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Forgiveness and God's mercy to sinners is also of first importance to Luke.

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Forgiveness and God's mercy to sinners is also of first importance to Luke. Only in Luke do we hear the story of the Prodigal Son welcomed back by the overjoyed father. Only in Luke do we hear the story of the forgiven woman disrupting the feast by washing Jesus' feet with her tears. Throughout Luke's gospel, Jesus takes the side of the sinner who wants to return to God's mercy. Luke highlights the mercy that God has shown us in Jesus Christ. Only Luke, for example, includes the parable of the Prodigal Son (15:11-32), which would be better entitled the parable of the Loving Father. God's love for us manifest in Jesus is one of Luke's central concerns. Luke indicates this by including incidents and details lacking in the other gospels. Only Luke tells us of Jesus' compassion in raising the son of the widow from Naim to life (7:11-17); only Luke notes that Jesus healed the ear of one of the men who came to arrest him (22:51). ...read more.


To borrow a well-worn phrase, Luke writes to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. This theme is announced in the very first chapter of the gospel, in Mary's Magnificat: God in his mercy has done great things for Mary, looking on her in her lowliness. "His mercy is from age to age on those who fear him. He has shown might with his arm; he has confused the proud in their inmost thoughts. He has deposed the mighty from their thrones and raised the lowly to high places. The hungry he has given every good thing, while the rich he has sent away empty" (1:48-53). God's mercy is on the lowly, the hungry, the reverent, because they are able to receive his mercy. But those who are proud and mighty cut themselves off from his mercy, because they think they have no need of it. Luke writes for the proud as well as the lowly. ...read more.


No gospel writer is more concerned than Luke with the mercy and compassion of Jesus (Luke 7:41-43; 10:29-37; 13:6-9; 15:11-32). No gospel writer is more concerned with the role of the Spirit in the life of Jesus and the Christian disciple (Luke 1:35, 41; 2:25-27; 4:1, 14, 18; 10:21; 11:13; 24:49), with the importance of prayer (Luke 3:21; 5:16; 6:12; 9:28; 11:1-13; 18:1-8), or with Jesus' concern for women (Luke 7:11-17, 36-50; 8:2-3; 10:38-42). While Jesus calls all humanity to repent (Luke 5:32; 10:13; 11:32; 13:1-5; 15:7-10; 16:30; 17:3-4; 24:47), he is particularly demanding of those who would be his disciples. Of them he demands absolute and total detachment from family and material possessions (Luke 9:57-62; 12:32-34; 14:25-35). To all who respond in faith and repentance to the word Jesus preaches, he brings salvation (Luke 2:30-32; 3:6; 7:50; 8:48, 50; 17:19; 19:9) and peace (Luke 2:14; 7:50; 8:48; 19:38, 42) and life (Luke 10:25-28; 18:26-30). ...read more.

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