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Fall 2004, Vol. 1, No. 2

Biblical-Theological Foundations for Organic Spirituality: A More Specific Description—Part Two

Randy Walls, D.Min.
Director of Continuing Education at Assemblies of God Theological Seminary

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This is the second of two articles adapted from Randy Walls’ recent AGTS doctoral project, “Organic Spirituality: An Organizing Principle and Assessment Instrument for Christian Discipleship.”

The previous article presented a general description of organic spirituality. This article will provide a more specific definition of organic spirituality by focusing on seven activities through which it normally occurs in the Luke-Acts narratives:

  • Prayer
  • Bible study
  • Fasting
  • Worship
  • Intimacy
  • Community
  • Witness

Prayer

The Luke-Acts narratives open (Lk. 1:8-10; Acts 1:14) and close (Lk. 24:53; Acts 28:8) with prayer. Framing the narrative with these elements makes it clear that Luke places significant value on prayer. In fact, Luke says more about prayer in his narrative than the other three Gospel writers.1

Although references to individual prayer occur in the Acts narrative (Acts 9:11; 10:9, 30; 11:5; 22:17; 28:8), Jesus typifies the personal arena of prayer. He habitually withdraws from ministry responsibilities in order to commune with his Father (Luke 4:42; 5:16; 6:12; 9:18, 28; 11:1; 21:37; 22:41-45).

The nature or purpose of Jesus’ personal prayer times varies. In some instances, Jesus seeks refreshment from the weariness of ministry (Luke 5:16; 21:37). At other times, his prayer time focuses on guidance (6:12; 22:41-45). However, the primary element of Jesus’ prayer in the Gospel coincides with the significant events in his life. From his baptism (3:21-22), to his transfiguration (9:28-36), to his Olivet travail (22:41-45), to his last words on the cross (23:46), Jesus engages in prayer.2

The best examples of the corporate arena of prayer occur in the Acts narratives. The followers of Christ regularly pray together (Acts 1:14, 24; 2:42; 3:1; 4:24, 31; 6:4, 6; 12:5, 12; 13:3; 14:23; 16:13, 16, 25; 20:36; 21:5). As in Jesus’ example, the nature or purpose for corporate prayer varies. It focuses on preparation for ministry (4:24, 31; 6:4, 6; 13:3; 14:23; 20:36; 21:5), worship (2:42; 3:1; 16:13, 16, 25), guidance (1:14, 24) and protection (12:5, 12).

Just as Luke primarily portrays Jesus in prayer to prepare himself for ministry, he shows how the Early Church follows Jesus’ example. If one considers the guidance contexts of corporate prayer,3 ministry preparation serves as the purpose for corporate prayer almost twice as much as the next category. Since organic spirituality focuses on the presence and activity of God among his people, the priority of prayerfully discerning the will and the plan of God4 and submissively and obediently participating in it comprises a major part of Luke-Acts.5

Bible Study

Formal references to the Scriptures (graphe)6 in Luke-Acts are sparse, being present in only four verses in the Gospel and seven verses in Acts.7 However, the way that Luke uses the word to frame the ministry of Jesus demonstrates its missional nature.8 In the synagogue of Nazareth (Luke 4:21), he reads from Isaiah (61:1, 2; 58:6) and prophesies of the Scripture’s fulfillment in him at that moment. Near the close of the Gospel narrative (24:13-49), Jesus again uses Scripture to demonstrate the fulfillment of his mission on earth.9 This would seem to indicate that the fulfillment of Scripture is the primary reason for the Gospel’s use of the Old Testament.

The temptation narrative (Luke 4:1-13) provides another insight into the purpose and value of Bible study. On three occasions, Satan presents a tempting offer to Jesus in the wilderness. On each occasion, Jesus confronts the temptation as well as the tempter with the Word of God. Successfully resisting each temptation by his reliance on and obedience to the Word of God, Luke presents Jesus as returning to Galilee in the power of the Spirit (14). Jesus’ example serves as a model for the contemporary believer by showing the power of the Word of God to help overcome temptation. However, as verse 14 shows, the Word itself has no inherent power. Rather, the presence of the Spirit who inspires the Word provides the power to withstand the temptation.

