Luke 1:32,33 – Did Luke Make a Mistake?

By Wayne Jackson

Steve Allen on the Bible, Religion, & Morality is the title of a recently published (1990) book which viciously attacks the sacred Scriptures. Here is an example of one of the “mistakes” that Allen claims to have found in the Gospel records.

Luke writes concerning Christ:

“He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:32,33).

Allen charges that the prophecy was never fulfilled nor is it ever likely to be (p. 274).

The fact is, Mr. Allen has made the same crass mistake that the Jews of the first century did. He has viewed the passage as a prediction that Christ would sit upon the literal, political throne of David. Actually, the declaration has to do with the Lord’s spiritual enthronement in heaven following the resurrection.

This is precisely the significance of Peter’s argument on the day of Pentecost, as recorded in Acts 2. In this context, the apostle affirms that God had promised David that one of his descendants would rule “upon his throne.” Peter announces that “foreseeing this” David had spoken concerning Jesus’ resurrection from the dead (2:30,31).

The apostle then says: “Being therefore by the right hand of God exalted . . .” (33). It is quite clear, therefore, that the prophecy of Luke 1:32,33 finds its fulfillment in the current spiritual reign of Christ. The flaw is in the critic’s assumption, not in the biblical text.

Underline Luke 1:32,33 and in your margin note: See Acts 2:30-33; fulfilled in Christ’s heavenly (not earthly) reign.

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About the Author

Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.