“…so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.” Luke 1:4
These are the words penned by Dr. Luke as he aspires to give an orderly account of the life of Christ to Theophilus. The identity of Theophilus is uncertain. Is he a recent convert? Is he old, young, rich, poor…? What we do know from the text is that he has previously been taught about the life of Christ, though it appears he is currently struggling with unbelief. He could be any one of us.
I don’t know about you, but the older I get, the more questions I seem to have. Biblical precepts taught to me early on, things that seemed cemented in my mind as indelible truth, raise flags of question now. The more we know, the more we have to question. The more the world changes, the more our perspectives get filtered through different lenses. The more we are deceived by people of influence, the more our skepticism grows. How can we be one hundred percent certain about anything?
Does that response catch you by surprise? For those of us who like things all neat and tidy and wrapped up securely, it’s a daunting concept. But it’s true. In our humanness, we cannot know anything for certain. While Dr. Luke relied heavily on eyewitness testimonies for his written account, his certainty and conviction did not come from any human perspective. Rather, it came from the Holy Spirit.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God..." (or God-breathed, in some translations) - 2 Timothy 3:16a KJV
It is through the breath of God, or through His Spirit’s inspiration, that we have the written words of men as God intended for us. We can be certain that God himself has given us His words through His Holy Spirit, and that He will interpret them for us, also through His Holy Spirit.
As Jesus told His Disciples, “But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 16:7 HCSB) Jesus knew we’d have questions, concerns, and doubts, as did those who were personally with Him. He knew we needed someone to interpret, to convict our hearts, to relay God’s message to our minds. We might never be certain of anything on our own, but by the Spirit’s interceding we can rest in assurance.
As you read through God’s Word, do you struggle with uncertainties? You will. We all will at times. But take heart! Jesus sent us the precious gift of the Holy Spirit to provide clarity, and truth, and comfort. Just ask Him.