Ultimate loyalty of Christian believers is to God rather than any human authority–Eugene M. Boring

While Luke– Acts is not a political apology directed to outsiders, his narrative wants to make clear that Christians are no overt threat to Rome and can be good citizens. Both Christians and authorities should know this. Nonetheless, when push comes to shove, Luke is clear that the ultimate loyalty of Christian believers is to God rather than any human authority (Acts 5: 29). Thus: On the other hand… Luke has some statements, stories, and images that explicitly resist the empire, or offer an alternative to it.

Luke 1: 4. The ἀσϕάλεια (asphaleia, security, confidence; NRSV “truth”) promised by Luke’s narrative echoes the slogan of the Pax Romana, “peace and security” (εἰρήνη καὶ ἀσϕάλεια, eirēnē kai asphaleia; cf. 1 Thess 5: 3). What Caesar promised, only the God of Jesus Christ can deliver.

Luke 1: 32. God will give Jesus the throne of David, and he shall rule.

Luke 1: 52. The advent of the Savior will bring down the mighty from their thrones, and exalt the lowly.

Luke 4: 6. In Luke, the devil gets one additional line in the temptation story. Worldly power over the nations of the civilized world (οἰκουμένη oikoumenē, used of the Roman Empire) has been given to him, and he gives this authority to whomever he will. This reflects the apocalyptic theology sketched above, in which God is pictured as temporarily granting power over the world to angelic or demonic beings. This is a miniature version of the apocalyptic scheme pictured on a grand scale in Revelation, where the Roman Empire is seen as an expression of demonic power. Here it means concretely that the present rulers of the world have received their power and authority from Satan. Jesus resists the offer to rule the world by this kind of power. He offers an alternative, and it will prevail. God will rule.

Boring, M. Eugene. An Introduction to the New Testament: History, Literature, Theology (Kindle Locations 19098-19100).

boring