Last week I made a comment in the morning message, after we had been contemplating the question we would ask President Obama given the chance, that we were going to be a “little” more theological in the next phase of the opening illustration. I asked the question: If you could ask God only one question, face to face today, what would it be? As I am sitting here thinking about the July 15th message, I would be very tempted to ask something about the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost in Acts chapter two. There were a couple people, which responded to my request for information, that didn’t know what they would ask God but given the chance would ask President Obama about his relationship with Jesus. As I was thinking about these two questions, and the responses that I might receive, my mind started to wonder a little bit more – I wondered what God would say if one asked Him about President Obama’s Salvation. What do you think? I believe that God would give us a very similar answer to the one He gave to his disciples in Acts 1:7 – these things are not for us to know. Sometimes we get so caught up in the behavior of others (not only President Obama) that we forget about what it means to be saved by grace. I think Mark Hall of Casting Crowns said it very well in his comment about the song “Jesus, Friend of Sinners”: we look at others through the lens of the law but we want God to look at us through the lens of grace. If other people would look at us the same way we looked at them – would they think we are Christians? Would there be room to doubt? It may not be any of our business if President Obama is a true believer or not – our Job is to, as Bill Bright put it, “…take the initiative to share Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leave the results to God”. The salvation of souls is God’s business – and God in his wisdom has chosen to use you and I in that process, not to judge other people on the basis of the law, but to share with them the gospel, and pray and trust that God will open their eyes to see its truth and beauty.
What are some things we know about Luke?
First, we should note, the author of the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts are both from Luke’s pen. Luke was most likely from Antioch in Syria and then later spent considerable time in Philippi. There are a number of references to both cities in the book indicating his interest in those cities (11:19-27; 13:1-3; 14:26; 15:22, 35; 18:22: 16:12). Luke was most likely a convert from the Gentile world although there are some who deny this. Colossians chapter 4:10-14 seems to lend support for the argument against Luke being a Jew for Paul says in verse 11 the previous were the only ones of the circumcision among his fellow workers and goes on in verse 14 to give the Colossians Luke’s greeting. We do not have a record of Luke’s conversion but it may be when men from Cyprus and Cyrene came and preached to the Greek speaking non-Jews in Antioch (11:19ff).
There has been a lot of interesting stories that concern Luke because we do not know a lot about him. It has been suggested that Luke was the slave of Theophilus and after recognizing Luke’s intelligence, he enrolled him in medical school at Tarsus. It was at Tarsus that Luke met Saul and the two became good friends and it was because of this relationship that Luke was converted to the Christian faith. After Luke’s conversion Theophilus became interested in the Christian faith so Luke dedicated Luke-Acts to him.
It is clear that Luke was a medical doctor from several passages in the New Testament such as Colossians 4:14, Luke the beloved physician greets you…” One does not have to stretch his/her imagination too far to grasp how important Luke the doctor might have been to Paul, for he accompanied Paul on his journeys and faced many times of affliction (2 Cor. 6:4ff). We must also remember that Luke was not only helpful to Paul because of his medical knowledge but because of his skill as an evangelist and fellow worker (Philemon 24).
Hendriksen, William ; Kistemaker, Simon J.: New Testament Commentary : Exposition of the Gospel According to Luke. Grand Rapids : Baker Book House, 1953-2001 (New Testament Commentary 11), S. 9
Pastor Coalt Robinson