Luke-Acts: A Table in the Wilderness
Luke and Acts are a single story, concerning the culmination of Israel’s history in Jesus Christ. Luke brings together various thematic strands of the Old Testament—the failure of Adam, the Davidic King, the return from Exile, the Exodus, the visitation of Israel’s Redeemer, the coming of Yahweh to Zion—into a single point, as it is in Jesus Christ that God’s redemptive plans are brought to a climax. Yet the story does not end when Christ ascends to heaven, for Christ pours out his Spirit upon his redeemed people, who then bring this redemptive kingdom to the ends of the earth. One of the startling features of this deliverance which Christ brings in Luke and Acts—which as we suggest is international in scope and the culmination of God’s plans for the world—is how often the fruit of this deliverance, is manifest in what happens round a table. The simple questions asked at a meal—Who is invited? Who gets the best place? Who feasts and who serves? Who brings the food and who receives?—become in Luke’s gospel and then in Acts, a defining marker of God’s liberation. In this series, we seek to follow the lines of God’s history of liberation as it reaches its climax in Jesus and then spreads to the world through the apostles and the early church in Acts, but along the way, we ask what this means for the simplest and most basic of life’s activities, like sitting round a table.