Reading the book of Acts out loud is actually not as easy as you might think. Its author – Luke, the beloved Physician – is meticulous in recording curious detail, foreign names of people and places, and generally very comprehensive in narrative detail.
But this should be no wonder to us as we recall the opening words to Theophilis from his gospel account:
Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.Luke 1:1-4 (ESV)
It is Luke’s following of things closely that should explain to us why his second book of Acts (of the Apostles) is comprehensive in both its content and style – it was inevitable.
It follows that Luke’s compassionate, tender-hearted desire is also that we should know certainty about what we have become persuaded of as absolute truth. In other words, comprehensiveness = certainty.
But this is more than merely form. The bed-side manner of any good doctor concerning physical and mental ailments finds its zenith at the points regarding matters of the human heart, the very wellspring of all things (Proverbs 4:23).
As we continue to commit our Friday evenings to a privileged devotion to the public reading of Scripture, we are reminded time and time again of the difference between engaging in the Bible in this way compared with silent, personal reading alone.
Parts 1 and 2 (chapters 1-13 and 14-28) are available to watch/hear below and you can find all other readings here.
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