Opening Our Eyes to Human Suffering

by demons. This is noteworthy because these people were believed to be like as a judgment of God. Jesus associates or speaks about the poor twice as much in this gospel as in all other gospels combined Jesus speaks to the poor, blesses the poor, associates with the poor, teaches parables that mandate concern for the poor and views riches and wealth in deeply problematic ways. There are twenty ‐ five references and incidents of Jesus being involved with women (compared to seven references in Mark). Luke’s Jesus includes women in his ministry. He also ministers to women. In chapter 15, the second story dealing with lostness, Jesus uses a woman looking for a coin to signify the role of God, a very radical thing to do. The “up and out” or the rich need Jesus, too. Society tries to convince them of their sufficiency, Luke tells a different story. People like the Pharisees and tax collectors are portrayed as lost and bound by material ‐ ism. The story of Zacchaeus is a compelling example of this theme. He was very rich but very short, a man with an inferior physical condition. It is possible that he overcompensated by becoming very wealthy and when we meet him, we find that he was a short and greedy man. Jesus loves him, too and goes to his house. What transpires in this rich man’s home is one of the most radical accounts of transformation recorded in Scripture. But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now, I give half of my possessions to the oppressed , and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (19:8 ‐ 9) Luke also tells a story about humanity that gives meaning to why people suffer in an unjust manner. People, particularly people with wealth and social privilege, are in bondage to the world. Because of this fact, Jesus comes to liberate them from the tyranny of things.

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