The Amplified Bible’s rendering of Acts two:32, the NIV translation of which informs the title of this weblog, reads:
“Let the entire residence of Israel recognise beyond all doubt and acknowledge assuredly that God has created Him each Lord and Christ (the Messiah) – this Jesus you crucified.”
These words have been written by Luke about 62 years following Jesus had been crucified. Luke did not meet Jesus personally, on Earth, but there is great proof that he was a travelling companion and pal of Paul. In his letter to the Colossians, four:14, Paul sends greetings to the Christian neighborhood of Colossae, Phrygia (Asia Minor), from Luke:
“Our dear pal Luke, the medical professional, and Demas send greetings.”
Luke’s Gospel is synoptic, which means it ‘sees the same’ (optic – see, syn – identical) as Matthew’s and Mark’s. He absolutely was familiar with Mark’s Gospel but the extent to which he had study or relied on Matthew’s – or, no matter whether Luke ever study Matthew’s Gospel – is a point for debate.
But what is not debatable is Luke’s faith. Or that he was a health-related medical professional and so, a man of higher intelligence, excellent literacy and made use of to working out deductive reasoning in order to trouble resolve – a great deal as the excellent theologian and erstwhile ‘Pharisee of Pharisees’, Paul, was a fierce intellect and ‘rationalist’ by nature and education. According to R.C Sproul, Pastor, Theologian and Writer:
“Paul was a man who had the equivalent of two PhDs in theology by the time he was 21 years of age.”
We can only consider the high quality and rigour of the discussions these two guys had about Jesus, the significance of the Crucifixion and Resurrection and the nature of Salvation, that contributed to their transformational Books in the New Testament (NT). Paul is the author of 13 books – about 30% – of the NT. But Luke’s Gospel as effectively as The Book of Acts tends to make him, by volume, the author of a higher proportion of the NT than that authored by Paul. Amongst them, then, these two guys are accountable for most of what we know about the dissemination of Christ’s Word to the gentile and the methods to impact the Wonderful Commission, following Jesus’ resurrection. And, of course, Paul did meet Jesus, in particular person, extremely pointedly and substantially, on the Damascene Road (Acts 9, 22 and 26).
In addition to his credibility as an eye witness to Jesus’ resurrection, Paul was also the modern of a excellent a lot of persons – Apostles – who basically saw and connected with Jesus, post crucifixion, so he had no problems writing:
“He was observed by more than 5 hundred persons at after, of whom the higher element stay to the present” (1 Corinthians 15:six). (my bold)
And, when Paul writes:
“For I delivered to you 1st of all that which I also received: that Christ died for ours sins, according to the Scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he rose once again the third day, according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:three,four). (my bold)
there is no explanation to doubt his word.
Luke would have relied on Paul’s testimony as effectively as a lot of of these who have been also his contemporaries, and have been repeatedly relating their experiences of Jesus, ‘post-death’.
Paul’s extremely life is a testament to the veracity of his writings, of course. There is no other rational explanation for why he transformed – instantaneously – from extremist, zealous, Christian-persecuting Pharisee, entitled to the privileges of status and wealth his station bestowed, to itinerant tent-maker and evangelist, particular to spend with his life for his appreciate of Jesus:
“For to me, to reside is Christ and to die is obtain.” (Philippians 1:21)
Luke was with Paul, in Rome, at the time top up to Paul’s execution. This, Paul confirms when writing his second letter to Timothy:
“Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for the reason that he is useful to me in my ministry” (two Timothy four:11)
And how intense, but anointed, ought to have been their exchanges, then! How extremely clear and precise ought to Paul’s rendering of his faith have been to Luke – how certainly credible – as Paul’s execution loomed.
That Paul’s faith strengthened and did not wane, as he skilled the brutality of his final Roman prison sentence and awaited death, is extremely clear, in his encouragement to the disheartened Timothy, whom Paul loved as a son. In two Timothy, Paul’s extremely final writing of any sort, he urges:
“So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the energy of God.” (two Timothy 1:eight)
Luke lived to be about 84 years old and is extensively believed to have died in a area of Greece named Boeotia. He is believed to have written Acts amongst 80-90 AD, about 13 years following Paul’s death. He chose to commence his account with the words:
“In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus started to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, following providing guidelines via the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had selected. 3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave a lot of convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them more than a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.” (Acts 1: 1-three)
And there follows a most precise and frequently 1st-hand, witnessed account, of the miracles, hardships and unfailing conviction that characterised the life of Paul and other early evangelists, in the 1st couple of decades following Jesus’ death and resurrection.
In a internet site short article named ‘ The Eyewitness Testimony That’ll Make You Never ever Doubt the Resurrection Again’ published by CBN News.com, four.1.18, by Paul Strand, Strand quotes and refers to the function of an Apologist called Josh McDowell, author of ‘New Proof That Demands a Verdict’ (pub Jan 18):
“McDowell explained, “They [the apostles] stated following He was crucified and buried, He was raised from the dead and for 40 days — not 40 hours, not 4 days — for 40 days, they lived with Him and walked with Him, with overwhelming proof that He’d been raised from the dead.”
McDowell concluded, “If the Resurrection was a lie, they had to know it. And if they knew it, then you’d have to say right here have been these guys who not only died for a lie, but they knew it was a lie. I challenge you to locate other folks in history who that is correct of. It really is not.”
It appears fitting that, as we method Easter 2019, Christians reflect anew on the seminal, critical truth at the heart of our faith. That Jesus is alive and extremely effectively. He is the Messiah. Luke’s words, quoted at the prime of this weblog are not lies. I, for one particular, pray for a Damascene-like, heart-jolting, permanently convicting revelation of this reality – beyond head-information and unquestioning belief.
The “entire residence of Israel” is exhorted to reflect with us, on the assertion that triggered a Pharisee of the highest order – who could have recited the Torah, and was intimately familiar with the Book of Isaiah (see Romans (9:20-33) – to declare:
“What is far more, I think about almost everything a loss for the reason that of the surpassing worth of understanding Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all points. I think about them garbage, that I may possibly obtain Christ.” (Philippians three:eight)