In Acts 6:1-7 and 18:5, Luke further demonstrates the power of the Word of God. As Peter and the other apostles get distracted from their preaching by the pastoral duties of food distribution for the widows (Acts 6:1), they summon the congregation for the purpose of appointing reliable men to handle the pastoral task so that they will not neglect the Word of God (2). The result of their re-prioritizing (4) is the spread of the word throughout Jerusalem and, with it, a new group of believers, including many of the priests (7).

Paul finds himself in a similar situation in Corinth. He enters a working relationship with Aquila (18:2-3) to provide for his material needs. Not content to neglect his mission, Paul spends each Sabbath ministering in the synagogue (18:4). However, when Silas and Timothy arrive in Corinth, thus providing him with the necessary means to care for his material needs, he devotes himself completely to preaching the Word of God (18:5). The result is like that of the Acts 6 account. Many people come to faith, and Paul spends a year and a half instructing them in the Word of God (18:11).

The Luke-Acts narratives thus affirm a thorough knowledge of the Scripture as a vital part of Christian ministry. Scripture is the primary resource for the proclamation of and the instruction in the faith, as well as the defense of the faith against its naysayers. It also provides a strong resource for withstanding the tests of life that would seek to cause one’s faith to waver.

Fasting

Fasting is spoken of in seven passages of the Luke-Acts narratives (Luke 2:37; 4:2; 5:33-35; 18:12; Acts 13:2-3; 14:23; 27:9). The four accounts in the Gospel present two positive examples (2:37; 4:2), one negative example (18:12), and an excursus by Jesus on the purpose of fasting (5:33-35).The three accounts in Acts include two records of fasting for ministry empowerment (13:2-3; 14:23) and one formal reference to the Jewish Day of Atonement as “the Fast.”10

Luke creates a picture of the normal practice of Jewish piety11 so he can contrast the practice and teaching of Jesus on fasting. On the one hand, Jesus’ opponents criticize John the Baptist for abstaining from wine and bread (Luke 7:33). On the other, they rail against Jesus for excessive feasting (7:34). Despite their duplicity and the obvious impurity of their motives, Luke still presents Jesus as a model for the balance between feasting and fasting.

The temptation narrative relates Jesus’ 40-day fast in a positive light. He willfully subjugates his normal appetites so he can withstand the tests of the devil (4:2-14). Luke balances the scales in chapter 5 by placing Jesus at the feast given in his honor by Levi, the tax collector (27-32). Disgusted by this company of “sinners,” the Pharisees and scribes confront Jesus’ disciples about dining with them (30). Jesus responds with words that clarify his purpose in the earth is “to call sinners to repentance” (32).

Failing to yield their position on the issue, the Pharisees obstinately persist in their questioning of Jesus’ and his disciples’ lack of piety (Luke 4:33). Jesus’ parabolic response sets the tone for a balanced understanding of the purpose for fasting, even as it turns the spotlight back on the Pharisees’ self-oriented practices (34-39). Fasting has no place in a wedding party. The presence of the bridegroom at the feast offers an occasion for joyous celebration. Only when the bridegroom is taken away from them (a veiled reference to Jesus’ imminent departure at the hands of his accusers) will the wedding attendants mourn his absence and fast in his honor. It would be like trying to repair an old garment with a piece of cloth from a new one, or like putting new wine in an old wine skin. Both garments will be ruined, as will the new wine and the old wine skin. New wine requires new wine skins. Contentment with the old wine results in a rejection of the new wine.12

The Acts accounts of fasting occur in ministry empowerment contexts. Luke places Barnabas and Paul’s commissioning by the Antioch church in a context of fasting (13:2-4), giving clear priority to the Holy Spirit as the inspiring and sending agent.13 Barnabas and Paul duplicate the same model of ministry empowerment in the appointment of elders for the churches of their first missionary journey (14:23).14

In summary, several emphases emerge. Fasting as a religious ritual has no meritorious value. Luke’s inclusion of only one positive example of this practice diminishes its importance for the new community of faith. Fasting, therefore, serves two primary purposes. First, Christians should set aside normal mealtime activities for the purpose of honoring their ascended Lord in anticipation of his imminent return. Second, the individual believers and the assembled community should practice habitual fasting as well as Spirit-led fasts for guidance and empowerment in ministry.

