June 3, 2019

Acts 1:3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

Luke begins his gospel saying, “Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word” (Luke 1:1, 2). What we call the Acts of the Apostles, or simply Acts, is volume two of Luke’s story of Jesus and the early church. Together they are more than one quarter of the entire New Testament. Now, Luke was not a modern scholar much less a post-modern scholar. He was a man of his times, whatever that might mean, and wrote in a way that would connect with a first century reader. He didn’t claim to be an eyewitness to the events he was recording (except for a section of Acts perhaps) but he certainly seems to know that some of the information circulating was reliable while some was not and he claims to be about setting the record straight. He may not have been writing history in our current way of writing biographies, but he wasn’t writing a novel either. We can’t do an experiment to prove or disprove what he says about Jesus and the disciples. We can see that he was sharing events that changed the lives of many people he knew personally, and which, coincidentally, changed the world. What do you think he considered as “convincing proofs?” When it comes to God, what do you consider convincing proof?

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