Although Dr. Luke was not one of the disciples, God saw it fit to use him to do a detailed and accurate research (as a scientist would) of the data given him by eyewitnesses and servants of the Word. He says in Luke 1:3-4, “Therefore since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.”
Among the gospels, Luke is the only one that goes into the details of Jesus’ birth, while Matthew deals with the history. Take note that physicians are trained to do accurate research work. This is probably why God chose to use Dr. Luke for this particular work to insure the certainty of the events of Jesus’ birth and life. Again, as a physician, he was also trained in careful accounting. This, we observe in the two writings, Luke and Acts. Finally, note that the physician’s purpose was to bring about assurance and certainty of the things his reader has been taught. Note too that his reader was no ordinary person. Theophilus was believed to be a high ranking official of the Roman government.
As medical missionaries and health workers, there is a challenge beyond our work of giving health care, to do continuing investigation and research of the information we receive from the Word and life itself. We also have a responsibility of teaching and practicing the information we discover in an orderly manner. With this we keep in mind that our purpose is to instill certainty and assurance in the hearts of those that we minister to, whether to lay people or to people in important and influential positions.
Dr. Luke, a partner of the missionary Paul, summarizes for us the work and responsibility of a missionary health worker and sets an example.
By: Eleazar O. Sarmiento, MD