40 Days Of Prayer - Day 39

A Legacy Greater Than We Ask or Imagine


Luke 1:1-4
"Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught."

Acts 1:1-2
"In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen."


Who’s this Theophilus? Have you ever heard of him? He’s probably a governmental official; when he’s called “most excellent Theophilus,”  that is a state title, so he’s wealthy, educated, and part of the Roman government, not a Jewish believer.

Theophilus has a lot to lose in publicly declaring himself to be a Christian. Because in that day, Caesar was lord. And as a Christian, Theophilus would have to declare, “No, Jesus is Lord.”

And so here is this man wrestling, as some of us are, with his faith: “Is this really true? Did these things that I’ve heard really happen? Am I ready to follow this Jesus of Nazareth and turn my whole life upside-down for him?

And so, he contracts out, hires, funds, supports Luke. He says, “Luke, I need you to go find the truth. Go get the facts, travel, investigate, interview. Go find out exactly what happened around this man Jesus and give me a full report. And that was very expensive. This is a classic ancient model. The artist-patron arrangement, where the rich aristocrat funds the work and expenses of the artist.

Theophilus paid for two books of the Bible to get written. Two thousand years later, had it not been for Theophilus’ generosity, we would be lacking the largest contribution to the entire New Testament. More pages were written by Theophilus-funded-Luke than Paul! Theophilus was a man who gave generously for Luke to do his ministry.

Without Theophilus’ generosity and heart for passing on the truth we would still have the other Gospel accounts, but we’d be missing out on so many amazing things. It’s staggering to think how many people might not even have come to Christ without Luke’s gospel, without its historical veracity and logical layout. Without Theophilus’ gift we wouldn’t have so many things:

  • Huge portions of the Christmas story wouldn’t have been recorded. We wouldn’t know about the angels singing to the shepherds!
  • We wouldn’t know the parable of the good Samaritan.
  • We wouldn’t have The ENTIRE book of Acts! The only biblical history of the very early church we have, which has set the model of churches for 2000 years!
  • The prodigal son…if Theophilus hadn’t listened to God and obeyed, we wouldn’t know the parable of the prodigal son. How many millions of people have come to understand Jesus, the Father and salvation because of that story?
  • While we’d know that Jesus was crucified between two thieves, only Luke records their conversation. Without it we wouldn’t know that one of those thieves entered paradise with Jesus. How many millions of people has that picture of grace given hope to?

Do you think Theophilus had any idea of the Return-on-Investment he would reap for his money, the Kingdom Legacy it would have? His heart was probably to fund this for himself, his household, maybe a local body of believers. But do you think he had any idea that thousands, millions would step from eternal death into life as a result of his gift?


"Father, I want to pass on your truth. How are you calling me to do that? Help me hear and obey you. Please use whatever I give, whatever my New Hope brothers and sisters give to leave a Kingdom Legacy even greater than we can ask or imagine to bring many sons and daughters to glory! Amen."

Written by Sarah Braun