“Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.”
We have discovered over the last couple of weeks that Christianity is a reasonable faith because it is based upon solid evidence. Evidence that has stood the test of time. One of these evidences is fulfilled prophecy. The Bible is the only book in existence that contains historically reliable fulfilled prophecy. This week let’s consider another source of evidence which is reliable eyewitness accounts.
The accounts mentioned by Luke were handed down in both oral and written form by eyewitnesses.
Credible eyewitness accounts are, in essence, a guarantee of the reliability of truth claims. That is why they are allowed in a court of law. Luke traveled all over Asia Minor and Greece with the Apostle Paul, with Mark, with Timothy and with many others. He himself, had apparently not seen Jesus; therefore, he relied on the eyewitness accounts of the men with which he traveled.
As a historian, he took notes and documented all that he heard. These were credible eyewitnesses many of whom died for their faith, just as they are dying today for their faith in many places around the world. In Acts 12, we learn that James, the brother of John, was the first Christian martyr of the early church. He was put to death by the sword on the order of King Herod. Paul was later beheaded in Rome under Emperor Nero for His faith in Jesus. Hebrews 11:35-37 states, Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword.
Luke listened to their stories. He heard about the miracles. But more than anything else he looked into the eyes of men like Peter and Paul and saw a faith that was unshakeable. He saw men who were ready and willing to die for their faith. He saw men who were eyewitnesses of His Majesty.
The apostle John writes in 1 John 1:1-3, That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
The only way you can have fellowship with God and with His Son Jesus is to believe the eyewitness accounts that have been recorded for us in the Bible and place your trust in Jesus. Not only do we have Luke as a reliable source, but we also have the eyewitness accounts of Matthew, Mark, John, Paul, Peter, James and Jude. By the way, James and Jude were two of Jesus’ four brothers. You can’t get more eye-witness than that.
So, let me ask, how many eyewitnesses do you need before you are willing to believe? God has given us so much evidence. All we have to do is follow the evidence and it will lead us to the truth.