The Story Before the Story

December 10, 2020

Luke 1:4 NIV

so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

Today’s Reading: Luke 1:1-7 NIV

So begins a story... A story, mind you, that is more important than any story ever told. And from Luke’s account, it’s a story with a purpose. As verse 4 from Luke 1 states, it is written for “certainty.” All the work, all the travel, all the orderly account was so that a man named Luke, who had his life changed by a God-Man named Jesus, could share it with a friend: Theophilus.

Picture “that” friend. That one person with whom you have experienced highs and lows. The friend for whom you have one prayer and desire. It is the same thing Jesus yearns for as well: their heart. Perhaps your prayer for some time is that they would come to a fullness of certainty, of confession, and belief that Jesus is everything He said He was and is everything He said He is.

To that end, Luke begins the story, a story that begins before Jesus. Luke’s starting point is with a few faithful old folks named Zechariah and Elizabeth. They were certain of God. Their whole lives reflected it. Yet just because God was near to them didn’t mean they lacked grief in their life. They had no child. Imagine the years of wondering why. Imagine the tissues long used and gone carrying the tears of questions with no answers. The anthem of their life was “why God, why???”

Don’t miss this… Luke starts THE STORY with A STORY about pain and loss. He paints a picture of a mess. That’s a familiar place for many. It is a hope invitation as well, because with every loss or mess comes a bit of hope for redemption. What a grace gift and easy conversation starter! Because so many looking for answers have similar stories. They may have some form of religious value yet have never stamped CERTAINTY over their walk with Jesus. In fact, the only thing they can say is certain in their lives is the pain they have endured. If nothing else, this trying time of COVID, this health bug that can act as a soul bug, has left a loss in them. They have questions, they have pain, their souls have been exposed, just like this old couple, Zechariah and Elizabeth.

It is this mess Jesus steps into. And as only He can, He brings certainty to the most uncertain of circumstances.