We are following the theme, ‘Christianity as a movement’ and looking at the Biblical basis for this! In continuing to develop this theme, we now turn our attention back to Luke. We ask the question, why did Luke write the Book of Acts? Why didn’t he leave it for Matthew, Mark or John to write? They being Jews were surely more qualified than he, a Gentile, to write the sequel to the Gospels? Well, let’s briefly examine this question – I offer a perspective, which I think you will find, thought provoking!
It was no coincidence that it was Luke who documented the ‘acts of the apostles’ and that of the early Church and not one of the other Gospel writers!
Being the only Gentile writer of the New Testament, Luke was ‘beside himself’ with excitement! He was seeing in the ‘happenings of his day’ the beginnings of the fulfillment of Old Testament promises, stating that one day, the door of faith and the blessing of salvation would open to Gentile nations!
Having been excluded from the ‘chosen people of God,’ from time immemorial (Eph 2:12), ‘gentile Luke’ was determined to continue writing his “orderly accounts,” (Lk 1:1) to ensure that all would know of this amazing favor of God towards all nations, tribes, peoples and languages (Rev 7:9). The times of the Gentiles had finally arrived!
Let’s review some of these, ‘gentile blessing’ Old Testament promises and prophecies:
• all peoples on earth will be blessed…. (Ge 12:3)
• all the peoples of the earth may know your name.. (1Ki 8:41-43)
• all the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations will bow down before him.
(Ps 22:27 – 28)
• The nobles of the nations come together. They are now part of
the people of the God of Abraham…(Ps 47:9 NIrV)
• all kings will bow down to him and all nations will
serve him. (Ps 72:11)
• the earth will be filled with people who know the Lord.
(Isa 11:9 NLT)
• I will also make you a light for the Gentiles that you may bring
my salvation to the ends of the earth. (Isa 49:6)
With the advent of Christ – the time of the Gentiles had come (Ro 11:25). The fulfillment of these promises and prophecies had suddenly burst onto the stage of human history! And Luke, the Gentile, was determined to ensure that the whole world would know that this glorious day had arrived!
Surely, as Gentiles, we cannot help but share Luke’s excitement! Or have we lost the “awe” of the significance of this ‘age’ in which we live?” For Luke the ‘world Christian movement’ took precedence over all else! May we all – Christians and churches around the world, capture afresh, the sense of privilege, of gratitude, of amazement, that God in His great mercy has offered salvation to us who were once “far off” (Eph 2:13),
This door, to us Gentile nations, is wide open, but it won’t be forever! Every generation of ‘Jesus followers’ has to seize the day and work towards advancing the ‘Jesus movement’ to the unreached nations of their generation! How can we possibly pass from this earth, without having added value to this movement? God ensures that each of us has both opportunities and resources to do so (Mt 25:24-28)! Apathy and indifference to the greatest happening on planet earth is unbecoming for those who profess to be His faithful followers!