Worship

Most instances of worship in Luke-Acts occur in group settings. From the praise of the angels who announced Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:13 aineo), and the praising and glorifying of the shepherds to whom they announced it (2:20 aineo, doxazo), to the glorifying of James and the elders of the Jerusalem church over the Gentile mission (Acts 21:20 doxazo), group after group of people respond to the mighty works of God with words of praise and glory. Nowhere in the narratives does this worship occur more than in the healing miracles of Jesus and the disciples (Luke 4:15, 5:26, 7:16, 13:13, Acts 4:21 doxazo; Luke 13:17, Acts 8:8 chairo; Luke 18:43, Acts 3:8-9 aineo).15 The only other references to group worship occur in Acts 11:18 (doxazo) and 13:48 (chairo). In both instances, the groups are made up of believers who glorify God for his faithfulness to extend his redemption to the Gentiles.

Perhaps the most significant account of individual worship occurs in Luke 10:20, 21 (chairo, exhomologeo). The occasion is the return of the seventy-two Jesus sent out to proclaim the good news. Upon hearing their report of success, Jesus rejoices under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.16 He praises God for revealing his true redemptive purpose in the earth to his disciples, who would be considered among its lowest subjects (“infants”).17

In Neyrey and Malina’s The Social World of Luke-Acts, John Elliott submits a treatise entitled “Temple Versus Household in Luke-Acts: A Contrast in Social Institutions.”18 Herein he identifies Luke’s intent to “concretize the message and meaning of the good news…[in]…his depiction of the two basic institutions of Judaism and early Christianity…the Jerusalem temple and the private household.”19 While neither the space nor the intent of this paper permits a fully developed elaboration of his treatise, there are some noteworthy elements in it that highlight Luke’s theology of worship.

Luke contrasts the temple and the household by the way that he structures his narratives.20 The Gospel narrative opens (1:5-23) and closes (24:50-53) with scenes in the temple. The Acts narrative opens (1:12-14) and closes (28:30-31)with scenes in private households. As the Acts narrative progresses, it shifts between household scenes where the new community shares together and worships (1:13-2:45; 4:23-5:11; 6:1-7; 8:4ff), to scenes in the temple as a center of politics, religious control, conflict and persecution (3:1-4:22; 5:12-40; 6:8-8:3).

Luke’s intentional structuring demonstrates his theological agenda, to portray the household as taking over the activities that we previously associated with the temple. “The household…once the gathering place of the powerless and the marginalized, eventually emerges as the institution where God’s [S]pirit is truly active and where familial relations, shared resources and communal values concretize the vision of salvation available to all the families of the earth.”21 Therefore, God is no longer to be worshipped in formal structures which ritualize the experience of his dynamic presence. Rather, worship becomes a relationally oriented encounter with God in which his people experience the fullness of the Spirit and communion of the saints.

A summary of Luke’s theology of worship reveals several dominant themes. First, it primarily functions in expressing glory to God for his miraculous and redemptive works. Second, it finds its expression in either individual or corporate settings. Third, true worship must be inspired by the empowering of the Holy Spirit. Fourth, worship should not be confined to ritualized structures which minimize the dynamic presence of the God to whom all worship is due.

Intimacy

Jesus takes center stage as the initiator of intimacy in the Luke-Acts narratives. As with so many other elements of the narratives, the model he exemplifies becomes the paradigm for his disciples to follow. Luke depicts Jesus’ exemplary actions in table fellowship settings, taking advantage of a common social interaction to show the extent to which he will engage people in meaningful and intimate relationships. Green expresses the essential characteristic of this ancient Mediterranean activity as an event whose social significance far outweighs the need to eat. By welcoming people to one’s table, a person extends to them intimacy, solidarity and acceptance. They are, in effect, treated as extended family members.22

