More than even the other two synoptic gospels, Luke makes it a theme that Yeshua befriended sinners and the lowly, the am ha’aretz, the poor people of the land. Some have overblown this theme, even suggesting that Yeshua did away with the expectation of covenant obedience and simply offered the kingdom to sinners. Not so, as tracing this theme in Luke shows. Yeshua did offer forgiveness and relationship first, showing the God’s love is prior to repentance, but he expected repentance as a follow up to that offer.
God’s offer of trust and forgiveness was not something Yeshua allowed to be abused. He spoke of the advantages of teaching about God to sinners and downtrodden people: they knew they were forgiven and given much. But religious people feel entitled and rich people fail to appreciate the riches of rightness with God.
This theme in Luke is the subject of one of the charts in my upcoming companion book to Yeshua in Context, which will be The Yeshua in Context Sourcebook, a series of lists and group discussion questions for individual and group study of the life of Yeshua the Messiah.
Yeshua in Context is due to be released in August. The Sourcebook will be available in September. An audio book produced by First Fruits of Zion will be available in November. And an ebook version of Yeshua in Context should be available for Kindle, iPad, and other readers by September. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to pre-order Yeshua in Context. Also, contact me to come and speak to your group, church, or class.
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