As I read through Luke's Gospel, I find a reoccurring theme of coming judgment and the need to escape it. This coming judgment is from God but it is coming in the form of the Roman military. Jesus warns that the whole nation is in jeopardy of being snuffed out because of their violent revolutionary notions. Jesus called the to repentance from that way of thinking about God's Kingdom and instead to follow Him and His way of doing God's Kingdom. This theme is so strong and so consistent in Luke's Gospel and now that we are starting to prepare to dive into Luke's sequel (the book of Acts), one has to wonder what happens to this theme. If Jesus' warnings of coming judgment were historically specific, what happens when history moves beyond those specific events?
Do Jesus' words become irrelevant? Of course, the book of Acts does NOT reach this day of judgment by its' end, but it does reach a new point in history. Luke begins the book of Acts by saying that his first book was about all that Jesus began to do and teach. So, does that teaching remain the same as we journey into the age of the Church? Does Paul preach a Gospel that is consistent with Jesus' preaching? Does Luke's second half of his Gospel flow consistently in the thought and agendas of the first half? What happens to this theme of coming judgment? Does it disappear? Is it validated? These are questions worth pondering as we try to discern what precisely the Gospel is according to Luke and how we are to appropriate the message and teaching of Jesus in our own day.