Let's read the Bible project
Hello! This is Yoshiki Tsukamoto, the Bible Study Director for ec16.
Here is the second column for our Bible reading written by Dr. Yamazaki-Ransom. Again, it is really interesting, so please read through it!
And please join us in the "Let's read Luke-Acts project":)
Readings for this week (11/6 -11/12) : Luke 8-14 or Luke 4-6
The Story of the Gospel narrated by Luke (2)
"Parallel between Luke and Acts"
In my last column, I wrote that Luke and Acts are the first and the second part of one long story (of course, story does not mean it is fiction) written by Luke. If the book of Acts is the sequel of Luke, it means that Luke did more than just write what happened after the story written in the Gospel according to Luke. Luke and Acts have a parallel relationship with each other.
These two books have similar structures. They start with the preface, which says that both of the books are for Theophilus (Luke 1:1-4, Acts 1:1-2). Both Jesus and his disciples received the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:21-22, Acts 2:1-3), preached a key message (Luke 4:16-30, Acts 2:14-40), and then started their ministry. Both Jesus and his disciples journeyed, performed miracles, and were persecuted. And both books end by showing that the story is the fulfillment of the Old Testament (Luke 24:25-27, Acts 28:25-28).
There is a parallel relationship between Jesus in Luke and his disciples in Acts. If we look in more detail, Jesus healed a paralyzed man (Luke 5:17-26), and raised Jairus' daughter from dead (Luke 8:49-56). Similarly, Peter healed Aeneas, who was paralyzed (Acts 9:32), and raised Dorcas from dead (Acts 9:36-43). If we read Luke-Acts carefully, we will find many such examples. Please try to find these similarities.
But why did Luke write these books in such a way? He might have wanted to show that Jesus' ministry was certainly succeeded by his disciples. After the resurrection, Jesus left earth and ascended to heaven. But his disciples, who received the Holy Spirit, continued his ministry. It is the ministry of proclaiming "the good news of the kingdom of God" (Luke 4:43, Acts 28:31).
☆If you want to learn more, go to Dr. Kazuhiko Yamazaki-Ransom's blog! (Japanese only)