The Rest Of The Story
Did you ever listen to Paul Harvey? For the most part, he always had some good commentary on some subject or the other, but always left a little at the end and called it “The Rest Of The Story.” Actually, he did not invent that. It has been around many generations before he was ever conceived in his mother’s womb. Luke, the writer of the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts pretty much set that teaching principle in force in the first four verses of the book.
“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. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also 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.” (Luke 1:1-4)
I’ve taken the liberty to underline a couple of phrases for you. Ole Theophilus was obviously a man of superior mental forces. He was well educated and obviously held a rank of some respect among the Romans. It is said by some that he was probably Luke’s right-hand man, dedicated to the oversight of the copying and distribution of various writings submitted to his care. This man was obviously an important part of getting the message out because you see him again in the first verse of the Book of Acts.
Luke gets down with Theophilus and basically says, “I want to show you the deeper truths.” Christianity is not about knowledge. It is about faith. But, faith is fed, in one way at least, with knowledge. Jesus Himself prayed, “Now this is eternal life; that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” Possibly the greatest weakness among believers is confusing the more important issues. Faith is the very most important element in the Christian walk. But, just like everything else that grows, it must be fed. In feeding, there comes a time when the softer foods are left behind and the heartier foods are ingested. The same is true with feeding our faith. There is a time when we go around and around the same issues for practice and familiarity. But, there comes a time when the deeper truths of God need to be explored and embraced. For it is those truths that make things more understandable, and in turn, strengthens our faith even more. At first we take things at face value and then we begin to probe.
We come together in assembly, not as our “High Worship,” as some would say, but to practice together encouragement and exploration that will lead us to the highest expression of worship. Our worship begins when we come in covenant with God and it will transcend the pearls of death and the unknown to the realm in which God dwells for eternity. There are deeper truths about worship that must be explored.
We come together to feast at the Lord’s table and remember things. Sure we need to remember Jesus and His sacrifice for us. We need to know that He gave His body on the cross for us and shed His blood to make payment for our sins. We need to remember that. But, there is a deeper truth that must not be overlooked in the practice of the Lord’s Supper. In Paul’s discussion with the Corinthian church on the matter, He called their attention to “the night he was betrayed.” He did not call them to the day of His death. There were people betraying one another over food, of all things in the context of the book. Some were hogging up food while others were having to do without. It’s as though he were saying, “Jesus gave His body and His blood for you. He served you in your time of need. He gave you what you needed. Will you turn around and betray your brother over a biscuit or a morsel of food?” Is there not a deeper truth here? Could the Lord’s Supper instruct us to remember what Jesus did and not just mean the giving of His body and blood for our forgiveness? Have you ever really forgotten that? Have you ever been out of church for an extended period of time, returned one Sunday and heard a lesson of the body and blood and said, “Man, I had forgotten about that?” I doubt it. But, have you ever forgotten to serve your brother or your neighbor. Maybe we need a weekly reminder.
There is a reason to explore the deeper truths of God. Luke evidently thought so. Intellectually, Theophilus would probably put most of us to shame, but that did not seem to phase Luke either in his Gospel or the Book of Acts.
No matter who we are or where we are in our studies, there is always room for “the rest of the story.” The Bible is an unending source of revelation. He or she who thinks they have reached the depths of it and take pride and comfort in that, have much to learn. Or at least, Luke thought so. Do not be afraid of the journey. Jesus called His gang together and told them to go out into all the world and teach the Gospel, baptize those who were called by the message and then… then, make disciples of them and teach the disciples what He had shared with them.
Sounds to me like Jesus wanted them to hear, “the rest of the story.” Paul Harvey does it well. Jesus does it better. Are you a seeker?