ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 14


to show how the coming of God’s reign on earth means freedom for
the oppressed and a welcome for outsiders.
The third section shows Jesus’ mission coming to its climax in Israel’s
ancient capital of Jerusalem. During the Jewish Passover festival, his
enemies conspire to have him executed on a Roman cross. But Jesus
then rises from the dead with royal authority, winning God’s great battle
against sin and death.
The second volume—Acts—describes how the first community of
Jesus’ followers brought the message about him to all nations. In six
different phases, the Good News about Jesus breaks through some
significant barrier as it advances. Each phase ends with a version of the
summary statement: “God’s message continued to spread. The number
of believers greatly increased.”
Phase one: The message breaks through a linguistic barrier as the
Jerusalem community welcomes Greek speakers (pp. 61-70).
Phase two: The message breaks through a geographic barrier by
spreading into Judea and Samaria (pp. 70-77).
Phase three: A significant religious and ethnic barrier is broken when
the community welcomes Gentiles (pp. 77-82).
Phase four: Another geographic barrier is broken when the Good
News moves into Asia Minor (pp. 82-89).
Phase five: Yet another geographic barrier is broken when the Good
News spreads into Greece, the cultural center of the ancient
Mediterranean world (pp. 89-94).
Phase six: The Good News about Jesus the Messiah reaches all the
way to Rome—the very heart of the empire (pp. 95-110).
In this way, Luke–Acts completes its twofold movement. First, Jesus
went to Jerusalem to complete his great work through his suffering,
death, and resurrection. Second, the persecution of his followers
brought the Good News about Jesus from Jerusalem to Rome. In this
combined story, it is revealed that Jesus is Israel’s promised King and
the world’s true Ruler.

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