Acts, written by the disciple Luke, speaks to what occurred following the final resurrection of Jesus. It speaks to how the disciples organized and began the work of spreading the Gospel as commanded by Jesus. It also recounts the most critical moments in the history of Christianity, and mankind, when the disciples initiated the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth to proclaim Him as the Son of God and the only way to salvation.
As a student of history, I frequently watch and read biographies of presidents and leaders, dive into a World War II documentary, or learn about key moments in our nation’s history related to the Civil Rights Act, Watergate, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and the list goes on.
Events in history are recounted and reported based on interviews or statements from those that were a part of the event as well as historians who read documents and evaluate historical relics to summate the events that occurred. Much of history is interpreted and reviewed years later by historians that were not at the event.
Why do we believe historians record of what happened in the past?
What strikes me most about the Bible, and specifically Acts, is we are reading the words of the man who was there. Luke, who was a disciple of Jesus and traveled with Him throughout His ministry, witnessed with his own eyes the miracles and life of Jesus. In the Book of Acts, Luke chronicles how the disciples were commissioned to spread the Gospel and begin what we know as today as Christianity. Here is an article that indicates there are 2.3 billion Christians in the world, which is nearly a third of the world’s population.
What I continually consider is the first five books of the Bible were written by people who were eyewitnesses to the life of Jesus. Why do people not believe the testimony of an eyewitness to the life and miracles of Jesus?
My first thought is that the events we read in history books don’t necessarily ask us to make changes to the way we live our lives. We can hear and believe in the chronicles of JFK, MLK, and FDR but it doesn’t change our way of life today.
Listening and validating the life and miracles of Jesus challenges us to believe that Christ is the Son of God. The historical parables and stories of the Bible provide us examples of how to live our lives, as well as how not to live our lives. Nothing is new under the sun. We think our challenges and strife are unique to us, but they are not. Mankind has continued to struggle with the same challenges and issues over and over.
The value of the Bible is that we can learn from the lessons and parables and improve our daily life as well as provide us purpose. Life is hard. Challenges and strife do not make sense. The angst and negativity can be impossible to bare. We can learn and appreciate the stories and parables in the Bible. Yet could all the challenges in our lives be for a purpose? Perhaps God has a plan for all our heartache and unhappiness? The Bible tells us time and time again that our lives will be forever changed while we are on earth, and in eternity.
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
I pray that you will read this today, and trust the prophets and disciples, otherwise known as historians, that wrote the Bible. Their words could change your life, for eternity.