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THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND ETHICS: THE GOSPEL OF LUKE


Introduction

This paper will begin with a brief overview of the Luke-Acts eschatological inauguration of the kingdom of God, which includes the Holy Spirit as the fuel for disciple-making and the orchestrator of the accompanying development of biblical ethics. Bipolar role reversals prevalent in both Jesus’ teaching and Luke’s written account will provide a framework for ethical extraction in the light of contemporary kingdom advancement. The goal of this paper is to prove that Christian ethics regarding societal class distinctions were set forth in the Gospel of Luke via an elite writing and influential preaching style intent upon drawing all classes into the rhetorical role-reversals ushered in by Christ and the kingdom of God.

Analysis of the Lukan Jesus and Bipolar Reversals

In Luke 4:16-21,[1] Jesus publicly proclaims he is the fulfillment of the law and the prophets by reading Isaiah 61:1-2 in the first person (Matt 5:17; Luke 24:44):

The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon Me, because He has anointed Me [the Anointed One, the Messiah] to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed…to proclaim the…acceptable year of the Lord…(Luke 4:18-19).

With public announcement of this personalized, prophetic statement from Isaiah, Jesus Christ adopts the identity and responsibility of being the Messiah, the Anointed One of the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:22). He comes with a message of salvation, redemption, and restoration offered through himself, akin to the “kingdom of God” anointing effect (Luke 1:2, 8:1, 9:2; John 14:6). He declares the Spirit of the Lord anoints him to preach the Gospel—a baton of honor earned with high price which he passes prominently to all his disciples—early and generational—to become disciple-makers per the Great Commission, with the continuation of the Holy Spirit as “helper” and enabler of church growth (Matt 28:16-20; John 14:26, 16:7; Rom 10:14). The act of communicating the Gospel to others develops internally-driven ethical living. The preaching disciple, being immersed in the word of God, becomes a living example of the conduct appropriate to the message so preached (Phil 3:12; Gal 5:22-23; John 14:26, 15:7-8; Jas 3:1). This is not impersonal, as Robert Brawley asserts:

[The relational] emphasis anticipates ethics—not directives but a relationship with God as mediated through Luke that is the fountain for praxis. This is not to neglect action by hiding behind something that precedes ethics; rather, relationship with God bears fruit…[2]

A pneumatological view claims ethics are morally wrought from the inside of a soul, out to others, in the effort of church advancement. It’s both the instigation and product of ministerial service done in love (John 21:17; Luke 10:27). Peter Gosnell offers:

Ethics refers to how a person distinguishes right from wrong behavior…it is concerned with reasons for why a person should choose what is good and abstain from what is not. Biblical ethics is concerned with how the writings themselves advocate distinctions between right and wrong, and what motives exist for choosing right and condemning wrong. [E]thics in the Old Testament has tended to look to the past—creation, deliverance from slavery in Egypt—we will find ethics in the New Testament looking to the future, to the kingdom in the Gospels or to salvation in Paul. [3]

Holy Spirit virtue is beneficial to the soul indwelt and developed and delivered by word and deed for the benefit of many (1 Cor 11:1; 1 Thess 1:6).

In order to effectively study the kingdom of God (mentioned by Luke thirty-two times; NIV) scholars often unite Luke-Acts in analysis of the Lukan Jesus’ continuing “ethical vision” for the church age, which is to expand upon the earth until, at minimum, his second coming (Matt 28:20; Acts 2:20, 34-35; Rev 20:4-6).[4] The kingdom is alive with eternal hope and its earthbound citizens maneuver along a natural and eschatological spiritual congruency in the here and now. Luke-Acts has a universal intent which is the semblance of God’s will for all to be saved, exemplified by the inclusion of the Gentiles in the church (Acts 10). The kingdom of God was ushered into the world in the person (both fully man and fully God) of Christ (identity), through his ethical, sinless lifestyle (character) and preaching of the good news (obedience in deeds), with the conjoining, infiltrating aid of the Spirit of the Lord (Acts 10:38). Gosnell states:

In presenting the kingdom of God as both something that has come and something that will come to its fullest realized measure, Jesus is the “exemplar” for ethics on earth and how to minister the kingdom of God to others and invite them to partake in it and become disciples. An exemplar refers to a pattern or paradigm that could be applied by analogy to a variety of similar life situations. Luke advocates the pattern of disciples lowering themselves before Jesus as one who leads them to lower themselves for the benefit of others, a pattern with strong ethical import. [Luke’s] writing projects an “ethical vision” or the “kingdom of God.”[5]

The kingdom of God is Jesus’ moral vision for the world which is to continue until his return. Any ethical extraction from Luke must also consider that Acts sets forth biblical-ethical deeds and details the baptism of the Holy Spirit for the enablement of both internal moral development and external obedience as ethical evidence (Acts 2, 10).

