Luke’s name is mentioned three times in the New Testament. In Colossians 4:14 he is called the “beloved physician.” Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas greet you. II Timothy 4:11 indicates that Luke was with Paul during his last days before martyrdom and stood with him when others did not. Only Luke is with me. Take Mark and bring him with you, for he is profitable to me for the ministry. Then in Philemon 24 Paul calls him his fellow laborer. Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow laborers.
Luke was with Paul from Troas to Philippi during the early part of Paul’s second missionary journey. Six years later Luke rejoined Paul at Philippi during his third missionary journey and was with him throughout his imprisonment in Rome. Luke was a faithful ministry in Paul’s apostolic company.
Luke is best known for his two writings: The Gospel of Luke and The Acts of the Apostles, which is a continuation of his Gospel.
Luke 1:1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us.
Luke is speaking of the ministry of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was the Word (John 1:1). Therefore, His ministry was a declaration, and that which He spoke had its fulfillment in those who really heard His words of Spirit and Life. The words that I speak unto you are Spirit and Life (John 6:63). It is interesting that the literal translation of the Greek for “those things which are most surely believed among us” is the matters which are fully carried out in us. His Word was not only believed as true but had its creative work within them. There was an impartation of His Spirit and Life in them. His words of Spirit and Life consisted of more than the words He spoke. The emanations of His Spirit and Life through His actions and thoughts were also words of Spirit and Life.
Luke 1:2-4 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were
eyewitnesses, and ministers of the Word;
3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto you, most excellent Theophilus,
4 That you might know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.
Jesus ministered His Spirit and Life to His disciples and they, says Luke, “delivered them unto us.” Now Luke, in turn, is ministering them to Theophilus. The name Theophilus means “friend of God” or “lover of God.” Was there a real person named Theophilus? We don’t know – but every true Theophilus (lover of God) can partake of the matters of the Lord Jesus through the Gospel of Luke.
Acts 1:1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach.
What Jesus “did and taught” was His ministry of declaration (Luke 1:1). His words of Spirit and Life came through what He did and what He taught. Also, what He did and taught as Jesus the Nazarene was continued after His ascension through the Apostles and ministries of the Early Church. And the ministry of His declaration continues today through those He inhabits. He does and teaches in us and then He does and teaches through us. Has He begun His doing and teaching in you? The order is first in you and then through you.
Again we refer to II Thessalonians 1:10: When He comes to be glorified in His saints and to be admired in all them that believe. We must experience a spiritual coming of His Spirit and Life in us or we won’t experience His doing and teaching through us. Because Luke received the ministry of declaration, he became a ministry of declaration; that is, a channel for the Lord to declare His words of Spirit and Life through him. The ministry of Luke can also be your ministry. What you partake of will flow through you. If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink. He that believes into Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. John 7:37-38. The ministry of declaration is a flow of living waters. It was Luke’s ministry of declaration; it can be yours, too.
Copyright © 2004 by Henry DuBose