Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.
[Luke 1:1-4 NKJV]
As Christmas approaches, it seems appropriate to look at the Christmas story; and nowhere is it more complete than in Luke’s gospel. So in this first meditation on this theme, we see Luke’s words addressed to Theophilus, whose name means “friend of God”.
Luke credits himself with perfect understanding of all things from the very first, which to our ears sounds hugely prideful, but in this instance, I believe that the word ‘perfect’ should be used in another way — equally applicable in translation — which is ‘diligent’. Luke applied himself thoroughly to an accurate understanding from the beginning. He was “the dear and glorious physician” and no doubt looked at the spiritual evidence before him with an analytical eye.
Know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.
These words reveal the essence of learning. You have had instruction from your teacher — A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher. [Luke 6:40 NKJV] — and if we know the Holy Spirit, then we are being perfectly trained without doubt.
And it is “without doubt”. Learning from the master gives us “certainty”, as Mary Magdalene knew ... Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher). [John 20:16 NKJV]. Mary knew the certainty of Jesus resurrected, as soon as He called her by name.
Be assured today, that our Lord knows each of us by name and has called us into the certainty of a relationship with Him. To this end He provides each of us with mentors, encouragers and preachers; anointed men and women carrying their portion of The Lord’s message to bring His light into our lives, so that we may know the certainty of He who is and always will be.
The majority of present day preachers understand only the blessings that come to us from the Cross; they are apt to be devoted to certain doctrines which flow from the Cross. Paul preached one thing only: the crucified Christ, “Who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”