The first of these meal scenes takes place in the home of Levi, a tax collector (Luke 5:29). It becomes prototypical for every other meal in which Jesus participates.23 The emphasis of this social gathering has a variety of elements, but one of the most important is “the friend-making character of the meal,” whereby the guests engage each other in table talk that nurtures friendships.24

However, what should have been an occasion for rejoicing over the conversion of Levi, becomes a point of conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees present at the meal. Accusing Jesus of befriending “sinners” (Luke 5:30), the Pharisees question both his ritual purity and his standing in the community.25 Jesus’ response (31) demonstrates his intention to fulfill the mission that he first proclaimed in the Nazareth synagogue (14:18), “to preach good news to the poor.” His presence at the table with them communicates that this mission is more than just words of instruction, rather Luke shows that Jesus himself is the good news incarnate.26

Three more meal scenes take place in the home of a Pharisee (7:36-50; 11:37-54; 14:1-24). Luke’s placement of Jesus in these settings follows his often used reversal motif. What should have been occasions for intimate friendship with the guest of honor, instead become events which demonstrate the great gulf that exists between Judaism and Christianity.

In the first scene (7:36-50), Luke elevates intimacy to a level previously unseen with the introduction of a sinful woman into the Pharisee’s home. Her act of humble and loving service to Jesus provides him with the opportunity to identify the true nature of kingdom relationships. Her actions are loving responses to Jesus’ previous offer of forgiveness for her sins.27 Whereas the Pharisee views her as an outcast, unworthy of participation in his social circles, Jesus positions her as fully integrated into the community of God.28

The final meal of the Gospel narratives presents Jesus in table fellowship with his disciples (22:14-20). Set within a Passover meal context, Luke reorients it in many ways toward his symposium model. The posture of reclining at table, along with Jesus’ instructions (table talk) to the disciples after the meal, fits this model. In effect, this meal becomes the ultimate manifestation of friendship as Jesus gives up his own body and blood to connect himself with his disciples in an everlasting covenant bond. Furthermore, they will demonstrate the true essence of their friendship with him by continuing the mission he came to initiate. This sets the stage for Luke to present the continuation of Jesus’ model and ministry in the Acts narrative.

Luke mentions the newly instituted faith community’s habit of breaking bread together in Acts 2:42. Its habitual status probably diminishes Luke’s symposium model, but the idea of table fellowship remains strong. Witherington suggests that this activity clearly indicates that they saw each other as extended family.29 This conforms to Green’s bigger picture view of the intimacy that occurs in table fellowship settings.30

It appears, therefore, that intimacy as a spiritual activity finds its model in interactions between Christ and his disciples and also with the most unlikely of people. The evidence of the Holy Spirit’s initiative in this intimate activity finds its ultimate fulfillment in the mission of God. He constitutes a brand new family relationship through his Son with people who would otherwise not be included. The connection of intimate activity to the organic spirituality model occurs in all four spiritual arenas as Christian disciples continue to follow God’s mission to redeem a diverse people unto himself.

Community

As Table 6 shows, three primary texts express community activity. The fact that at least two of the words occur together in all three of the verses identifies their complementary nature. Since the third word occurs in all three texts, its influence on the other two words becomes paramount.

TABLE 6: GREEK WORDS THAT DESCRIBE COMMUNITY ACTIVITY IN ACTS

Greek Word                  

References

Essential Meaning

koinonia

2:42

Sharing together

homothumadon

1:14; 2:46

With one mind

proskartereo

1:14; 2:42; 2:46

To devote or persist in

In its three contexts, the verb proskartereo occurs as a present active participle, which typically emphasizes the continuous action of the verbal root. Thus, the word basically means continually devoting or persisting. Since Mundle says that Luke uses the word to “denote the spiritual attitude of the early church,”31 his intention appears to be the emphasis of their continuous devotion.

Homothumadon is an adverb; it functions to describe the extent or nature of the verb it complements. Schmitz notes that Luke stresses this word in his narrative because it identifies the “local church…living and working in [unanimous] harmony with its origin...[that is]…to carry out its work of witness.”32 The emphasis upon the oneness of mind demonstrates the Early Church’s unified commitment to remain together.

