I had personal questions of faith I don’t satisfactorily know the answers from Luke’s Gospel of Jesus; I read the Gospel again and again in search for the answer that satisfy my questions and I would like to share one of them with you: That is why I am here in this page of the paper.
Luke doesn’t appear a Christian of general Naga Christian Standard!
He wasn’t a disciple of Jesus or a student of Paul.
He wasn’t known baptized member of a Church,
He wasn’t known to have had the Holy Communion,
He didn’t preach the “word”,
He was an elite gentile of no mean literary proficiency, the Author of two books on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, -the Acts of the Apostles and the Gospel of Jesus according to Luke.
Surprisingly his name does not appear recorded in any of the Church at Jerusalem; nor is in the list of the first Christians at Antioch of Syria.
Early on the morning the third day of his burial, Jesus –risen from the grave- appeared to some of his Apostles gathered together in a closed room of a house in Jerusalem. Suddenly Jesus appeared to them and they were shocked in wonderment, then laterly in exceeding gladness as they finally recognized him.
It is plausible; the disciples attempted to spread the good news of Jesus risen from the grave and appeared to them immediately. The story they told of the life of Jesus wasn’t however, arranged in any orderly sequential manner, but was disjointed, with juxtaposed pieces of incidents, actions, parables that Jesus said. These were re-narrated by the eye witnesses in answer to whatever manner of queries the people wanted to hear from them.
Within a generation of his resurrection, various written accounts of Jesus appeared among the people in the society; the stories were at best disjointed and juxtaposed in the narrations and mixed up in time and events off the life of Jesus.
Perhaps Mark, a nephew of Jesus, being the son of a sister of the latter’s mother and Mathew, one of the apostles, were the first to write the story of Jesus in a more or less orderly sequence to harmonise the various accounts of Jesus that appeared in the generation following the death & resurrection of Jesus.
It appeared to Luke, for the good of all, to have an orderly historical factual account of all Jesus that said and did till he was taken up to heaven. Luke could have sent his composition to all the then Churches that has come up in the Nations on the rim of the Mediterranean sea, Middle East, in Asia and beyond, under the ‘imprimatur’ of Paul.
Luke is literally competent and excellent for such an action, but Paul is no longer alive and Luke is not authorised for such an action in his own name: He wasn’t an Apostle, not personally a disciple of Jesus, not a leader of any Church; he wasn’t known to have been baptised and not known to have participated in the Holy Communion; most importantly, he was an uncircumcised gentile, not authorised to delve into deep religious-cultural historical matters of a Jew regarded by most of the Jews as a Prophet of par excellence from God!
Luke was with Paul for some time in the latter’s Second and Third missionary journeys and as a voluntary companion to a prisoner Paul going to Rome to plead his Case in the Court of the Emperor Caesar, and Luke was fully convinced of what Paul, at the risk of his life, taught to all the people that: ‘Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, the Saviour of all mankind’.
Luke painstakingly researched in various write-ups for his Gospel of Jesus; for 2 years at Caesarea while giving company to Paul in prison before he accompanied Paul to Rome. During the 2 years at Caesarea, he must have met most of the Apostles, all the close relatives of Jesus’ family and many of the Church leaders of the time and other friends who visited Paul in prison at Caesarea.
The Gospel Luke wrote is very long for a personal letter -the longest of the Gospel books- [2146 verses: next longest Mt 1064 verses] to his “excellent” friend, a high Government Official Theophilus [Lk 1:4] “so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught”.
Luke was not only a very fine Writer; he also had a surprisingly amazing sense of understanding of the deep ethereal spiritual values of the teachings of Jesus. He had never ever in personal contact with Jesus, but he had the Spiritual Gift to know Jesus know all of what is in the heart of every man: Luke observed in his Gospel that he [Jesus] could read what his Apostles were thinking in their hearts or what the Pharisees were thinking about in their hearts.
The first sentence of the first letter of Luke’s Gospel of Jesus itself indicate the literary proficiency of the author; the Script is filled with complex sentences containing principal and subsidiary and secondary subjects with lots of information; and hence difficult to translate smoothly into Nagames or to the Naga vernaculars. The song Mary sang after the visit of the Angel and the song Priest Zacharia sang before he lost his speech inside the Temple are found only in Luke’s Gospel only.
In spite of the long sentences of his writings, Luke’s expressions are meaningfully clear and easy to understand. This is the sign of a person with high literary proficiency. Luke very often used the expression ‘self’ in combination with Pronouns like, ‘my’, ‘them’, ‘it’, into ‘myself’, ‘themselves’ and ‘itself’ for emphasis in his narrations for special attention.
Luke must have been elite in the society he lived, yet he frequently mentioned ‘the poor’, the destitute, the errant, the prodigal son and the names of woman and widows more often than that of other Gospels.
Luke is very careful about the purity and authenticity of the accounts he is writing to his friend Theophilus. His Gospel is based on “eye witnesses”, “servants of the word” for ‘consistency’ and official facts for history of the land from the very beginning.
He wrote: “I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning; it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, ‘so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught’.”
The last expression in Luke’s introduction letter to Theophilus for the Gospel of Jesus runs like: “so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught”.
This may indicate Theophilus must have been introduced to the principles of the Gospel earlier. So, of the important gentiles recorded in Luke’s Gospel, who could have been the one who have received the principles of the Gospel earlier?
This is my personal questions in the faith I don’t satisfactorily know the answers in Luke’s Gospel of Jesus; I tell myself that the gentile Jailer of the Prison at Philippi may be passed off as the “excellent Theophilus!?”