Jesus’ ushering in of the kingdom of God, which according to Romans 14:16-18 is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, may appear visually as an hourglass shape wherein the Old Testament typologies, prophesies, and law filter down through time into the central person of Jesus.[6] Due to his person, ministry, sacrifice and resurrection, the impartation of this same Holy Spirit within and upon his followers results in the bottom of the hourglass ever-expanding in scope and scale with souls won as grains of sand innumerable to man. Richard Burridge, in Imitating Jesus, states of Luke-Acts:

…Luke retells his story of Jesus [remaining] true to our basic picture of combining Jesus’ deeds and words so that we can imitate his open acceptance of others within an inclusive community. …[W]e can sum up Luke’s particular redactional interest as “a universal concern.”[7]

The hourglass effect of the Christology of Luke-Acts results in the inception of the Holy Spirit and inauguration of the church age as the only truth-based context for ethical establishment and it is built into an ever-expansive, disciple-making frame.

The inclusion of the Gentiles amidst the movement of the Holy Spirit resulted in ethical inclusion of all through the obliteration of limiting roles and socio-cultural norms (Acts 10). Inclusivity is supported in Luke’s Gospel via bipolar dichotomies which both convict and invite all. Brawley states:

From the kindgom’s centrality, it follows that “blessed are you poor” is thematic: “yours is the kingdom of God” (6:20). When God rules, the marginalized move from disdain in the social order to blessedness. [However] division into winners and losers is a false dichotomy in Luke, as people under judgment have the possibility of entering God’s kingdom.[8]

This is the good news of the Gospel—conviction is for the improvement of every person, as is restoration (Heb 12:6; Prov 3:11-12). Gary Meadors argues that the “poor” in Luke’s account of the beatitudes coincides with Matthew’s account of the “poor in spirit” to include the pious.[9] Brawley notes inclusion of a socio-political affront evident in the historical context of Luke:

Often overlooked is that the Roman Empire as context permeates Luke. Luke 3:1-2 portrays the way the empire trickles down from the emperor through governors, client kings, and elite collaborators. Luke 22:25-26 explicitly presents God’s kingdom as an alternative to the empire. Jesus says to his disciples, “The kings of the nations lord it over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you.”[10]

Beyond categorical class, Lukan ethics are religious of nature, testing the quality and loyalty of one’s soul. Meadors continues:

The unique theme which is present in Luke’s…beatitude pericope is the theme of reversal. This theme is present elsewhere in Luke in the Magnificat (1:46-56), the parable of Lazarus and Dives (16:19-31), and in the ‘first shall be last’ logion (13:30; 9:48; 14:11; 18:14). The reversal is often stated in an antithetic formulation, such as rich/poor or wicked/righteous. [This motif] in Scripture has a particularly moral tone. The reversal comes by the action of God… The language is also contrastive. It utilizes poetic extremes: hunger and full, weep and laugh, hate and admire, and poor and rich. …The language in reversal genre is categorically symbolic. …The close of the sermon in Luke 6:46-49 illustrates this principle well from a different perspective. The houses and their fate are symbolic of one’s response to truth. …The teaching intent of Luke 6:20-26 centers in the theme of identification with God’s messenger and program. Conversely, to refuse to identify with God’s program and pursue worldly ambition has disastrous consequences.[11]

The only ones who are denied acceptance into the kingdom choose to first deny the offer of salvation through Christ. John York asserts both explicit (i.e., Magnificat, beatitudes and woes) and implicit (i.e., honor/shame) bipolar reversals in Luke:

For the Lukan audience the theme of bi-polar reversal constantly reminds them that human action is to mirror the value system of God. …[E]schatological reversal…demands judgment on the present [and impacts] the hearer [shaking] the foundations of one’s existence. …[This] parenetic impact [causes] a person to re-evaluate one’s lifestyle.[12]

Just as the kingdom of God is a reversal to the ways of the fallen world, Luke’s lingual illustrations, such as in the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, support the inversion of human perception when considering the mind of God (Luke 1:46-55; 6:20-26; 13:3,5; 16:19-31).

