Last month [here] we took a brief look at the teaching of Jesus at the end of Luke. Jesus taught that the good news of salvation for the whole world is a Jewish story, a story from Moses and the Prophets and the Writings, but Jesus ended this teaching by calling all “Jesus followers” to be witnesses to the truth about Jesus to every corner of the gentile world because God loves the whole world.
This brings us to an end of our survey of the mission of God in the Gospel of Luke. To conclude this series I want to give you some good resources for further study. There are many good books on Luke and on this subject, but here are five works that I have found particularly helpful.
Some resources for the study of Luke:
A good New Testament introduction – The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown, 2nd Ed., by Kostenberger, Kellum, and Quarles (B&H Academic, 2016). A New Testament introduction is a must-have for any student of the New Testament, and this robust introduction is among the best. For each book of the New Testament the authors cover background information, outline, rhetorical strategy, and theological contribution. They deal with scholarly disagreement adequately while remaining focused on what is important: the message and meaning of each book.
A good single volume commentary on the whole Bible – NIV Compact Bible Commentary by John Sailhamer (Zondervan, 1999). A single volume commentary on the whole Bible is a helpful tool to understand the message of the whole Bible as well as how the books of the Bible are related to one another. Sailhamer’s compact commentary does a great job at both.
A good layman’s commentary on Luke – The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Vol. 10, Revised Ed., Longman and Garland, Eds. (Zondervan, 2007). The EBC is a great commentary series aimed at pastors and lay-teachers in the church. It isn’t overly technical and doesn’t assume any prior knowledge of biblical Greek or Hebrew, but it doesn’t pull any punches either. The commentary is accessible and yet quite academically thorough as befits a good commentary. Its volume on Luke is particularly worthwhile.
A robust, academic commentary on Luke – Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament: Luke, 2 vols. by Darrell Bock (Baker, 1994). This two-volume commentary is more than 2,000 pages and thoroughly covers every issue related to interpreting Luke, including issues related to scholarly critical arguments as well as sources for Luke’s Gospel. It is a heavy-weight commentary with a hefty price tag, but it is worth the cost and the effort.
A work on the Bible and the mission of God – The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative by Christopher Wright (IVP, 2006). Wright’s thesis is simple: the Bible isn’t just the basis for God’s mission. The Bible is generated by God’s mission and is, therefore, all about God’s mission. Wright works through every major theological category to show that mission is at the foundation of everything God is doing, especially the work of the church. The Mission of God will change the way you view Scripture (in the best possible way), and it will change the way you view the church and the world.
In conclusion, the Gospel of Luke was written to a man named Theophilus, a man who had been taught many of the truths about Jesus but still had a lot of questions. Theophilus was almost certainly a gentile, but he had to wonder, “What does this Jewish ‘good news’ have to do with me? Does any of it have anything to do with non-Jews?” The Gospel of Luke answers that question with a resounding “Yes!” Jesus taught the truth that the good news of salvation is for the whole world, and Luke wants to make sure that message comes through in his Gospel loud and clear.
I hope the time we spent looking at the Gospel of Luke to see how the mission of God is demonstrated throughout has been beneficial to you. It has been for me. Luke has a message for us, and we need to hear it.