The nature of Lukan Christology has been much debated in recent years, with scholars claiming the pre-eminence of such categories as Lord, Prophet, Christ, or Isaianic Servant. In the present work the author examines one major theme within Luke's Christology, that of the coming king from the line of David. A study of the Lukan birth narrative and the speeches in Acts reveals that Luke shows a strong interest in this royal-messianic theme, introducing it into passages which are introductory and programmatic for his Christology as a sermon, portraying Jesus in strongly prophetic terms.
The author seeks a synthesis of these seemingly conflicting royal and prophetic portraits in Luke's interpretation of the Old Testament book of Isaiah. When Isaiah is read as a unity, the eschatological deliverer is at the same time Davidic king (Isa. 9.11), suffering servant of Yahweh (Isa. 42-53), and prophet herald of salvation (Isa. 61), leading God's people on an eschatological new exodus. On the basis of this synthesis the Christology of Luke-Acts is seen to be both consistent and unified, forming an integral part of Luke's wider purpose in his two-volume work.
“Luke-Acts is pervaded with the theme of divine control and purpose—a purpose set forth beforehand in the Scriptures.” (Page 14)
“This theme is the fulfillment of the promises to David through Jesus the messiah.” (Page 15)
“A sixth aspect of the promise is peace and security for Israel in the Land. This, in turn, implies a united kingdom and the abolition of foreign domination.” (Pages 35–36)
“about Jesus—the main character in his story—is that through him God will fulfill his promises to David.” (Page 89)
“The motif of Jesus’ innocence, present in all the Gospels, becomes in Luke a central theme of the trial and crucifixion.2 Pilate four times declares that he has found no guilt (αἴτιον) in Jesus (23:4, 14, 15, 22; cf. Acts 13:28) and Herod confirms this judgment (23:15). The repentant criminal also claims Jesus has done nothing wrong (αἴτοπος, 23:41), and there are implicit declarations of Jesus’ innocence in his contrast with Barabbas, who is guilty of insurrection and murder (23:25; Acts 3:14–15), and in the multitudes who ‘beat their breasts’ as they return home—suggesting a great injustice has been done (23:48).” (Page 330)