Koinonia  is a noun often translated by the English word fellowship. While fellowship incorporates much of the basic meaning, Schattenmann notes that the word “expresses something new and independent. It denotes the unanimity and unity brought about by the Spirit…[in which] the individual was completely upheld by the community.”33 Therefore, the faith community binds itself to the full participation of sharing together in all things.

By placing all three of these words in relation to each other, Luke demonstrates a marvelous picture of community activity. It is a community continually devoted with one mind sharing together. When one considers the additional elements that Luke presents in the three contexts for the words, the picture becomes even fuller. This is a single-minded and mutually supportive devotion to the Word of God, the worship of God, the people of God and the direction of God.34 The unifying and empowering presence of the Holy Spirit undergirds this spiritual activity in such a way as to guide it and sustain it.

Witness

The final activity of the organic spirituality model serves as a culminating element to the other six. The mission of God (missio dei) to redeem a people unto himself from his creation is the central message of the entire Scripture. This fact alone makes witness the most obvious of the seven activities. While the other six stand by themselves as valid pursuits, each of them has a vital link to the last. God inhabits his people by his Spirit to empower and equip them to cooperate with him as he fulfills his mission in the earth.35 As each of the activities more fully align believers with God, this mission becomes a more natural part of their lives.

Jesus’ message in the Nazareth synagogue and his continued ministry thereafter (Luke 4:18-21, 43-44) provide the archetype for witness. Herein Luke narrates Jesus’ self awareness of his life purpose (18-19) in reading the Isaiah 61:1-2 passage from the scroll. His authoritative assertion (21) that the ministry of the anointed one of God finds its fulfillment in him, the son of Joseph (22), astounds and eventually enrages his audience. Proceeding from Nazareth to Capernaum, he continues his Spirit empowered ministry, teaching with authority and performing exorcisms.36 He reiterates his purpose in God’s plan in 43-44, noting therein that he was sent37 to proclaim the good news of God’s salvation.

Jesus extends his missional call and pattern to the twelve disciples in Luke 9:1-6. Endowing them with the authority and power to heal, cast out demons and preach the good news, Jesus sends them out in ministry.38 The parallels between his calling and ministry in Luke 4 are clearly evident, with one significant variance. In this chapter, Jesus is the empowering and sending agent. This shift in the active agent from God to Jesus appears to be an intentional narrative device used by Luke to reveal Jesus’ true identity to his readers.39

The Acts narrative opens with a repetition of the closing event of the Gospel (24:48-49). In a somewhat expanded version of the event, Luke portrays Jesus’ parting words in a more elaborate schema (1:8). By sending the Spirit, God purposes to equip every believer with the power needed to extend the message of the gospel to the ends of earth. The narrative will function in the same way as the Gospel narrative. Luke will show how the mission of God progressively extends from place to place and group to group through the end of the narrative account.40

As he has done with so many other themes in his narratives, Luke frames the Gospel and Acts with the presence of reliable witnesses who serve God’s missional purpose. The pervasive witnessing activity that he presents between these framing narratives creates a seamless flow as these obedient servants fulfill their purpose. Their witness is programmatic, but also spontaneous. Individual spokespersons and witnessing teams function with an unbroken consistency of message.

The specific description of organic spirituality has identified seven essential spiritual activities41 that function in four distinct, yet complementary arenas.42 As in the general description, these activities find their primary origin in God who directs each according to his plan and purpose. Each of the seven activities finds its ultimate expression in its alignment with the mission of God. Furthermore, the four spiritual arenas in which these seven activities function have the same Spirit-led and mission-oriented characteristics as the seven activities.

Endnotes

1. Steven F. Plymale, The Prayer Texts of Luke-Acts (New York, N.Y.: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., 1991), 1. He also notes that “Luke’s high regard for prayer continues in his second volume.”

2. Plymale, 61, notes the importance of prayer in Luke for not only discerning the will of God, but also for the empowering of the one who prays to participate in the God’s divine plan. Thus, Luke places the significant events of Jesus’ life in a prayer context.

