Let's read the Bible project
This is Yoshiki Tsukamoto, the Bible Study Director for ec16.
Here is the sixth column for our Bible reading written by Dr. Yamazaki-Ransam!
Readings for this week (12/4-10): Acts 12-18 or Luke 16-18
The Story of the Gospel narrated by Luke (6):
“The Story which shows the origin of the church”
This time, we will think about why Luke-Acts was written. Luke-Acts is the book written about the history of the church which starts from Jesus. But why Luke found it necessary to write the history of the church for Theophilus?
As I write before, both Luke, the author and Theophilus, the reader was Gentile Christians, and the most members of their church might be Gentile Christians. In any communities, the question about the identity is important, but it is especially true for Gentile Christians. God whom they believed was God taught in the Bible of Israel, God whom Jews have worshipped, and God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jesus whom they believed as savior was a Jew, messiah of Israel.
In short, the question was why Gentiles who did not convert to Judaism should worship God of Jews. What does it mean that Gentile Christians and Jewish Christians became together as people of God of Israel? It is crucial question for us who live in 21th century as well.
Luke-Acts was written to answer such question. The identity of the church will be formed through showing its origin. Luke draws how the church born in Jerusalem spread the Gospel beyond the ethnic boundary. He shows that ministry of the church is continuance of Jesus’ ministry. Moreover, it connects with the story of Israel written in the Old Testament.
Luke-Acts explains the origin of the church including Gentile Christians. It is the story that they can confirm their identity by teaching where they stand in God’s plan of salvation unfolded throughout the history.
☆If you want to learn more, go to Dr. Kazuhiko Yamazaki-Ransom's blog! (Japanese only)