Acts 16.11-15; Psalm 149; John 15.26—16.4
Near the beginning of today’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles an unexpected word appears: the pronoun we. Luke, the author of Acts, has joined Paul and Silas on their voyage across the Aegean. This ‘we’ first occurs as Paul and Silas set sail from Troas (the province containing the ruins of the city of Troy), suggesting that Luke had been resident there. St Paul later refers to him as his co-worker. [Philemon 24, Colossians 4.14, II Timothy 4.11] In Colossians Paul refers to Luke as ‘the beloved physician,’ though the Greek word is ambiguous and we probably shouldn’t imagine him as a practitioner of clinical medicine.
Luke has the largest vocabulary of any New Testament writer and the two-volume Luke-Acts fills more than a quarter of the New Testament, more than any other single author. He is also a practiced researcher who acknowledges having investigated written sources. [Luke 1.3].
But Luke is no mere adaptor and compiler. His narrative grows in velocity and intensity as writer becomes eyewitness and participant, proclaiming the God who is faithful to his promises, whose salvation, first manifested in Jerusalem, will reach to the ends of the earth. [Acts 13.47; cf Isaiah 49.6]