The Gospel of Luke, like those of Matthew and Mark, is a kind of Greco-Roman biography of Jesus. In Luke, this Gospel describes the life of Jesus from his birth to his resurrection and Acts depicts the spread of Christianity. It appears that the author of the Luke-Acts was a Greek-speaking Christian outside of Palestine and in the second century, the book became attributed to Luke who was a traveling companion to the apostle Paul. The most probable reason for writing the Luke-Acts was to maintain a salvation history that would assist Christians. This brief essay presents a critical discussion about the depiction of Jesus as Messiah in the Luke-Acts. Messiah refers to the Hebrew word, which translates to one who has been anointed and within the times of early Christianity, it referred to a future king or an expected royal leader from the line of David who will restore the kingdom to Israel (Baixeras, paragraphs 2 – 5). However, this term has complex meanings and the New Testament expectations from the Messiah are somewhat different from those of the Old Testament (Porter, pp. 1 – 10). Contours of specifically messianic expectations in the late Old Testament period and the post-Old Testament times suggest that the Messiah refers to someone special. Thus, it is clear that Messiah refers to someone who enjoys a special relationship with God and who is a promised deliverer. However, because Luke was the only Gentile author among the Gospel writers, his account represents the voice of the Gentile converts to Christianity who could no longer accept the superior attitudes of the Jews and considered themselves to be the true heirs to Israel (Pagels, pp. 90 – 93). Luke presents the notion that God had always wanted to offer salvation to everyone and Jesus Christ was the chosen Messiah for His intent. Luke draws on the Old Testament, especially Isaiah, to present the idea that Jesus was the Anointed Prophet who came in fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy about the coming of the Anointed One (Porter, pp. 145).
The Depiction of Jesus as Messiah in LukeActs