Luke; March 13, 2021

Acts 16:10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

Luke has got to be one of the most humble, obedient people recorded in the Bible. We know from Colossians 4:14 that he was a doctor, which has been a respected occupation throughout history, one requiring intelligence and diligence and usually garnering a good income. However, even though he wrote two of the longer books of the New Testament, Luke never put his own name forward. We know nothing of his personal background and family, but his commitment to Christ was complete and his loyalty to Paul remarkable. This verse is the first place he uses the first person plural, including himself in Paul’s group, so that would indicate he was from Troas. Whether he was from somewhere else and just happened to encounter Paul there remains a possibility, but the fact is, we just don’t know. However, that actually seems likely to me, because if he had been an established part of society in Troas it would have been very difficult for him suddenly to pick up and go to Macedonia with Paul. He may have been a widower, traveling to try to ease the pain of his loss. I have known doctors who were devastated to lose their wives, in one case to a disease that was part of their own specialty. The self-accusations can be extreme in such cases. However he happened to be in Troas, Luke obviously received the Gospel with conviction and committed himself to its spread, and the whole world has benefited. His Gospel, probably written while Paul was in prison in Caesarea, (Acts 23-26) is obviously carefully researched, giving us most of what we consider “the Christmas story.” And of course, his is the only deliberate record we have of the early years of the Church. Every believer today is deeply in his debt, yet he never put himself forward, but simply did what he felt God was asking of Him.

I couldn’t ask for a better example to follow, but then, there are quite a few of those recorded in the Bible! He is one of the “great cloud of witnesses,” (Hebrews 12:1) testifying to the faithfulness of God and the glory of knowing and following Him. The specific area I would like to emulate is that of submitting intellectual and academic achievement to the cause of the kingdom of God. Actually that is something of a tradition in my family, since all four of my grandparents were college graduates and my father and both grandfathers had advanced degrees, but all loved God before and above everything else. Actually, advanced degrees are littered through my family tree, but not all of those have been as committed to the Lord as Luke and my immediate ancestors were. Like Luke, I need to seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33) before any thought of personal pride, acclamation, or achievement. Like him I need to be willing to leave everything behind in a moment, if God makes it clear to me to do so. Like him I need to use the gifts God has placed in me in word and action, to serve God’s children and draw others to Him.

Father, Thank You for pointing this out to me so clearly. Help me indeed be totally committed to You in every area so that Your purposes may be fulfilled in and through me, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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