Read: Luke 1:1-4

. . . that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught. (v. 4)

If Luke’s Gospel never existed, most of what we associate with Christmas would be unknown. Two of the longest chapters in the Bible contain the vast majority of all things Christmas: The Annunciation. The Magnificat. Bethlehem. Christ’s birth in a cattle shed. The angels and the shepherds. Glory to God in the highest. This is all thanks to Luke. If Mark or John were our only Gospels, we would know nothing about Jesus’ birth.

Tradition says Luke was a doctor. But he might have missed his calling, since he is one of the finest writers in the Bible. His sequel, the Book of Acts, also contains one gripping story after the next. We have these treasures because under the influence of the Holy Spirit, Luke did some cracking good research. He interviewed witnesses, collected stories and parables, and checked out various leads, all of which led to his masterfully composed books.

We find out in Luke 1 that there was in and through all that hard work just one goal: to make the things of our faith more certain. “Theophilus” means “lover of God” and although he was a real person, he is also a stand-in for all of us who love God. We all want our faith made more certain. Luke does that for us by God’s grace. As we spend the next days in Luke’s opening chapters, we receive as gifts the stories he tells. —Scott Hoezee

As you pray, give thanks to the Spirit for using Luke to bring us certainty and to give God glory!

About the Author

Scott Hoezee

Scott Hoezee is an ordained pastor in the Christian Reformed Church of North America. He served two Michigan congregations from 1990-2005 and since 2005 has been a faculty member at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he serves chiefly as the Director of The Center for Excellence in Preaching. He is the author of several books, including most recently Why We Listen to Sermons (Calvin Press 2019) and is the co-host of the “Groundwork” radio program.