3. It is fitting to do so since Acts 1:12-26 describes the process for selecting Matthias to replace Judas as an “eyewitness” to the life, ministry and resurrection of Christ. The prayer for God’s guidance in selecting the right candidate finds its goal in verse 25, that he might “take over this apostolic ministry.”

4. Plymale, 21, describes proper prayer as “an acknowledgement of who and what God is…recogniz[ing] the relationship with and responsibility towards God…, while displaying complete trust in God and a surrender to the divine will.” He provides examples of this kind prayer in Luke 22:42 (Jesus on the Mount of Olives) and Acts 4:24 (Community prayer for Peter & John’s release from prison).

5. The Olivet episode (Luke 22:39-46) provides a prototypical understanding of this principle. Therein Jesus queries God to fully determine the nature and scope of his will and humbly submits himself to it despite the ultimate sacrifice that it entails. Green, Luke, 778, places this pericope within the Isaianic Servant of Yahweh tradition (Isaiah 41:10; 42:1, 6; 49:5; 50:4-7; 52:13-53:12) with its emphasis upon “suffering as an outworking of the divine will, submissive obedience to the divine will on the part of the one chosen for this fate, and the offering of aid via a divine messenger.” He further notes, 781, that Luke portrays the disciples as present with Jesus so that he might instruct them in their future ministry. He not only models standing firm in the test, he encourages them to pray that they may do so as well.

6. All Greek words noted in the text of this paper are transliterated into their English equivalent from the original as cited in “BibleWorks Greek New Testament (NA27)” in BibleWorks for Windows Version 5.0.034a (Norfolk, Va.: BibleWorks, LLC, 2001).

7. See Luke 4:21; 24:27, 32, 45; Acts 1:16; 8:32, 35; 17:2, 11; 18:24, 28.

8. Green, Luke, 207, notes the importance of Jesus’ ministry in Nazareth as being of central importance to the Gospel as a whole. “It defines to a significant extent the nature of Jesus’ ministry, establishing a critical narrative need for Jesus to perform in ways that grow out of and reflect this missionary program.”

9. Ibid., 841-844. Luke summarizes the entire ministry of Jesus in the Emmaus conversation (24:19-24) and uses Jesus’ explanation from the Scriptures as the means to provide full recognition for his followers of his fulfilling them. This allows Luke to further emphasize his perspective on the prophetic role of the Scriptures and the importance of faithfully interpreting them, correlating the career of Jesus with the Scriptures of Israel. This means that the Scriptures can only be understood in light of Jesus’ career and vice versa.

10. Bruce, Acts, 506.

11. Green, Theology, 71, identifies the normal elements of piety in Judaism, contrasting the positive aspects of piety demonstrated by the characters in the birth narratives, Luke 1-2, to the negative aspects of Pharisaic practice and improper alliances (3; 9; 10; 20, 22-24).

12. Marshall, Luke, 227, provides a succinct, yet complete understanding of the two parables, “to attempt to contain the Gospel within the bounds of Judaism will only destroy both. [Since] the Gospel is radically new…[it] must be allowed to express itself in its own way.

13. John Squires, “The Plan of God in the Acts of the Apostles” in Marshall and Peterson, 31-32.

14. Although Luke does not explicitly mention the agency of the Holy Spirit in this account, his use of the same method (praying and fasting) by which Barnabas and Paul commission the elders of each church proves that the Spirit of God directs them just as he directed the Antioch believers. See Jerome H. Neyrey, “Ceremonies in Luke-Acts: The Case of Meals and Table Fellowship” in Neyrey and Malina, 375, who believes that the prayer and fasting associated with the Antioch and elder commissionings represent a ceremonial standard for confirming group identity and function.

15. Green, Theology, 110, notes that this worship response does not arise from the “mindless masses;” rather, it comes from the enlightened recognition by the people that God is at work to deliver his promised redemption. Rohrbaugh, Social Sciences, 144-153, also provides some insight into the nature of the worship encounters between Jesus and the masses. Patron/client relations which were so prevalent in Graeco-Roman culture provide an understanding of the responses from the masses in Jesus’ miraculous provision for them. They were used to expressing appreciation to their benefactors; thus, their appreciation might have a selfish, or negative connotation. They also came to expect the provision from the patron; thus, their continued persistence in following Jesus would have been focused on the meeting of their needs. This seems to suggest a negative connotation overall. However, there is a great beauty that frames worship in this view of a patron God generously pouring out his blessing on his subjects. The contract is that he agrees to care for us and we agree to honor and serve him in loving appreciation of his provision.

