[Having] carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you. Luke 1:3
A woman once told me about a disagreement that was tearing her church apart. “What’s the disagreement about?” I asked. “Whether the earth is flat,” she said. A few months later, news broke of a Christian man who’d burst into a restaurant, armed, to rescue children supposedly being abused in its back room. There was no back room, and the man was arrested. In both cases, the people involved were acting on conspiracy theories they’d read on the internet.
Believers in Jesus are called to be good citizens (Romans 13:1–7), and good citizens don’t spread misinformation. In Luke’s day, numerous stories circulated about Jesus (Luke 1:1), some of them were inaccurate. Instead of passing on everything he heard, Luke essentially became an investigative journalist, talking to eyewitnesses (v. 2), researching “everything from the beginning” (v. 3), and writing his findings into a gospel that contains names, quotes, and historical facts based on people with firsthand knowledge, not unverified claims.
We can do the same. Since false information can split churches and put lives at risk, checking facts is an act of loving our neighbor (10:27). When a sensational story comes our way, we can verify its claims with qualified, accountable experts, being truth seekers—not error spreaders. Such an act brings credibility to the gospel. After all, we worship the One who’s full of truth (John 1:14).
Why do you think conspiracy theories spread so quickly? How can you be a truth seeker?
Father, help me discern truth from error as Your Spirit guides me.
Why do we have four gospels? Basically, each one presents a unique perspective on Jesus, and having more than one account adds to their credibility. The Holy Spirit inspired the writers to pen their accounts. Though the four books have many similarities, each author emphasizes a different theme for an intended audience. Matthew wrote mainly for Jews, emphasizing that Jesus, the son of David, was the Messiah for whom they were waiting. That’s why he began with a genealogy and includes multiple references to Old Testament prophecies fulfilled in Jesus. Mark emphasizes Jesus as the Suffering Servant of God. This was especially relevant to believers in Jesus who were suffering for their faith. Luke was written to Theophilus, a gentile. Luke presents Jesus as the Son of Man and Savior of all people. John presents Christ as the Son of God and Creator of the world.