Jesus Continues His Work
Luke, the physician-historian, wrote Luke's Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles to tell the truth about Jesus. Both documents were addressed to Theophilus who was probably a high ranking Roman official (indicated by his title 'Most Excellent' in Luke 1:3). He already believed in Jesus but wanted more evidence so that he could be certain and confidently share with others (Luke 1:4). Luke's accounts come from eye witnesses who had been with Jesus (Luke 1:2) and from his travels with the Apostle Paul (Acts 16:10). He knew that Jesus changed people's lives.
Luke’s gospel described what Jesus did and taught before His ascension. After His resurrection, Jesus continued to instruct and guide the apostles whenever He met them. But that was only the start. He also commanded them to welcome the Holy Spirit (John 20:22), who would continue teaching them how to follow Jesus. Those men were Christ's special messengers, who were entrusted to define 'sound doctrine', spread the gospel message and help build His church – all under the Holy Spirit's guidance. That is what the Acts of the Apostles is all about.
The resurrection is the key to the gospel. Jesus, who had been crucified for our sins, is alive. It shows His divinity (John 20:28) and His power to be King of kings (Revelation 17:14). It is a message which intrigues seekers and frightens religious leaders (Acts 4:1-2): sceptics ridicule Jesus but the evidence of His resurrection is impossible to avoid (1 Corinthians 15:5-8). So many people have met the risen Jesus, talked and even ate with Him. There was no doubt that He is alive. Acts describes how, despite increasing persecution, the church grew because Jesus was at work.
Jesus continues to be at work within us too, shaping our characters and giving us new, godly desires … and the power to fulfil them. He continues to be our Advocate in heaven, interceding on our behalf with Father God and preparing our place in His Kingdom. Meanwhile He is in command of everything and is the Master of everybody. He seeks out sinners and makes them His special saints. He loves people who hate Him and when they repent, He uses them to show the world what a wonderful Saviour He is. What happened in the Book of Acts will excite and encourage you to keep on trusting Jesus, because He is now at work in your life too.
© Dr Paul Adams