MANY long years ago, I worked in a bank for a period of time. Long enough to receive training of what to do in case of a robbery. One of the things they stressed was to not discuss it among ourselves until we had been interviewed by the authorities. You see depending upon the person, it is highly likely we will all have a slightly different description of the robber. Somewhere in the middle of all the descriptions is the story.
Gossip is the perfect example of why we need to be skeptical. Once a story is told and retold--and embellished--it begins to have little resemblance to the truth. We have all experienced the prick of the gossip's tongue. It is painful enough to be talked about--without the story loosing any close relation to the truth.
SO--I am a skeptic of the highest order. Right, wrong, or indifferent---I need more than a repeated story to take it at face value. A first hand account is best--or even better--straight from the mouth of the horse.
I heard an excellent sermon yesterday on Luke. Luke was a physician---a scientist--a skeptic of the highest order. He did not accept claims from third parties---he wanted first hand accounts. The current sermon series is on Luke and the message was from the first four verses. It seemed Luke did not accept the stories of Jesus without interviewing the first hand accounts himself. He needed to know for certain what the truth was before writing even one word. God KNEW there would be skeptics among us--He provided us with Luke's account to satisfy our doubting souls. What a gift!