Salvation in Luke-Acts

Dani T.(NT3)

SUMMARY Some (such as Conzelmann) have argued that Luke attributes no soteriological significance to the suffering and death of Jesus Christ (arguing that Christ’s ascension and exaltation takes precedence). However, whilst Luke does not always explicitly spell out his theme of salvation , it is a vital part of his gospel. The language of salvation in the gospel is substantial, and Luke’s presentation of Jesus as saviour for all people is found in numerous clues throughout his writings. Whilst Luke does present the atoning salvific work of Christ through these clues, it is the ‘who’ of salvation, rather than the ‘how’ which is his primary concern. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel – Luke 2:30-32 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost – Luke 19:10

Language/Terminology
o Linguistic Analysis - swzw • Verb no more common than other gospels (17 in Lk. Comparable to other gospels) • Although Spiritual sense of swzw used in Luke more than in Mt and Mk swthr / swthria • Saviour and salvation … not found in Matt/Mark but in Luke-Acts (15 times in total)

o Semantic Range - Health (Lk 6:9, 8:48, Acts 27:20-21) • Preservation of physical life/rescue from mortal danger Deliverance from the demonic (Lk 8:36) Spiritual Salvation (7:50, 8:12, 13:23, 19:10)

Link between physical and spiritual salvation in 7:50 o Your faith has saved you normally linked with physical healing said here with no suggestion of such.

Salvation, Jews & Gentiles
Particular Lukan focus on gentile salvation o Makes sense of the birth narrative’s focus on salvation to those outside God’s blessing o As narrative progresses, Jews reject Jesus and offer of salvation being brought to those who will receive him (eg. Man with leprosy, roman centurion, prostitute, thief on the cross) Not that Jews are excluded from salvation but it is not exclusively for them It is not universalism but fulfilment of OT prophecy that God’s blessing would include the nations (as per Simeon quoting Is 42) 24:47  essential verse for universal scope of Gospel o theme taken up in Acts (1:8) o Acts shows the process by which the Gospel grew, beginning in Jerusalem

-

No Soteriological Significance from Jesus death?
Is there any relationship between salvation and the cross as presented in Luke? Conzelmann says no. The Cross in Lk is a path to glory rather than being presented as an atonement that brings salvation (ie. No Mak 10:45). o No soteriological significnce drawn from Jesus’ suffering and death Jerome Kodell suggests there is some form of salvation but not atonement

-

How do we respond?
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Old Testament Background Birth Narratives Salvation Teachings of Jesus Lord’s Supper Passion Narratives

OT Background  Grounded in Isaiah’s Suffering Servant
John the Bap’s ministry  announced with quote from Is 40 o Prepare way for the Lord, sign exile is over & redemption at hand Simeon (2:32) quotes Is 42:6 to identify Jesus with the servant and YHWH Fulfill scriptures o 24:44 - Jesus describes his death as dei (necessary) o To take salvation to Jews and Gentiles alike Traits of the Servant o Innocence --> Jesus as servant demonstrated by his innocent suffering according to divine will as per the traits of the servant - Declared innocent by Pilate and Herod (23:4, 4, 14, 15, 22) and by the thief (23:41) o Suffers & Dies to Save - Central trait of servant - Laying on him the inquity (53:6) - Bearing the sins of many (53:12)  partial quote at Last Supper

-

Birth Narrative (1-2)  Coming of Salvation linked to Jesus Christ
Clearly establishes Jesus as the Saviour Lk 1:47 - God is Mary’s Saviour o powerful action against mighty and proud on behalf of poor and humble Zechariah’s Song (1:67-80)  redemption of Israel o Tightly connected with the coming of the Messiah and forgiveness of sins (1:77) - Horn of salvation (1:69) - Salvation from our enemies (1:71) - Knowledge of Salvation (1:77) Lk 2:11 – Angelic announcement that Saviour has been born Lk 2:30 – Simeon recognises fulfilment of God’s promise of salvation to all the earth (precursor to Acts)

-

-

Salvation Teachings of Jesus  Seek and Save what was Lost
Certain teachings of Jesus about salvation which are distinctively Lukan o Lk 19:10 – seek and save what is lost  summary of Jesus’ mission in Luke o Example: Lk 15 – Lost sheep/coin/son. Salvation parables not found in any other gospels

Salvation and Lords Supper  Redemption, Propitation, Atonement
Passover permeated with ideas of redemption and propitiation o God’s wrath passed over by blood  act of salvation o Not atonement though (laying of sin on one for salvation of other) o Acts 20:28  church was purchased with blood of Jesus But Jesus redefines signficance of Passover in light of coming death. Clues found in 22:19-20 1. Introduces idea of atonement here by alluding to Exodus 24:8 where Moses sprinkles blood to atone for sins 2. Inauguration of ‘new’ covenant spoken by Jer 31:31-34  forgiveness of sins by his own blood 3. “Given for you” (22:20)  Jesus giving blood/body for his people

-

Passion Narrative  Jesus Salvific Death
Substitution of Jesus for Barabbas  substitute for sinner (23:18-25) o Dramatic historical representation of what was to take place on cross. Jesus dying on behalf of the guilty. Jesus offers thief life (paradise) in face of death (Lk 23:43) Repetition of save language in Lk 23:35-39 unprecedented in the Gospels Lk uses ‘tree’ (Acts 5:30, 10:39, 13:29) rather than normal word of cross  allusion to Deut 21:23 (Jesus bore our curse)

-

Blessings of Salvation
Salvation in Lk-Acts brings - Salvation through forgiveness and release for oppressed o 1:77, 3:3, 4:18, 24:27, Acts 2:38, 5:31, 10:43, 13:38 Life – not major theme but eternal life will come to those who have given up everything for kingdom of God. o 10:25, 12:16, 18:29-30 Peace – Jesus is mediator of peace and brings it about through reconciliaton o 1:79, 2:14, 10:5-6, Acts 10:36) The Kingdom – important theme but not so directly linked with salvation. Salvation denotes entering the kingdom (14:15-24)

-

-