Our Christmas series is coming up fast! It’s going to be called HOME and it’s based on Luke’s account of the birth of Jesus. In Luke, we will see a lot of different homes in the story and they are all significant in the life of Jesus. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to try to get us ready for this series by unpacking a few things about Luke and his book. Today we start with Luke 1:3-4.
I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. Luke 1:3-4
We have four Gospels that made it in the Bible. Why on earth do we need four different versions of the same story? It’s a fair question and one that reminds me of a story.
In college, we were required to take two history classes. There were a couple of professors you could take it from but most folks said – take Dr. Jacobs. First, he was one interesting character. He looked like Jack Palance (City Slickers), wrote Cowboy poetry, smoked cigars, and talked like Sam Neill. (If you don’t know who Sam Neill is – he is the voice of the Dodge Ram commercials – one of the most awesomest voices in the world.)
He also graded on the curve – which is the real reason why most students took him. He felt like a test was just as much a reflection of how well he taught. So if the majority of the class failed – that was just as much on him as the class. The highest score generally became the 100, he scaled down from there.
After tests, Dr. Jacobs had a history of writing on the board (remember those?) the results of the test. He then would write the numbers of A’s through D’s on the board (he would never write the F’s for some reason). He would then tell us what the highest grade was and what that translated into in terms of the curve. He would then he would write down the “new” and final number of A’s through D’s. Then he pass out the tests so we could see our scores. The biggest question every week was generally – what was going to be the curve?
Even though it was our first test, we all knew this and expected this when he walked in with our test scores. This is what he wrote on the board:
A – 1
B – 1
C – 25
D – 12
Highest score – 100%
He then handed out the tests to let us see our grades. The room buzzed with complaints. How is that even possible – get 100 on an essay test in history in a room full of non-history majors?? Who was the jerk that got the 100 and ruined it for us all?
We see our grades, hand back in our tests. We take two more tests – the same thing happened – one person would get 100% every time, ruining the curve for us all.
Dr. Jacobs would eventually add 5 points to every one’s score because that was his normal rate of curve which brought up the number of A’s and B’s in the class but there were still a few people that failed the class because somebody kept getting 100’s or 98s on the tests.
The class never really found out who was the person nailing those grades.
Until today. The truth is – it was me. And it’s not that I studied all that hard or was trying to get 100’s to ruin it for all the stupid people in the class. (I know – cheap shot. I’m sorry. That was rude.)
It was mainly because I had a great middle school history teacher that I connected with (Mr. Marsh) AND I connected with Dr. Jacobs. I loved these guys. They were great for me. They were THAT teacher for me.
You know – THAT teacher that just connects with you and makes things clear for you? They could take quantum physics or open-heart surgery and you’d understand it. They just have a way to communicate in such a clear manner.
That’s what Luke is to Theophilus – he is THAT teacher. He has a way of explaining things that make clear what he has already been taught.
My hunch is that if you read the 4 gospels – one of them will be THAT gospel for you. It will stand out and make clear what you have been taught.
That what this gospel is to so many people and it’s my hope that it will be for us as we dig into it starting December 2nd.