16. Green, Luke, 421, explains Luke’s explicit mention of Jesus’ action inspired by the Spirit as nothing new. However, it has been a rather lengthy narrative period since Luke reminded his audience that Jesus operates as one anointed by the Spirit.

17. Ibid., 422. Green places high value on what he calls the reversal motif in Luke’s soteriology. In this instance Jesus demonstrates this motif by contrasting the hiding of the revelation from the “elders” of the community, who would have been highly regarded in the community due to their wisdom, and the revealing of the message to those who would have been given no status at all by the community.

18. John Elliott, “Temple Versus Household in Luke-Acts: A Contrast in Social Institutions,” in Neyrey and Malina, 211-240.

19. Ibid., 211.

20. Ibid., 215.

21. Ibid., 217.

22. Green, Theology, 87.

23. Green, Acts, 245, proposes that Luke uses the socially common symposium as the template for all of Jesus’ table fellowship.

24. Ibid.

25. Ibid., 246. This is due to the fact that the sharing of a meal with others meant an intimate sharing of one’s life in a kinship type of union. That Jesus is befriending sinners means that the Pharisees would have viewed Jesus as entering into relations with these outcasts, thus polluting his own standard of holiness.

26. Ibid., 23.

27. Ibid., 313.

28. Ibid., 314.

29. Witherington, 161.

30. Green, 34, cf. 74.

31. Wilhelm Mundle, “kartereo” in The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Vol. 2, ed. Colin Brown (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Publishing House, 1982), 768.

32. Ernst D. Schmitz, “homothumadon” in Brown, NIDNTT, Vol. 3, 909.

33. Johannes Schattenmann, “koinonia” in Brown, NIDNTT, Vol. 1, 642.

34. The author forms this summary statement from a combination of the three verses listed in Table 5. These verses prioritize the habitual participation in the apostles’ teaching, the fellowship, the breaking of bread and the collective prayers both in the temple and in their homes.

35. This is the essential message of Roger Stronstad The Charismatic Theology of St. Luke (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1984), 34-35 and Robert Menzies, Empowered, 177-178. Their works articulate a scholarly Pentecostal perspective on Luke’s pneumatology with an emphasis on the empowering work of the Spirit for the prophetic ministry of proclaiming the words and works of God. See also a more recent work by Craig Keener, The Spirit in the Gospels and Acts: Divine Purity and Power (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1984), 190, 200.

36. Green, Theology, 62. The Capernaum ministry immediately demonstrates the pledge that Jesus made in Nazareth of healing, proclamation and the ministry of release.

37. The passive mood of the verb "apestalen" implies divine agency. God himself sends Jesus, his one of a kind Son, to be the emissary of his message to the earth.

38. Marshall, Luke, 350, notes the significance of Luke’s recording the sending of the Twelve, identifying his intention to prefigure their role as witnesses in the Acts narrative.

39. Placing the Herod pericope after this, Luke, in effect, answers Herod’s unresolved question about Jesus’ identity before he even asks it.

40. Brian S. Rosner, “The Progress of the Word” in Marshall and Peterson, 216. “Acts narrates the progress of the gospel from a small gathering of Jewish disciples of the earthly Jesus in Jerusalem, across formidable cultic, ethnic, relational and geographical boundaries, to Paul’s bold and unhindered preaching of the risen and ascended Jesus to Gentiles in Rome. Acts is unmistakably a story of missionary expansion, which is announced in 1:8 and confirmed along the way with the so-called progress reports.”

41. The seven spiritual activities are prayer, bible study, fasting, worship, intimacy, community and witness.

42. The four spiritual arenas are corporate, personal, active and passive.

Updated: Friday, June 16, 2006 10:22 AM