The choice of Christological portrayals by Luke presents the kingdom of God as all-encompassing and yet dichotomistic in a “now, not yet” experiential vein which echoes the Lord’s Prayer, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.., with the realization the earth is yet fallen (Matt 6:9-13, KJ21).[13] Jesus ushered in the church age as the kingdom of God inherent among believing souls, yet this kingdom is only to be fully realized after the second coming of Christ. The “now, not yet” promise-based nature of the kingdom is portrayed through Lukan literary reversals, aphorisms, and rhetoric which illustrate the state of a saved soul—graced, in yet a potentially hostile and unpredictable environment. York notes Lukan “chiastic antithetic aphorisms” (exalted/humbled; losing/saving; and last/first) which, when supernaturally inverted, are socio-cultural concepts turned within listeners like tables in the temple (Matt 21:12-13):

Repetition of the [bi-polar reversal] form expands the characterization of the oppositions and intensifies…a value system that is integral to the person and message of Jesus. …God humbles those who exalt themselves and exalts those who humble themselves; he makes last those who are first and makes first those who are last; he saves those who lose themselves for Jesus’ sake…[14]

Keith Reich explains that through the use of rhetorical questions and figures of speech, the:

Lukan Jesus communicates the bankruptcy of current social, religious, political and economic systems…He attacks the agrarian social stratification system, the patron-client system, and the honor-shame system through rhetorically powerful figures of speech. The cosmic role reversal in which the rule of Satan was replaced with the inbreaking kingdom of God enabled the Lukan Jesus to proclaim role reversals in the material realm. Luke, knowing that his role-reversing message was in direct opposition to prevailing social, religious, political and economic systems of the Roman Empire, chose to convey that message in a manner that was as artful and rhetorically powerful as his rhetorical ability allowed. He uses the figure apostrophe in the blessings and woes by turning from a general third person audience, i.e., blessed are the poor…to a personal second person address, i.e., for yours is the kingdom of God. This figure personalizes the blessings and the woes…and makes the message emotionally powerful…[15]

Elite preaching and “impressive” writing combine in the Lukan Jesus and produce a “narrative audience…amazed at Jesus’ speech” and this Holy-Spirit cooperation between preacher and author highlights the “battle between good and evil” as the kingdom of God is ushered in to defeat the kingdom of darkness—this is done through souls immersed in the Gospel.[16] Reich concludes:

…Jesus is indicting the entire Greco-Roman agrarian stratification system. He is turning the world upside down. It is not the haves of the Greco-Roman society who have a place in the kingdom of God, but rather the poor, the hungry, the mournful.[17]

Jesus preached to elevate the marginalized of society and check the oppressors and the morally apathetic. Richard Hays offers:

Jesus is not only friend of sinners but also prophetic nemesis of the wicked. According to the gospels, Jesus is not only an inspiring…he is also Lord who demands obedience and who will at his coming sit in judgement of those who have not cared for the poor…[18]

Jesus’ moral law was the truth, the reversal of all satanic holds, and expansion of the church. Jesus’ preaching went against the grain of the minds of men in order to free them from all that is false (Luke 4:18; John 8:44, 10:10).

Ethical Viewpoints

In agreement with this author, Gosnell deduces a pneumatological Lukan ethic as a literary precursor to Acts, exemplified in a natural “on earth” pattern:

The Holy Spirit is…referred to in Luke more than in any other Gospel. That Spirit both guides and empowers Jesus. That [positive God] focus…teams up with numerous reversals of expectation and inversions of social outcomes that abound… Certainly something more than mere geographic movement from Galilee to Jerusalem is going on. In fact, the movement eventually to Jerusalem, coupled with statements about its significance (Lk 13:31-35), point to that city as the place of his ultimate destiny...[19]

