonies and stories from eyewitnesses and from those who received teachings from Jesus.

Even though Luke did not meet Jesus in person, Luke heard many amazing stories about Jesus including His miraculous birth, teachings, healings, and miracles. According to some Bible scholars, Luke was a Gentile who became a Jewish convert. As mentioned earlier, He wrote the account of Jesus’ life to address a prominent person named Theophilus – to know for certain, to believe and receive Jesus as the Messiah, the Deliverer.

“…that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.”                Luke 1:4 (NKJV)

Perhaps, Theophilus had already heard the Gospel of Jesus and was sincerely wanting to better understand who Jesus was. So, Luke took time to research, investigate, and write the story of Jesus from firsthand eyewitnesses.

Reflection:

God, in His providence, allowed Luke to write the account of Jesus’ life which was backed up by research, stories, and testimonies of eyewitnesses. It was written that we might believe Jesus is the Christ. (See John 20:31.) It was written and later translated into our language (English) so that we might understand. This was done at great cost. As we read in church history, some people risked their very lives and others lost their lives translating the Bible. They sacrificed their lives for these stories to be written, translated, and printed. Thus, we have a sure foundation for our faith in Jesus. Currently, after more than 2000 years, there are still Bible translators working diligently to get this story, the Gospel in other languages so that they may hear and know Him, Jesus, as Lord and Savior.

Prayer: Thank You Jesus for your gift of faith. Thank you for your providence in having your story written and translated into many languages, so that every person in every tribe and nation can know You and have a well-founded faith.

Your Thoughts:

Your Prayer:

Published
Categorized as Devotion

By dvcreel

David & Vicki Creel serving with FEBC

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