Unexpected Silence: Proclamation of the Gospel in the Last Days according to Luke-Acts
September 30, 2021 11:00 AM - 11:30 AM On Demand Save the Date
Following his Markan source, Luke includes the commissioning and sending of the Twelve to proclaim the arrival of the kingdom of God (Lk 9:1-6). However, in the immediately following chapter we have an account, unique to Luke, of the sending of seventy (two) others on a similar mission of proclamation. The outcome of the second mission is stated in more detail and presented in a more positive manner.
As we move into Acts, the narrative is initially constructed in such a way as to assume that the twelve apostles will be the key players in the fulfilment of the commission given in Acts 1:8 – to be witnesses to Jesus, empowered by his Spirit, to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. However, most of the Twelve slip into narratival oblivion, and it is only Peter and John who play any role in the ensuing narrative. In fact, it is those outside the Twelve who play pivotal roles; Stephen, Philip and Saul/Paul.
Luke is wanting to demonstrate that proclamation of the gospel is not tied to office but to the empowerment of the Spirit.
It is the contention of this paper that this is not coincidental. Luke is wanting to demonstrate that proclamation of the gospel is not tied to office but to the empowerment of the Spirit. Apostolic ministry and proclamation of the word of God are not coterminous, and the narrative creates space in which others can participate in the advancement of the gospel.
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