When events are out of the ordinary and particularly when their implications are of great importance, it isn’t unusual for people to recognize the importance of recording eyewitness accounts so that generations to come can have confidence in what took place.
This was the case when General Eisenhower inspected Nazi death camps after their liberation. In his diary, he wrote of these inspections:
I visited every nook and cranny of the camp because I felt it my duty to be in a position from then on to testify at first hand about these things in case there ever grew up at home the belief or assumption that `the stories of Nazi brutality were just propaganda.’ Some members of the visiting party were unable to through the ordeal. I not only did so but as soon as I returned to Patton’s headquarters that evening I sent communications to both Washington and London, urging the two governments to send instantly to Germany a random group of newspaper editors and representative groups from the national legislatures. I felt that the evidence should be immediately placed before the American and British publics in a fashion that would leave no room for cynical doubt. 
Eisenhower’s prediction that some would later say the Holocaust was only propaganda has proven right, which makes his careful inspection of the evidence so important.
The ancient physician Luke seemingly had the same insight when it came to the events of Jesus’ life. Like the Holocaust, the incredible nature of the events of Jesus’ time would later be viewed with a cynical eye, despite the absence of refuting evidence. Luke seemed to know this would be the case and so was careful to make a thorough inspection of the evidence. As a preface to his account of Jesus’ life, he writes:
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. 
When it comes to history, we are largely dependent on those who carefully gathered the evidence of what happened in their day. Take away those accounts and we are left only to speculate. Why do I believe in the Holocaust? Because people took the time to investigate and record the events in the day they happened. Why do I believe in the events of Jesus’ life? Because people took the time to investigate and record the events in the day they happened. To be an automatic skeptic of either set of events is to throw history in the trash bin.
 Dwight D. Eisenhower, Crusade in Europe (New York: Doubleday, 1948), 409.
 Luke 1:1-2, New International Version
John likes to help people wrestle with the big questions of life in his work with Search Ministries. He served as a pastor in Houston for 16 years, earned his doctorate at Biola University, and is a contributing author of Reasons to Believe: Thoughtful Responses to Life’s Toughest Questions.