The Bible contains many types of literature – many “genres” as the experts say. Some of the Bible is symbolic (think of Revelation); some is poetic (think of the Psalms) and some, like the Gospel of Luke, faithfully recounts the essence of “the things that were fulfilled among us.”
One of the challenges of biblical interpretation is to work out what sort of literature we are reading; what is the genre of the book or passage? We don’t interpret the Psalms in the same way as Revelation or the way we read the gospels.
Luke writes for Theophilus – either a real individual or a “lover of God” (which is what the name means). And Luke, like the other gospel writers, aims to tell Theophilus the facts. Apart from a few passages, mostly where Jesus is speaking, the gospels draw us into the nitty gritty reality of the life and times of Jesus the Messiah in first-century Palestine. They tell us of Jesus’ teaching, of his healings, of relationships with followers and those who would crucify him. And they tell us of the eye-witness accounts of his death, burial and resurrection. In other words, the gospels tell us of the core facts of the Christian faith: Jesus Christ, the incarnate and crucified God, who rose on the third day, triumphant over death.
Lord God our Father, we thank you for the revelation of yourself in Jesus Christ, faithfully recorded in the Scriptures.
Lord Jesus Christ, we thank you for your life amongst us, for your teaching and for your life-giving death and resurrection.
Lord God, Holy Spirit, lead us into all truth as we read and pray. And give us the will and the courage to live lives faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ.