From Messiah To Lord: Bock’s Lucan Christology

I could not wait to review Messiah, Servant, Prophet, Savior, Son of Man, And Lord: A Synthesis on the Person and Work of Jesus, chapter eight of A Theology of Luke and Acts, as a part of Zondervan blog tour.

Darrell Bock, I believe, adequately and successively presented Lucan Christology. I have divided my review into three articles, since I believe; this chapter is a treasure mine for those who are passionate about Christology.

“Luke consciously reveals who Jesus is with a step by step approach” writes Bock, “gradually connects a series of ideas into a coherent portrait of Jesus” with his “from earth up” Christology(p. 177).

Jesus is portrayed as the Son and King (Luke 1:31-35), the One who divides Israel (Luke 2:34-35), a King and Servant who declares and brings God’s deliverance (Luke 1:69 2:49 3:22, 4), much superior to John the Baptist (Luke 7:18-35), more than a prophet (Luke 9:7-9), the Christ (9:20), Suffering Son of Man (Luke 9-19), the One with authority to forgive sin and to judge on the end of time (Luke 19 -20), the heir to the vineyard, the Son who is slain and the Lord ruling at God’s side are, to mention the few, descriptions Bock set forward to show Luke’s coherent portrait of Jesus(p. 177-80)

The climax of chapter 8 arises when Bock contended “[t]he key passages for Lucan Christology come in the middle of his two books as Jesus heads for death and then is raised from the dead”(p. 180)

Luke 20:41:44, echoing Psalms 1101, brings a question that shows, given the context, that “Lord” is a better or more comprehensive title than “son of David”. Bock explained:

Luke has affirmed Jesus as Davidic son in both the infancy material and the genealogy, so the remark is not a rejection of Davidic sonship. Rather, Jesus is probing the prioritization of the emphasis between the idea of Davidic sonship and the idea of Messiah being Lord.”(p. 180)

Bock concluded that, “this text shows Luke as moving the reader from seeing Jesus just as the promised Anointed One to seeing him as Lord”. He then goes further to shows that the answer to Jesus’ question began in Luke 22:69.

Jesus, on trial, answered the Sanhedrin with the title of “the Son of Man”, claiming to be the one who will seats in authority at God’s side and ruling with God. This was a blasphemous claim according to Sanhedrin’s view since “[i]n early rabbinic tradition, only God sits in heaven.”(p. 181)

“With strong irony, the Jews think that Jesus is on trial,” writes Bock, “ but what they do to him does not matter, since he is the true Judge. The very remarks that the Jewish leadership thinks lowers God’s stature, in fact, shows how exalted Jesus is”. (p. 182)

My gratitude to Zondervan and Koinoniblog for providing a copy of this book for a review.

Next: The Titles of Jesus in Luke-Acts

Here is Darrell L. Bock on the Purpose of Luke and Acts

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