December 7

An Orderly Account

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. Luke 1:3

The life of Jesus changed the world like no other event in human history. From his birth announced by angels, to the huge crowds that followed him, to his death on the cross that tore the temple’s curtain in two, and finally to his glorious resurrection where he appeared to hundreds of disciples, Jesus changed the world and, with it, the lives and eternities of so many believers.

In the decades after Jesus’ resurrection, his believers told the story of Jesus wherever they went. The details of Jesus’ life were shared with friends and relatives, even total strangers, because who Jesus is and what he did changed everything. But in those decades, while there would have been some who recorded details of Jesus’ life on parchment, no doubt, the message of this saving gospel was spread predominantly through believers’ speech.

Most scholars state that the gospel of Mark was the first to record the details of Jesus’ life. However, while it is filled with Jesus’ miracles, his teaching, and his death and resurrection, details like Jesus’ birth and childhood aren’t recorded in that gospel.

As with any story, narratives were excitedly shared with others about how this God-Man Jesus changed the world, but there would have been a benefit to an orderly account of the life of Jesus. And so, Luke set out to do just that. Through interviews, research, and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Luke recorded the life of Jesus: his birth in Bethlehem, his ministry in Galilee, his crucifixion to pay for your sins, and his empty tomb.

And doesn’t it make sense that the God who is not a God of disorder, but order (1 Corinthians 14:33), would inspire a gospel to be written this way? The God who ordered the course of the world for the birth of Jesus has also ordered your life so that you would be called his own through that same Jesus born in Bethlehem. Praise God that he ordered the events of the world so that through Jesus, you will be at his side eternally.

Dear God, I praise and thank you for ordering the events of the world for the birth of my Savior Jesus. May the promise that you have chosen me before the world began comfort me in times of trouble and spur me on to live for you. Amen.

Rev. Nicolas Schmoller serves Martin Luther College as a professor of theology and Greek.