Our friend Dr. Luke has much to write here in the opening chapter of his Gospel account. I could focus on John the Baptist, or even on the annunciation to Mary about Jesus. Yet there is a portion which I think is often overlooked. This overlooked passage could cause some trouble for some of the Followers of Jesus.
The passage I am talking about is in the first 4 verses. Luke highlights he is not the only one who is writing the account of Jesus life and mission. Luke acknowledges this was an account that had been handed to him, and he has done detailed research into the events of which he is writing. These 4 little verses just fascinate me this morning. Luke is the only Gospel writer we have who admits there are several people who are doing the very thing he is doing. To me this means more than Matthew, Mark and John. The fact is we know that more than the four accounts we have in the Bible were undertaken.
Does this diminish the power of the Gospels? Does this mean that they are not God's word? These are weighty questions. The power of the Gospels are still full. The accounts they share with us continue to show humanity the longing God has for us to live in fulfilled relationship with our Creator. The accounts continue to show humanity the extent to which God is willing to go for us to experience the Kingdom of God. Their power is in no way diminished.
As for the God's word question. This is a much more difficult one. Even with Luke's revelation about the origins and reasons behind his writing, I think it is safe to say that these are the words God intended for us to hear. They are the Words God placed in the heart of Luke to share with humanity. Are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John the only ones who have written words from God intended for humanity? No. To this day there are words written intended for humanity from God. The difference between these words and The Gospel accounts of the Bible is prayerful selection. While not the only words God intends us to hear, they are the Word, God uses to draw humanity back. The words are of the Gospel are complete, and we would need nothing more to re-establish our relationship with God. They have been set apart for this holy purpose.
So all the other writings, read them, they can teach about Jesus and his early followers. Do we put them in the same place and the Biblical Gospels, I do not think that is the right question. We have what we have in the Bible, it has been discerned and set apart. The 66 books of the Bible are the primary texts of our lives. All the other writings, and meant to add to what the 66 contain.