This is the seventy-sixth lesson in author and pastor Mel Lawrenz’ How to Reside the Bible series. If you know a person or a group who would like to adhere to along on this journey via Scripture, they can get additional information and sign up to obtain these essays through e mail right here.

See Mel Lawrenz’s book, How to Study the Bible: A Sensible Guide.

Numerous persons would say they have a challenging time entrusting themselves to the view of the globe the Bible portrays since the biblical authors are just expressing their personal biased opinions. But the core of biblical faith is all about the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Either these points occurred or they did not. Luke, at the start off of his Gospel desires to make it clear that his telling of the Jesus story is primarily based on eyewitness accounts. In other words, seeing is believing.

The arrest of Jesus illustration

Luke says: “Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the points that have been fulfilled amongst us, just as they have been handed down to us by these who from the very first have been eyewitnesses and servants of the word” (Luke 1:1). This tells us quite a few points. Very first, there have been lots of persons speaking about the awesome life and instances of Jesus in the days that followed his death and resurrection. It must not surprise us that it was believers in Jesus who left accounts of his life, and not investigative journalists and objective historians. There have been no journalists at the time, and historians wrote about what interested them–usually the splashy, bloody, political events, not points like the modest mustard seed of Jesus’ ministry which they would have deemed peasant rumor.

There have been close-in observers who passed along bits and pieces of the story, and most of it in oral kind due to the fact that was deemed the regular and dependable way of passing on a story. But Luke distinguishes himself. He says he has written the points that have been “handed down” to him by the “eyewitnesses” of the events. “Handing down” is a technical term for the cautious transmission of a defining story. In other words, the story of Jesus, as reported by Luke and the other Gospel writers is not a collection of rumors and hearsay. The information have been “handed down,” and so they seem in the 4 Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—many of the information overlapping, but every Gospel writer picking the components of the story he wanted to inform. Luke had access to “eyewitnesses,” the instant followers of Jesus, who could say precisely what occurred and when and why.

Contemporary critics of the Bible cause that we can not take the Gospel accounts seriously since they have been written by persons who have been believers in Jesus and his divine authority and energy. They have been proponents of a position.

This is correct. Luke calls them “eyewitnesses” and “servants of the word.” But it is pure circular reasoning to say that since the eyewitnesses became believers, that as a result their accounts can not be taken seriously. If I was out golfing all by myself late in the day and got a hole-in-one particular, and told some random persons at the clubhouse, they may possibly have a challenging time believing my account since my testimony would seem to be self-aggrandizing. And if I stated I got two holes-in-one particular, they would actually be skeptical, not since it is not possible to come about but since it is very unlikely that it would come about.

That is why Luke talks about “eyewitnesses.” The Jesus story is not like a person claiming he got a couple of holes-in-one particular on one particular round of golf. There have been lots of persons who saw what Jesus did and heard what Jesus stated.

The Gospel writers say this about the extraordinary life of Jesus: a man showed up who could perform miracles, and whose teaching arrested our focus, and who known as himself Son of God and Son of Man. We know this is unlikely. But it is what occurred nonetheless. And it tends to make sense since it consists of anything we’ve generally wanted to think.


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Mel Lawrenz (@MelLawrenz) trains an international network of Christian leaders, ministry pioneers, and believed-leaders. He served as senior pastor of Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin, for ten years and now serves as Elmbrook’s minister at huge. He has a PhD in the history of Christian believed and is on the adjunct faculty of Trinity International University. Mel is the author of 18 books, like How to Recognize the Bible—A Easy Guide and Spiritual Influence: the Hidden Energy Behind Leadership (Zondervan, 2012). See additional of Mel’s writing at WordWay.