ACTS 27:1-28:16 PSALM 40


You might have noticed before today's reading how, when narrating the journeys of Paul, the author has often spoken of “we” to inform that Paul's traveling friends included the writer. Even before Paul set sail for Italy, we see that Paul had Luke as a witness to much of what has been written in the back half of the book of Acts. Today, Luke drives home the point that all of the journey from Jerusalem to Italy included Luke as an eyewitness to Paul's great feets on sea and land. There are a number of interesting insights that come from this fact alone. Certainly Luke's great interest in telling the entire story of Jesus and the early apostles in both Luke and Acts would have been ignited in regularly hearing Paul preach. Also, based on the fact Luke would have been more immediately familiar with the ministry of Paul, I wonder if Luke had already written down much of the content found in Acts before writing our third Gospel with a view to highlighting the many parallels between the life of Jesus through the Spirit and the life of the early church in the Spirit. I cannot know for certain the exact processes Luke undertook to write these marvelous books, yet Luke certainly wanted to make it clear that Jesus is doing similar ministry at the Father's right hand through the early apostles (the book of Acts) as what He did in during His ministry on earth (Luke's Gospel) . Besides being interested in how Luke formed the two largest books in the New Testament, the fact that he was so often present with Paul reflects Luke's willingness to stake his own credibility before his initial reader (Theophilus) on claiming Luke saw these things with his very eyes. Where Luke didn't see something with his own eyes, he spoke with eyewitnesses. Christianity stands and falls on historical events, specifically those of Jesus living, dying, and rising. Luke takes great pains to emphasize implicitly that if the stories he is telling are not true, then you can go about your business safely ignoring the claims of Christians. But if they did happen, everything changes. This is true for those who are not yet believers, but also for the faithful. Since Luke is telling the truth about what God is doing in our world, this should transform our lives, even right now.