October 17th – Author’s Preface



Who could assess the colossal debt we all owe to devoted medical practitioners? Doctors have been at the front of the column in caring for the human race. I don’t need to press this point, it’s clearly obvious, but I am selecting one doctor in particular for whom I, and a billion others, give thanks to God for his non-medical contribution. He wrote two massive chunks of the New Testament, and thus lived up to his Greek name, which means “Light Giver”, or, like the sun, “A Shining One”.
One of his two volumes includes excerpts from his own travel diary.He was there when Paul and the gospel crossed, for the first time, into Europe. He went with Paul on his journey to Jerusalem, where Paul was arrested. He sailed with Paul on that long voyage to Rome which ended with the shipwreck off Malta. He was still with Paul when, in his own words, “so we came to Rome”: the centre of the world-wide empire, to which all roads led. Now along those military arteries the gospel of Christ would flow through all the known world.
You already know of whom I am speaking: “Luke, the beloved physician”, as Paul described him. A non-Jewish disciple of Jesus, whose aim in telling the story as he saw and researched it, was chiefly to explain to the non-Hebrew world, the history-splitting impact of Jesus of Nazareth from even before Jesus’ birth, through his life, death and resurrection, and on into the Holy Spirit’s empowering of the church to take the good news of Jesus to the centre of the Empire and to the ends of the earth.
To each of his volumes he writes a preface in polished, academic Greek, before going on to tell his story in a clear, simple style which even a child can grasp. This is Luke’s preface to his second volume, which we call “The Acts of the Apostles”, which explains what he attempted in his former book, The Gospel of Luke, and sets the scene for the world march of the gospel of Christ. In short, he tells how the good news spread from an obscure Roman province to the heart of the Empire, miraculously, in one generation.
In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptised with water, but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 1:1-5
Luke’s emphasis is that the only effective communicator and power house for all Christians is their baptism, their total immersion in the Holy Spirit.
A Prayer:
Before I try to go to the whole world about you, Lord Jesus, help me to go to you about the world.
Now read Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 21.

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Thought 4 The Day

It isn’t very rational to argue that the world which is based on cause and effect is itself uncaused. (M. Green)

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