Conclusion to Luke
The Gospel of Luke is the story of the emergence of the kingdom of God on earth in the person of Jesus Christ. As the true king of the world, Christ is both the ruler to whom we owe our allegiance and the model for how we are to exercise whatever authority we are given in life.
As our ruler, he gives us one great commandment in two parts. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself…. Do this and you will live” (Luke 10:27-28). In one sense, this commandment is nothing new. It is simply a summary of the Law of Moses. What is new is that the kingdom based on this law has been inaugurated by God’s incarnation in the person of Jesus. It was God’s intent from the beginning that humanity should live in this kingdom. But from the time of Adam and Eve’s sin onward, people have lived instead in the kingdom of darkness and evil. Jesus has come to reclaim the earth as God’s kingdom and to create a community of God’s people who live under his rule, even while the kingdom of darkness retains much of its sway. The essential response of those who come to citizenship in Christ’s kingdom is that they live all of their lives — including work — in pursuit of the purposes and according to the ways of his kingdom.
As our model, Jesus teaches us these purposes and ways. He calls us to work at tasks such as healing, proclamation, justice, power, leadership, productivity and provision, investment, government, generosity, and hospitality. He sends God’s spirit to give us everything we need to fulfill our specific callings. He promises to provide for us. He commands us to provide for others, and thereby suggests that his provision for us will generally come in the form of other people working on our behalf. He warns us of the trap of seeking self-sufficiency through wealth, and he teaches us that the best way to avoid the trap is to use our wealth in furtherance of relationships with God and with other people. When conflicts arise in our relationships, he teaches us how to resolve them so they lead to justice and reconciliation. Above all, he teaches that citizenship in God’s kingdom means working as a servant of God and of people. His self-sacrifice on the cross serves as the ultimate model of servant leadership. His resurrection to the throne of God’s kingdom confirms and establishes forever the active love of our neighbor as the way of eternal life.