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Thursday, 26 August 2004
universality rebecca harris
The theme of universality is prominent in Luke’s gospel, the idea that all will be accepted not only the exclusive community of the Jews. Jesus is presented as being open to all and with his calculated approach towards the social outcasts of the time it is clear he shows little favouritism or bias. Luke presents his gospel as a gospel for the whole world as opposed to a gospel dedicated to the Jewish citizens of Jerusalem.

There are many passages which present universality as an important part of Jesus’ teaching. From early on in the gospel this is clear through the dedication of Luke’s gospel to Theophilus (Lk 1:3), the annunciation to the shepherds and Simeon’s prayer (Lk 2:32). These events such as the birth of Jesus are quite momentous occasions and Luke has chosen to announce this to shepherds who would have been low down in the stratified society of first century Judaism yet are given the message “of good news of great joy for all people”. This instantly presents Luke’s gospel as being for a wider audience with the inclusion of the social outcasts in significant events.

The theme of universality is constantly supported and developed by Luke’s writing, by continuously building on the theme clearly established in the infancy narratives Luke does more than present this theme, he makes it a major focus of his writings. Luke traces the genealogy of Jesus to Adam as “Son of God” (Lk 3:28-38) rather than to Abraham as done by Matthew (Mt ). Jesus is demonstrated as caring for the well being of the social outcasts such as women, gentiles, the poor and disreputable, though he is not the first person to show compassion to the less fortunate. The prophets Elijah and Elisha (Lk 4: 25-30) also acknowledged the importance of all people rather than the highly dominate group of the time which mainly consists of Jews. By presenting this story Luke is also showing that Jesus is not a break in history but rather a continuation of it. This also allows insight into the rejection of Jesus closer to the end of his ministry as its common knowledge that ‘a prophet is never accepted in their own time’.

The main focus of many passages in Luke’s gospel is often outcasts, in doing this we see Jesus’ openness to differences and his complete acceptance of other cultures and emphasises his care for all of human kind. These passages include the centurion’s servant (Lk 7:1-10), the Geresian demoniac (Lk 8:26-28) and even Jesus’ presence in a Samaritan village (Lk 9:51-56). The theme of universality is also subtly displayed with Jesus having dinner with Zacchaeus (Lk 19:9-10) who is a tax collector, in this historical context tax collectors were despised and widely known for their dishonesty and lack of moral decency. We see Jesus as accepting of sins and forgiving towards all who repent and acknowledge their transgression and are willing to accept the consequences.

As we progress through the text it becomes clear that the theme of universality is constant and apparent throughout Luke’s gospel this suggests that it was a theme of great importance to not only Luke but his intended audience also. From Luke’s writing we can also conclude that Jesus offers salvation to all who followed him not only a select few, after further exploration of the text it becomes apparent that Jesus is the way to salvation. A clear indication of this was Jesus death and resurrection being for all people.

Made randomly by scary/bec at 8:39 AM NZT
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Monday, 23 August 2004
my 1st thing
Mood:  d'oh
Now Playing: ?????????
what is this?

Made randomly by scary/bec at 11:09 PM NZT
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