29 Apr. Acts 1:1-5

29 Apr. Luke writes about the work of the Holy Spirit

"To Theophilus."

"The first book I wrote was about everything Jesus began to do and teach until the day he was taken up into heaven."

"Before this, with the help of the Holy Spirit, Jesus told the apostles he had chosen what they should do."

"After his death, he showed himself to them and proved in many ways that he was alive. The apostles saw Jesus during the 40 days after he was raised from the dead, and he spoke to them about the kingdom of God."

"Once when he was eating with them, he told them not to leave Jerusalem. He said, 'Wait here to receive the promise from the Father which I told you about. John baptised people with water, but in a few days you will be baptised [filled to overflowing] with the Holy Spirit."

          (Acts 1:1-5)



The author of Luke's gospel and the 'Acts of the Apostles' was a doctor whom Paul met in 51AD at Troas on his second missionary journey (see the ‘we’ passages indicating Luke's presence with Paul following Acts 16:11). Dr Luke may well have lived in Philippi where he remained after Paul and Silas were forced to leave (see Acts 16:40). Some scholars believe that Luke was the ‘Man from Macedonia’ who appeared in Paul’s dream and begged Paul to visit his homeland (see Acts 16:9).

Luke wrote his gospel for a Gentile audience, having been asked for an account of Jesus’s life and teachings by a Roman friend he calls ‘Theophilus’ (‘lover of God’) (see Luke 1:1-4). Luke stresses that Jesus was the saviour of ALL mankind, whatever their background, their gender or their nationality.

Luke also wrote a second book for ‘Theophilus' (see Acts 1:1-2). While this second book is known to us as the 'Acts of the Apostles', it's actually about the work of the Holy Spirit in establishing and expanding the early church, and could be more accurately described as 'The Acts of the Holy Spirit'.

Luke, a Roman citizen, later accompanied Paul from Philippi to Jerusalem in 57AD after his third missionary journey (see the ‘we’ passages following Acts 20:6). He stayed for two years with the believers in Jerusalem and Caesarea, during which time he probably met on many occasions with the Jewish Christian community at the home of John Mark in Jerusalem.

Together with Aristarchus, he then travelled with Paul to Rome in 60AD. The next two years were spent with Paul in Rome while Paul was under house arrest awaiting his trial before Nero (see 2 Timothy 4:11).

It was probably during this two years in Rome (60-62AD) that Luke wrote his gospel and the 'Acts of the Apostles'. He appears to have completed his gospel and the 'Acts of the Apostles' before 64AD, as his account of the apostles’ activities ends before the Great Fire of Rome in 64AD and before the outbreak of the Jewish War in 66AD. As the 'Acts of the Apostles' makes no mention of the outcome of Paul’s appeal to Nero that was heard in c.62AD, it was probably written before the result was known.

It follows that Luke probably wrote his gospel and the 'Acts of the Apostles' while staying with Paul in Rome between 60 and 62AD. As it’s likely that John Mark was also staying in Rome (nicknamed 'Babylon', the 'city of sin') around the same time (see 1 Peter 5:13), this may help to explain why large parts of the gospels of Luke and Mark are very similar. Most of the differences in emphasis are accounted for by the fact that Mark’s gospel was written from the perspective of a Jewish Christian, while Luke wrote as a Gentile believer.

In his 'Acts of the Apostles', Luke tells us that the apostles saw Jesus during the 40 days after he was raised from the dead, and he spoke to them about expanding the kingdom of God here on earth (Acts 1:3).

John's gospel tells us that, before his departure to be with God the Father, Jesus breathed on his disciples and they received the Holy Spirit (John 20:22). Then he told them not to leave Jerusalem until they were FILLED to overflowing (literally 'baptised') with the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives. (Acts 1:4)

ALL Christians receive the Holy Spirit when they believe in Jesus as their Lord and Saviour and the Holy Spirit comes to live within them. But - just like the disciples huddled together for safety in the Upper Room in Jerusalem - Christians today need to pray to be continually FILLED to overflowing with God's Holy Spirit if we are to achieve our full potential as followers of Jesus.

The table shows when the gospels (the 'good news'), the 'Acts of the Apostles' and the New Testament letters were written, and who wrote them.

You can discover more about the authors of the four gospels @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/1-…/who-wrote-the-gospels/

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