“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.”
These are the words that Luke writes to open up his gospel. And there’s so much here just to unpack, think through, as we get a glimpse into who Luke is, what Luke’s purpose is, who he’s writing to. But the big picture I want to let lead us to pray today is Luke realizing that he has seen and heard things that he cannot keep to himself.
Father, we ask for grace that we might contend for the faith. Use us today to share the good news of Jesus with someone who does not know You.
He’s saying, other people have told me things, have shared things with me. I’ve talked with eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, people who have walked with Jesus, people who have seen Jesus do different things. And I am undertaking what turns into 24 chapters of writing to let you, Theophilus, know who Jesus is, what Jesus taught, and how Jesus can change your life. We have this whole book that is obviously a huge benefit to us today, has been for followers of Jesus, for non-Christians for that matter, to learn about Jesus throughout centuries. But it was written in the very beginning for one person, for Theophilus, that Theophilus might know the truth about who Jesus is, what Jesus taught, and how Jesus died on the cross so that repentance and forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in all nations. We’ll get to that in Luke chapter 24.
But based on this introduction, I just want to encourage you, even as I do the same thing in my own mind, think about someone in your life who needs to know who Jesus is, who needs to know what Jesus taught, who needs to know what Jesus did on the cross. And think through, okay, Luke sat down, he wrote a whole letter as a gospel account, a story of Jesus. So what might God be calling you to do for that person in your mind who needs to know about Jesus? Maybe it is sitting down and writing a letter, email, or maybe actually a handwritten letter to them. Maybe it’s calling them. Maybe it’s taking them to a socially distanced lunch or something along those lines. Whatever it might be, let’s just pray that God would use our lives, as we know and have seen the truth about Jesus and His Word, to make it known to people like Theophilus around us.
God, we praise you, not just for who Jesus is and what Jesus has done for us, but we praise you for the people who have introduced us to Jesus. Thank you for Luke, oh God, thank you for him writing this book. Thank you for parents or grandparents or friends or neighbors or pastors or church leaders or church members, followers of Jesus who pointed each of us to who Jesus is and what Jesus taught and how Jesus died on the cross for our sins, that we might have eternal life in him. And we pray that you would use us in the same way in other’s lives. Like this week, oh God.
We pray for the people on our minds and our hearts right now, even as I’m thinking of faces and names and I trust others are, people who don’t know you, God, we pray that you would use our lives, our relationships with them, the opportunities you’ve given us to share about who Jesus is, what Jesus taught, what Jesus has done, with them, that they might have eternal life.
God give us grace. Grant us boldness, maybe even to sit down and write a letter, send an email, send a text, even just to say, “Hey, can we get together and talk.” God, we pray for these people that are on our minds right now, that you would bring them to the knowledge of Jesus. Please, oh God, use us toward that end.
And God, we would be remiss if we didn’t pray at the same time for people we don’t know, people who no Christian knows right now. Think about unreached people groups today, the Rind Balcoh people, who live in that Balochistan region at the Southeastern edge of Pakistan and Iran and Afghanistan. And the million of them, almost exactly one million, no known followers of Jesus among the Rind Baloch. God, please, please send laborers to make the good news of Jesus known among the Baloch in Pakistan, specifically the Rind tribe. Please, oh, God, do this for your glory among them, that like Theophilus they might hear and see who Jesus is, what Jesus has done, and experience, we pray, your salvation. God help us to make this good news known, the gospel known to people right around us and far from us. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.