I’m not sure I am supposed to have a favorite book of the Bible. I think you are supposed to like all of them equally.
By nature, I am a rule follower, but in this case, I ask for leniency because I love the Book of Luke. I don’t love it because it has the Christmas story in great detail - although it does. It isn’t simply because he tells the story from a distinctly gentile perspective that I relate to better.
I love the Book of Luke because of how the author wrote it. The author of Luke never met Jesus. Honestly, he probably never met Mary, Jesus’ mother. It is possible that he could have met a very old Mary, but that wouldn’t be the most likely scenario.
The author of Luke was a reporter. That’s why I appreciate the book. He was tasked to write the account of the life of Jesus and the early church by Theophilus - either one person whose name in Greek means lover of God or by a group of people or church full of those who love God.
He wasn’t in Bethlehem when Jesus was born. He didn’t know the shepherds. He wasn’t there two years later when the wise men showed up. He didn’t hear Mary’s song about carrying the long-awaited Messiah. He wasn’t even around when Jesus began his ministry or was crucified.
The author of Luke used written records and interviews to tell about an event that had already happened. That’s what reporters do every day.
I love that aspect of the book.
Matthew told of the Jewish lineage of Jesus back through King David to Abraham. Mark didn’t bother with early life details. John took a 30,000-foot view of the origins of Christ.
Luke through written records and other accounts, put together the information we have about how Jesus was born. Without Luke, we would have little information about Mary and Joseph or Jesus’ early life.
Linus would have had nothing to read on the Charlie Brown Christmas Special.
Certainly what Jesus did and said during the three years of his ministry before his crucifixion were far more important than his birth story. But without Luke’s telling of the birth and early life of Jesus, we would still have the same questions Theophilus did a couple thousand years ago.
His research as a reporter, historian and disciple help us to know Jesus better. That’s why Luke is my favorite book in the Bible.
I hope everyone takes the time during the Christmas season to read the first two chapters of Luke.
It is the best source to find out about the Savior’s birth and why we celebrate it.
Kent Bush is publisher of Shawnee (Oklahoma) News-Star and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.