Luke and the Holistic Gospel

One of the strings of conversation I ran into on a Facebook group site that consists of members of my denomination was the thought that Luke’s portrayal of the Spirit was something more than just simply “spiritual.” It was more than signs and wonders. It was also about the whole person.

This, of course, raised the ire of a few who only view the activity of the Holy Spirit in light of our doctrine of “initial physical evidence” and maintaining that the gospel is just about the soul. It’s about saving souls. It’s about what is ahead. Here… well… we pray for healing.

It’s not an honest reading of Luke. Now, to deny the manifestations of the Spirit in Luke and the Early Church is also bad exegesis. Yet, we need to understand we don’t need to “pick sides.” Too often, that is all we can do.

Luke’s Gospel demonstrates the activity of the Spirit from the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. He is driven to the wilderness by the Spirit. He is sustained there and comes back in the power of the Spirit.

His first recorded teaching is almost a full contact event. He is challenged in the synagogue and his response is to tell the story of God blessing… get ready for this… Gentiles.

Even when Jesus is casting out demons, it is demonstrating his care for the whole person. He longs for captives to be set free. He doesn’t want them bound by that kind of oppression. He is thinking of the whole person.

The early Church, full of the Spirit, made sure they took care of their own, even if it meant selling property to help out.

The gospel is for the whole person. And that is ministry that is Trinitarian… and Pentecostal.

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