Luke: Been there, done that.
JUNE 10, 2021
Luke: been there, done that. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
The deepest message of Jesus and the Bible, is the radical grace of God to sinners and suffers. That’s what Key Life is all about. So, if you’re hungry for the hopeful truth, that God isn’t mad at you, keep listening. Steve Brown is a professor and our teacher on Key Life.
If you were listening yesterday, we began to look at my old friend, Luke, who wrote the gospel that is under his name, according to Luke. And he also has written the book of Acts. Both books, and we’re going to talk about Theophilus, you can call him Teddy. We’re going to talk about Theophilus a little bit later, but not right now. We’re talking about Luke. And we saw yesterday that most people are, if they’re very fortunate and work at it and get proficient at one thing. Luke was proficient in four areas, gifts of the Spirit, if you will. He was a world traveler. He was a physician. He was a nautical master, familiar and proficient in the techniques of sailing. And he was also, an amazing writer of history. And in all of those areas, God used him in some major ways, by the way, Luke traveled with the apostle Paul and was, as I said yesterday, his personal physician, on many of Paul’s journeys. Luke joined Paul for the first time on Paul’s second missionary journey to Troas, and traveled with him through the cities of Macedonia. Again, Luke joined Paul on his third and last journey to Philippi and traveled with him to Jerusalem. It was Luke who stayed with Paul during the two years of his imprisonment, in Caesarea. And it was in Caesarea where Luke began the preliminary outline of his great work on the life of Jesus of Nazareth. During the trip to Jerusalem, with the apostle Paul, Luke gathered material about a man, he had never met Jesus of Nazareth. Luke talked to Peter, he talked to James and he talked to John and he interviewed them. You know, that’s what I do. I, just can’t right as good as Luke can, but I like to interview. I learned from Larry King, a man that I knew, you just ask questions and you listen intently. Well, that’s what Luke did. Luke was kind of a Larry King type in his interviews. And so he talked to me the actual apostles who had been there and done that. And when he wrote the book of Acts, he himself had been there and done that. So, he puts it all down and he did it because God likes you. Okay? And God likes me and wanted us to know. There’s a, and it’s a tradition, but it’s fairly reliable. It finds Luke preaching the gospel of Christ in the metropolitan city of Alexandria. And then he’s arrested. He’s given a trial and condemned to death in 85 AD, this great physician scholar, world traveler, author, servant of Jesus of Nazareth, placed his head on a chopping block and was welcomed into the heavenly kingdom where the angels sang, when Luke the evangelists stood before the throne of God, and heard his master’s voice. Welcome home. Welcome home. That’s Luke, and it’s my hope that as we go through the book of Acts. Maybe even when we finish with Acts, we’ll study Luke. But as we go through the book of Acts, it’s my hope that you will develop a great fondness for your brother in Christ, Luke. And then there’s the guy that I’ve mentioned that he wrote to, the man for whom the book of Acts and Luke was written. Now, I want you to turn to Luke 1:30, and compare it with Acts 1:1. Someone has said that the Bible is God’s word, because it produces Christians. That’s a good thought. It does. That’s why the Gideons are doing such a good work. That’s why Wycliffe is doing such a good work, because it’s important to get the Bible in the language of the people. And, that’s why Tyndale did such good work. It’s why Luther did such work, because, and they spent listen years translating and getting the language of the Bible into the hands of the people. Luther said, I’m going to create a Bible that will be known, by the young man who plows behind a mule, as much as the priest who stands in the pulpit. Why did he do that? Because, because, well, because the Bible produces Christians and I know of, and this is a little bit surmised and, I’ve gotta be careful. But he starts off by writing to Theophilus. And he says that he is setting down, this is in Luke 1:30, and he says that he is setting down the story of Jesus and then notice in the first verse, in the first book.
O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit himself alive after his passion, with many words.
Now in Luke, Theophilus is called, wake up, this is important, is called most excellent Theophilus, in other words, he used the title in addressing Theophilus. And in Acts, no title is there. And you say, what does that mean? That means that something had happened Theophilus between the writing of Luke and the writing of Acts. Because in the early church, titles were not used between brothers and sisters in Christ, just their names. And so it’s legitimate to say that Theophilus had come to Christ. And that the word had created a Christian. Legend has it that not only was Theophilus converted, but that he later became a Bishop. Do you know what the word Theophilus means? It means friend of God, you mean to tell me that in one verse you found out he was a Christian. Yeah. And I just shared it with you and isn’t that great. The Bible created Theophilus, and he had come to Christ between the writing of Luke and the writing of Acts. And tradition says he even became a Bishop. Alright, that’s about all we know about him, frankly. So that’s it. So let’s move on. Now, let’s look at the people about whom the book of Acts was written. We have a tendency to think that these people in the Bible were wonderful, because painters and they have done us no disservice, even if they’re great in their gift of art, when they painted a glow around them, sometimes even a halo, they make them look so pious and so together. And so right on. The Bible is not that way, folks. That’s one of the reasons a lot of people stay away from the Bible. It’s why they stay away from the church. They don’t think they’re good enough. Well, God has fixed that in the Bible. You read the Bible, you’re going to find a bunch of scoundrels. I mean, nothing is hidden. Anyplace starts out with a murder and then a con gain, which is the beginning of God’s covenant people in a lie. And then you got David a murderer, and then you got Jeremiah who’s a coward, and then you got Paul who’s killing off Christians and you got Barnabas and Paul who got into a fight and you got Peter who denied Jesus. And later after he had been the head of the church, was a hypocrite. You find the first person that went on the missionary journey, fled in the middle of the night and ran back to his mother, because he liked cherry pie more than he liked Jesus. If you read the Bible to look for heroes who did it right, now don’t get me wrong. They really are heroes. They’re heroes in the same way you could be heroes. And as we read through Acts, we’re gonna read about church fights. We’re going to read about people lying. We’re gonna read about politics. We’re gonna read about, and you’re going to think. I always thought it’d be nice if we could go back to the early church. I don’t think so. They’re worse than we are, no they’re not. They’re the same as you are. And the reason the book of Acts is given that way is because you and I need to be reminded. And what’s the message? Message of Acts is simple, that Jesus changes people and people change the world. And God’s plan is that it happen over and over and over again. We’re going to see how it happened over the next few months. We’re going to meet a lot of people that you’re going to like. And we’re going to be inspired to not shilly shally where we are. You think about that. Amen.
Thanks Steve. As we have mentioned this week was our first week diving into a study of Acts. If you missed any episodes. No worries. You can listen to those for free anytime at Keylife.org, we’ll resume our journey through Acts next week, but first, tomorrow, it’s time again for Friday Q&A, of course that’s when our friend Pete Alwinson swings by and together, Pete and Steve answer some interesting questions you’ve sent in. Well a second ago, I mentioned Keylife.org, but I want to take a minute to point out some new features and resources you might not know about. Keylife.org is where you can learn about our new Key Life app. You can also check out the contact section to send us a message directly. You can also find great posts from all our Key Life contributors and Hey, while you’re there. Just click over and check out their bios. And of course, we have sermon videos, episodes of Steve Brown Etc, great new You Think About That spots and much more, and all of it is still free, thanks to the generous support of listeners, just like you. If you’d like to donate the Key Life, just call 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. Or you can mail your donation to
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