LUKE - ACTS
INTO ALL THE WORLD
This paper compares three ministries - that of Jesus, Peter and Paul.
We seek to demonstrate that Luke makes a comparison between the Lord
and the apostles with the intention of demonstrating that Jesus
expected (and expects) his ministry to continue - and be expanded -
through his church.
1. A LUKE-ACTS MOTIF
The Acts of the Apostles is really the acts of two apostles -
Peter, the apostle to the Jews, and Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles.
The former features in the opening of Acts - the latter in the end
chapters. Obviously, in focusing on these two ministries, Luke is
relating how the gospel reached both Jew and Gentile. However, there
seems to be another reason. G.W.H.Lampe gives a clue when he says, "In
the Pauline mission the works which attested the preaching of Peter and
his associates have their counterparts". 
The Lucan account of the ministries of Jesus, Peter and Paul leave the
strong impression that he seeks to demonstrate that the ministry of
Jesus in the Gospel is duplicated by the apostles in the Acts. The
theological lesson is obvious Jesus is continuing his work through his
R.Stronstad believes that Luke's designed his two part history with
great care and precision using a paradigmatic narrative such as is
found in the OT. He says about Luke-Acts:
The thematic structure of the first book has the following
elements: a beginning, specifically the birth and anointing of Jesus, a
subsequent inaugural sermon at Nazareth, followed by the complementary
confirmatory miracles of casting out demons and healing the sick,
success and widespread popular acclaim, growing opposition from the
Pharisees and leaders of the Jews, travel throughout Galilee, Perea,
and Judea, arrest and threefold trial before the Sanhedrin, Pilate and
Herod, and the consummation of his redemptive ministry on the cross.
Luke's second book, the history of the spread of Christianity, follows
the same design. 
Acts reflects the Gospel. It records Peter's inaugural sermon and the
healing of the lame man, success and popular acclaim, the growing
opposition of the Sanhedrin and Jews, the missionary journeys of Peter
and Paul, the arrest of Paul and his threefold trial before Felix,
Festus and Agrippa, and consummation by Paul's arrival and ministry at
Rome. The hypothesis can be supported further by comparing the ministry
of Jesus with the two apostles (see below). Each ministry features
preaching, exorcisms and healing. There are comparisons - the apostles
performed no nature miracles and, unlike Paul, Jesus and Peter had no
dealing with snakes (Acts 28:3 6; cf., Mk.16:17f.). The paradigm may be
developed by adding other items and passages. 
Consider the ministries of Moses and Joshua (Dt.34:9; Num.27:18-23),
Elijah and Elisha (1 Kgs.19:19-21), Jesus and John the Baptist and
Jesus (note Jn.10:41). Can we consider a Lucan transfer motif here?
2. THE MINISTRIES OF JESUS, PETER AND PAUL
Luke makes us aware that the Lord Jesus purposed to continue
his ministry through his church by the presence and power of the Holy
Spirit. Jesus anticipated his ministers continuing his ministry (see
Jn.14:12). In the Lucan writings this can be demonstrated by comparing
the ministry of Jesus in the Gospel with that of Peter and Paul in the
Acts. Note this paradigm:
Jesus in Luke
Peter in Acts
Paul in Acts
Anointing by the Spirit
Healing a sick-paralytic
Raising the dead
Teaching and miracles
Ministry to Gentiles
Healing at a distance
Ministry to women
References are taken from Luke (for Jesus) and Acts (for the apostles)
3. ACTS - AN OPEN-ENDED BOOK
The way that Acts ends is still a mystery. Did Luke fail to
complete his work? Is the ending lost? Does Acts finish as Luke
intended it to? In support for a finished work it may be argued that
Luke is saying two things: first, "mission accomplished" the gospel has
reached Rome; second, the Holy Spirit is still writing the final
chapters of the church age, the age leading to the parousia, or return
of Christ. Acts may be viewed as an open-ended work.
Miracles in the Epistles
The open-ended nature of Acts invites us to look elsewhere in the NT
for evidence that the ministry of the church was one where miracles
accompanied the preaching of the word - and continued into later church
In the Pauline Epistles.
In Romans, Paul states that his preaching was accompanied "by the power
of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit" (Rom.15:19). In
1 Corinthians Paul lists gifts and ministries including "workers of
miracles, gifts of healings and speaking in different kinds of tongues"
(12:28). All these gifts find their source and inspiration in the
Spirit (1 Cor.12:4-11). Galatians asks the rhetorical question, "Does
God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe
the law?" (Gal.3:5).
In Hebrews and James.
Hebrews speaks of a salvation confirmed by the Lord and those who heard
him "by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy
Spirit" (Heb.2:4). James 5 speaks of the "prayer offered in faith will
make the sick person well; and the Lord will raise him up" (Jam.5:15).
The evidence supports the conviction that the church saw miracles
continuing to confirm the preaching of the gospel - prayer was
encouraged for for sick believers.
What do you know about the places featured on this map of Paul's first
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