By Russ Ramsey
Think of how many ideologies have come and gone, collapsing under their own weight and weakness. Think of the cultural moments that have risen and subsided, where the voices with the megaphones have demanded that we all believe this or reject that. It can be dizzying.
In Malcolm Muggeridge’s essay from 1980 entitled, “But Not of Christ,” the British journalist reflects on all that had happened in his own lifetime. England and America saw their economies flourish, then tank, and then flourish again. Hitler came along declaring the establishment of a German Reich that would last for 1,000 years. He died less than ten years later in infamy. Stalin’s countrymen hailed him as wiser than Solomon and more humane than Marcus Aurelius. Then his name became forbidden in the regime he helped found. Mussolini announced that he would restart the calendar to coincide with his reign. That didn’t work out so well either.
Muggeridge ends his essay by saying, “Behind the debris of these self-styled, sullen supermen and imperial diplomatists, there stands the gigantic figure of one person, because of whom, by whom, in whom, and through whom alone mankind might still have hope. The person of Jesus Christ.”
The gospel of Luke begins with a strong assertion. Luke opens this book by telling the honorable Theophilus that he is writing an orderly account of the life of Jesus Christ. When he recounts the story of Jesus’s birth, he tells us, “his kingdom will have no end” (Luke 1:33). That is a bold statement.
These words were written 2,000 years ago, and they come to us in the context of Luke quoting an angel who was referencing the time of Jacob, which was several thousand years prior. These are impressive words to read. Why? Because in all this time, Luke’s Gospel has not collapsed in on itself. In fact, the message has spread around the world, and millions of people from hundreds of cultures have not only heard this gospel, they have surrendered their lives to the One it’s about: Jesus Christ.
As you read Luke’s Gospel, keep in mind that this is no ordinary book. Anyone can say their ideology, regime, or religion will last forever, but no one can actually make that happen. No one except for the King of the Universe. The gospel is about the King of the Universe—Jesus Christ, the Son of God and heir to the throne of David (v.32).
This is His story, and the very fact that you are reading Luke’s words is evidence that the story is ongoing. And that you are part of it. So read on.
Written by Russ Ramsey