So here’s where I’m at – if the Apostle is now sending ‘hello’ messages from his team that are with him in Corinth then I think it is a good chance that Lucius is the abbreviated form of Luke the evangelist, the recorder of Acts of the Apostles, because in Acts 20:5 he reveals he is there with Paul’s team. It would be indeed strange if Paul never mentioned Luke in his greeting messages. I am comfortable in comparing the translations that Jason and Sosipater are the Jewish members of his team. If some translations are correct then they are not ‘fellow Jews’ anyway but kinsmen, cousins, relatives. If Luke was put together in the category of a fellow Jew then that theory would go against the traditional view that he was Gentile and could mean he was a relative of Paul. Herein lies the end of the debate! Back to the devotional blog!
“Timothy, my co-worker, sends his greetings to you, as do Lucius, Jason and Sosipater, my fellow Jews.” (Romans 16 v 21)
So as I sit here thinking about Luke and looking through the Bible I draw a list (though not exhaustive by any means) that might encourage someone today:
Luke 1: 1-2 “Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.”
Acts 1:1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.
- Hide your name so that Jesus is seen.
The Gospel is more important than the communicator.Luke’s name never appears in his writings but because of who it is written to and the strong connections in Acts it is accepted as being Luke.
- Prove yourself trustworthy.
Luke was a credible person. He had experienced life as a doctor. He became a team member on Paul’s 2nd missionary journey and who continued to stay alongside him even when he was under house arrest.
Luke wrote to someone specific, Theophilus. The name means a lover of God. But Luke calls him ‘most excellent Theophilus’ which is the title Paul gives to the Governor Felix in Acts. This indicates that Luke’s friend is a person of prominence, at least a Roman soldier but maybe higher.
Luke personally investigated the life of Jesus from the beginning, not just relying on other people’s experiences or what they had written, he dug further.
- Details can be unnecessary.
Luke doesn’t record everything. For example, the really important collection campaign of Paul’s is recorded but we don’t know of any results of that (see Acts 21:17; 24:17)
In Acts 27 Luke records there were 276 on board the ship within the storm. He counted them. Peter caught 153 fish in John 21. Someone counted them. We count because we care. We count because it shows where we are.
Luke has written his gospel (his former book) and is now writing further (Acts).
There is more. Your experience of Jesus in the past, no matter how amazing, is just a part of what can be fully experienced. There is more. Write again. God hasn’t finished with you yet. Notice how Luke ends the account of Acts 28:31 “He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!” He doesn’t tell us what happens to Paul. He doesn’t tell us how Paul was feeling, if he was struggling being kept under house arrest chained to a guard. Instead he focuses on what Paul does, the work of God. The gospel of Jesus Christ is Luke’s focus not Paul. It is the same today. We are people within the story of God. What is His story? It is the good news of Jesus. Luke says that no man was able to stop Paul sharing this good news.
No man can stop you either. Paul may die but his gospel will never die. Whatever happens to you, your gospel will never die.