I have been fascinated to see how Doctor Luke finished his Gospel account. Luke 24 has three accounts that have the same four core elements:
Confusion: about Jesus
Challenge: by angels and Jesus about Jesus
Clarification: that this was all preached by Jesus and predicted in the Old Testament
Commission: to go and tell others
The question is: why did Luke end this way?
I think it is becuase he is writting to Theophilus and wants to make sure he is certian about the things that happened with Jesus (Luke 1:1-4).
In all our journeys to faith we go through these four stages to some degree or another.
I remember before I became a Christians being completely confused by chapel, Christ and Christians! But then came the point of clarification under the preaching of Kevin Adams. However, a supernatural clarification occurred and ‘my mind was opened‘. I find this partnership between our natural clarification of the gospel and the Holy Spirit’s supernatural clarification a great encouragement in evangelism.
Then came the commission. Mind you, no one had to tell me to share the gospel – I just did it naturally. However, over the years my passion has waned. I was reading through Olney Hymns this morning and came across this lovely hymn by Cowper:
O for a closer walk with God,
A calm and heavenly frame,
A light to shine upon the road
That leads me to the Lamb!
Where is the blessedness I knew,
When first I saw the Lord?
Where is the soul refreshing view
Of Jesus and His Word?
What peaceful hours I once enjoyed!
How sweet their memory still!
But they have left an aching void
The world can never fill.
Return, O holy Dove, return,
Sweet messenger of rest!
I hate the sins that made Thee mourn
And drove Thee from my breast.
The dearest idol I have known,
Whate’er that idol be
Help me to tear it from Thy throne,
And worship only Thee.
So shall my walk be close with God,
Calm and serene my frame;
So purer light shall mark the road
That leads me to the Lamb.
Oh, that we would never forget that great moment we met the living Christ on the road to faith!
You can listen to my sermon on this passage here.