We have travelled a long way in reading this book. We're not even sure how Luke came to be involved in writing his two famous works. It is fair to assume that the experiences he shared with us were a tremendous motivation to further explore the matters he has written and dedicated to his friend Theophilus. Luke travelled with Paul on many of his trips. We discern this from his use of the first person plural "we". He first emerged in his second book after Timothy's circumcision when the Holy Spirit kept Paul from visiting Asia. He was there when Lydia offered hospitality, and then disappears again from Paul's story until Paul's diverted trip through Macedonia on his way up to Jerusalem. Luke travelled up to Jerusalem with Paul (Acts 20-21) and then reappears again, presumably as one of Paul's friends, given leave to visit him by Felix.
There are two places where he is mentioned by Paul in his letters. He is called "beloved physician" in Colossians (4:14) and is with Paul when he wrote his second letter to Timothy (4:11). As I have read through Acts I have wondered who this story-teller might be. Could he be Timothy's Gentile father? If he was a Roman citizen like Paul, then what other name did he have? We don't know.
Luke joined Paul and Aristarchus when it was decided to set sail for Rome from Caesarea (Acts 27) and was present when the "Euroquilo" drove the ship to Malta on that final trip to Rome. Wouldn't it have helped if Luke had told us more about himself? What was he doing when Paul was busy healing people? Could Paul have been Luke's medical educator? Maybe Luke became a doctor after watching Paul at work. Or had Paul learned his medical arts from the "belovéd physician"? Both possibilities should be kept in mind as we read his account of the healing work of Jesus in his Gospel. Some suggest that Luke was the other guy walking with Cleopas on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35). I don't think this is the case, because there is no "we" in his gospel. But was he one of those fleeing persecution after the execution of Stephen? He first mentions himself in relation to Troas when Paul had his Macedonian vision.
Why does Luke seem to have left his account of "what Jesus continued to do" unfinished? He does not tell how Paul fared in Rome and that may be consistent with his lack of self-disclosure. After all, the account is not firstly about Paul, or Luke, but is a record of the initial consequences of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, what Jesus continued to do after He ascended. But should we read his account as unfinished as if he might have had more to say but didn't have any ink or paper left? I don't think so.
Luke's account to Theophilus in his two books culminates in two political confrontations - the first is in his Gospel and reveals the corruption that was on both sides of the trial that sent the innocent Jesus to the cross. The corrupt injustice of the Sanhedrin, on the one side, and that of Pilate with Herod's involvement, on the other, are clearly identified. The second political confrontation concerns the drawn out legal process that led to Paul's "last resort" appeal to Caesar. This is found in the Book of Acts from chapters 23 to the end, after Paul's retention at the governor's pleasure by Felix and Festus. In this sense Luke's account that seems to end on an "unfinished" note, can be seen to do so because he has more important fish to fry, namely to not only expose the gross corruption in the Roman administration of Israel, but to point out that this Gospel is not in any need of heroes. It is written as an open invitation to investigate these world-changing matters. That is what Luke openly states to Theophilus as his purpose from the outset.
What is therefore notable is that Luke's account does not concern itself with making a zealot's complaint about the impurity of the Jewish religious leaders, or the lack of political integrity in Caesar's government, or even the corruption that was mutually interwoven on both sides of Israel's political administration in those times. The complicity of the Jewish religious authorities in the execution of a Rabbi from Nazareth in Galilee may be an important minor theme, but it is effectively subordinated to the joyful proclamation of the Gospel which includes a political option made possible by the resurrection of the Lord's chosen ruler over all the princes of the earth! The invitation is thus to repent and believe the Good News. There is simply no doubt about it. The definitive exhibition of the Lord's patience and mercy must now lead all the rulers of the earth to give their total attention to "justice, self-control and future judgment". Paul's confrontation with Felix, Festus and Agrippa certainly invited them to investigate the events that preceded the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but Paul's assertion that he was on trial because of his belief in the resurrection is indeed an open invitation to them that they take up without delay the new "political option" that has become available for all the peoples of the earth, based upon the patience and mercy of the Lord Himself. And we should not ignore the fact that Paul's invitation to these political rulers to investigate the matters pertaining to Jesus' resurrection, include the fact that Paul himself had been complicit in the persecution of those among whom he then numbered himself. Were there Jewish believers who also had Roman citizenship amongst those he persecuted and in whose murder he was co-responsible? We do not know but what we do know is that Paul lived with the belief that he lived by the grace of God announced by the resurrection of Christ Jesus.