Jesus, a ‘Movement Messiah’

In my previous blog, I suggested that Luke, the writer of the Book of Acts, was very selective with whose ministry he chose to record in his narrative. He focused on ‘movement’ figures or ‘regions beyond’ figures! From where did Luke get this idea?

 In Luke’s first book, the Gospel of Luke, he said he had “investigated everything carefully from the very first” (Lk 1:3). Luke saw something in the life and ministry of Jesus, in his ‘careful investigation’ that captivated his imagination and interest! Something he was careful to record, not only in his Gospel, but to continue tracking with, in his second book, The Book of Acts!

Luke saw that Jesus was a ‘movement Messiah.’ Jesus modeled movement, laying the foundation for what would follow – a world-wide Christian movement, to all peoples.

Jesus began his public ministry by announcing his intentions to include the gentiles (Lk 4:24-27). He headquartered himself in Galilee (Lk 4:14), where he had the greatest access to ‘all peoples; both Jews and Gentiles, enabling him, for example, to lay the ground work for Philip’s later ministry to the Samaritans (Lk 17:11-16, Jn 4:4-26, Ac 8:5-8). He was constantly on the move. When asked to preach to a crowd he had spoken to the previous day, he refused, saying he had to go to other towns and villages as well (Lk 4:43)! When a disciple requested permission to join him, Jesus stated very clearly what it meant to follow him, “The son of man has nowhere to lay his head” (Lk 9:58). And in traveling with a committed group of co-workers, Jesus legitimized a ‘structure’ common in his day, similar to what was employed by other ‘movement’ groups such as the Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes, that enabled them to “compass land and sea to make converts” (Mt 23:15).

Christianity as a ‘movement,’ spreading throughout the whole earth, bringing the Gospel to all peoples, is a fundamental part of the Church’s DNA! Once we lose this, we cease being the Church Jesus intended us to be!

What do you think? Have we seen what Luke saw in the ‘ministry mindset’ of Jesus?