Summary: This is an inductive study of the Jerusalem ministry of Jesus with a focus on major themes and structural elements.
The Jerusalem Ministry Narrative
I. Divide and Title
A. Segmental Divisions
19.28-21.4 Jesus enters and claims the Kingdom
21:5-38 Jesus predicts the destruction of Jerusalem
B. Paragraph Divisions
19:28-44 The Entry
19:45-48 Jesus clears the Temple
20:1-8 Religious leaders question Jesus’ authority
20:9-19 Parable of the wicked tenants
20:20-26 Questions about taxes
20:27-40 Questions about the resurrection
20:41-47 Jesus confronts religious leaders
21:1-4 The poor widow
21:5-24 Jesus tells about the future
21:25-33 Jesus tells about the return
21:34-38 Jesus teaches about being watchful
II. Structural Analysis
1. Warnings: Jesus gives many strong warnings that show how the people are not entirely righteous but rather are fooling themselves. The basis of faith is found in the person of God and those who choose to find their won basis of faith are foolish and unwise.
Evidence: 4.14-30, 11.29-32, 12.22-34,35-48,49-53, 21.5-24,25-33,34-38
c. Parables: Jesus makes use of many colorful and illustrative stories that bring the truth of God’s message to bear on the lives of His people.
Evidence: 6.46-49, 8.1-15, 10.25-37, 12.13-21, 14.15-24, 15.1-7,8-10,11-31, 16.1-15, 18.1-8,9-14, 19.4-27
3. Messiah Terms: The hope of Israel was the coming of the great king from God and this messiah would set the people free from their bondage. However, the hope was for a political and social freedom from the Roman authority.
a. Christ: This is the Greek for messiah and it is used regularly by the author and by a select few individuals. It is important to note that Jesus does not use this term to describe Himself.
Evidence: 2.11,26, 3.15, 4.41, 9.20, 22.67, 23.2,35,39, 24.26,46
b. Son of Man: This is a specific term that Jesus uses to describe Himself and His role as the Messiah. It is not directly linked to the messiah by the religious leaders.
Evidence: 5.24, 6.5,22, 7.34, 9.22,26,44,58, 11.30, 12.10,40, 17.22,24,30, 18.8,31, 19.10,21.27,36, 22.22,48,69, 24.7
4. God Terms: Luke makes a great deal of effort to present the person of God and the various roles that He has for the working of His will on behalf of His people.
a. Father: The author deals with the Trinity in some unique ways but always keeps the persons of the Godhead in separated in form and function. This is all too clear in the divine relationship that is found between the Father and Jesus Christ.
Evidence: 6.36, 9.26, 10.21,22, 11.2,13, 12.30,32, 22.29,42, 23.34,46, 24.49
b. Spirit: The Spirit seems to play a very unique role in the book by helping to bridge the fundamental gap that exists between the divine and human realms. The Spirit acts as a divine change agent in the lives of the people that the Father has chosen to use and the author sees this link clearly. This role is brought to refinement and clarity in the author’s theological and methodological treatment of the text.
Evidence: 1.32,33, 3.5,6,8,34, 6.63, 7.39, 14.17,26, 16.13,15,20,22
5. Death: The book seems to focus on this concept with extreme attention. It is this dynamic that makes the book look to the eternal realities of life and see how this life and the next will come to be for each and every person.
Evidence: 7.11-17, 8.40-56, 9.21-27,44-45, 16.19-31, 20.9-19, 22.1-6, 23.26-43,44-49
6. Ministry to the Outcasts: The author seems to give special attention to the social and economic identity to those whom Jesus was among. These social outcasts were the recipients of Jesus’ love, attention and mercy. It is with these people that Jesus spent much of His time and He gave them a sense of belonging and worth. This was a key part of the ministry of Jesus.
Evidence: 4.31-37,38-44, 5.12-16,17-26,27-31, 7.1-10,11-17,36-50, 8.26-39, 9.37-43, 10.25-37, 13.10-17, 14.1-14, 15.1-7,8-10,11-31, 16.19-31, 18.1-8,9-14,35-43, 19.1-10, 21.1-4
7. Faith and Doubt: The author deals with the aspect of belief and unbelief in the ministry of Jesus and this faith or the lack of faith seems to set the stage for both ministry and confrontation. The faith that is shown in the person of Jesus is given remarkable power to heal the sick and raise the dead. The power of faith is not and can not be dismissed from the ministry of Jesus.
a. Faith: The author shows the benefits that come to those who show faith in the person and work of Jesus. It is through faith that people are healed and made whole. It is also the key to having eternal life.
Evidence: 1.26-38,46-56,67-80, 2.8-20,21-38, 4.31-37,38-44,5.1-11,7.1-10,36-50, 8.40-56, 9.18-20, 14.25-35, 17.1-10,11-19, 18.9-14, 19.1-10, 21.34-38, 23.26-43, 24.13-35
b. Unbelief/ Doubt: The book reveals the consequences of a person not believing in the power of Jesus and those who do not believe will not reap the benefits found in Christ but rather will in turn be cursed by their lack of faith.
Evidence: 1.5-25, 4.14-30, 7.18-35, 11.29-32, 12.22-34,35-48,49-53,54-59, 16.19-31, 18.18-30, 22.54-62, 22.66-23.55
8. Geographic Change: The author sites the frequent and noticeable change of geography that takes place throughout the ministry of Jesus and this plays an important role in the way that the reader understands the events and teachings of Jesus. This change makes it possible for the ministry of Jesus to take place and it reveals that He was not contained within any area for His whole ministry.