Having just completed reading through Job we are now (starting tomorrow – 22nd July) turning our attention to two books in the Bible which tell the story of Jesus and the early church – both written by Luke (a doctor and sometime companion of Paul) to provide an accurate account of what happened while Jesus was alive and immediately after He returned to heaven.
Luke introduces his first book with these words:
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 eye witnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. (Luke 1:1–4)
And he introduces his second book:
In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. (Acts 1:1–2)
So the book of Acts is presented as the “sequel” to the Gospel and telling the story of what Jesus continued to do – after His return to heaven – through his apostles and the power of His Spirit.
We will see stories of the birth of Jesus, a very little of His early life, His public ministry culminating in His death and resurrection. And we will see how the work that He started continued on as the church was born and started to grow. It is all centred around the person who died and was powerfully brought back to eternal life.
As we read let’s be prepared to be challenged as we are confronted (again or for the first time) with the person and work of Jesus.