In the Gospel of Luke, the aged Simeon foresees the future opposition which Jesus will face (2.34-35) and concludes his ominous oracle with a vivid description of the final outcome of Jesus' ministry: '...so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed' (2.35). Bullard presents an investigation of the narrative and Christological significance of this 'revelation of thoughts' in the ministry of Jesus, especially as this revelation is demonstrated and fulfilled in Jesus' ability to know the thoughts in the hearts of those whom he encounters throughout the Gospel.
Bullard first explores a number of potential literary parallels to Jesus' knowledge of thoughts in Greco-Roman and Jewish sources. He then undertakes a narrative- and redaction-critical study which spans the Gospel in order to provide a full description of the 'revelation of thoughts' in Jesus' ministry. What Jesus knows and how he knows it are fundamental features of his identity, governing how he relates to others in the narrative. Yet the issue of whether, or how, Jesus' knowledge of thoughts fits into Luke's overall Christological portrait has been given only superficial attention. Bullard offers an account of the Christological significance of Jesus' knowledge that makes sense of both its internal narrative development and external literary parallels.