Luke’s Gospel mentions Jesus as teacher “at least twenty-eight times.”[20] While Jesus traveled, he taught in the Spirit. He was physically and spiritually headed to the Holy City, as if to establish a philosophical pattern for disciples moving through a lifetime on earth in anticipation of heaven. Gosnell considers the central subject matter of Christ’s teaching to be the kingdom of God—the “restoration program” or “divine intervention program connected with God’s reign over the world.”[21]

The kingdom of God is a reversal of worldly and wicked ways which require a new “top-down” or eschatological perspective as evidenced in the Lukan reversal narrative language, such as Christ’s identity as Servant/King. Gosnell calls Christ “the humble one to be exalted:”

Luke introduces Jesus as the great one, who is to advance God’s plan to remake the world... Yet Luke principally portrays Jesus as the humble one [making] a point of showing the renowned Jesus in quite unglamorous settings. Through forecast initially as a great king, Jesus is born in lowly circumstances. …The great one does not appear great at all…he ministers throughout Galilee to all sorts of socially questionable people…[I]n Jerusalem he is thoroughly humiliated by being crucified…[t]hen, in a stunning reversal three days later, he is shown having been raised bodily from the dead. [22]

God chose unwed Mary and silenced a priest (Luke 1:1-4:13).[23] Jesus did not “appear to meet [human] expectations” as exemplified with Lukan language “full of contrasts between high and low status people.”[24] The Lord chose fishermen, not scribes, Pharisees or priests; wicked sinners with “humiliating expressions of devotion” were accepted while religious leaders were rejected; and those in God’s will were considered family over blood (Luke 5:10; 8:1-3, 17-18, 21).[25]

The shock of God’s difference of opinion regarding role restrictions reveals inner states of morality in error. Gosnell highlights:

[In Luke 10:41-42] Mary is sitting at Jesus’ feet, the position assumed in that culture by male learners. Martha is involved in the meal preparation, the traditional female role. In another typical inversion of social roles, Mary is commended over her sister Martha. The cultural sense of propriety for Luke’s world is being challenged yet again.[26]

Kingdom preferences “obliterate…the human tendency to judge others” and make the heart transparent in order to “reshape expectations” and church destiny.[27] He continues:

When people denigrate Jesus by accusing him of being empowered by the prince of demons (Lk 11:14-26), he confronts his accusers, declaring their eventual doom (Lk 11:29-32). Jesus then challenges all people who fail to see properly who he is, and thus what God is doing and wanting in the world; when people see improperly, they reveal their own inner moral and spiritual darkness (Lk 11:33-36).[28]

Jesus’ sharp verbal teaching includes a “prophetic dimension” which, according to Gosnell, entails being held to “high standards [if] connected covenantally to God.”[29] Lukan morals involve perspectives on the excellent treatment of others, regardless of socio-cultural norms, as Jesus established a “reputation as the one who restores the world by first reversing the rejection of the marginalized.”[30] Ethics come about through discipleship which requires repentance, or “turning away from the evil in one’s life and turning toward God and the good that he wants.”[31] According to Gosnell, “ethic of relationship…is costly” and involves “self-denial” in order to make “Jesus Lord of one’s life.” [32] The kingdom of God is about “restoration of order [and] the dramatic reversal of the harm so present in the world.”[33] The foundation of ethics in Luke seems permeated with a reversal of societal considerations and defining or limiting constrictions established by cultural norms. God desires absolutely no idolatry as one must be unbound to serve the kingdom (Exod 20:3-6).

Luke’s Gospel is a countercultural account of God’s kingdom coming to interrupt and shift man’s earth (1 Kgs 19:12; Matt 28:2). Gosnell states, “Ethics in Luke begins with people knowing that they are beneath God. [They] show that by lowering themselves before Jesus. …This is an ethic of relationship.”[34] Relationship reveals “moral shortcomings” and leads to repentance when love is perfect (1 John 4:18). Jesus is the pattern, or “exemplar” for valuing others over self and for living a life dedicated to kingdom advancement.[35] This willingness to value human life and God’s plan for it above one’s selfish desires leads to ethical conduct. Gosnell concludes:

Some ethicists recognize that many immoral behaviors stem from people diminishing the personhood of others. …People in relationship with God through Jesus must aim to uphold all human life because that’s what God has done in establishing his kingdom through Jesus. This is a microethical responsibility, governing people-to-people contact. …People who, in all their interactions with others, aim to treat them better than themselves advance good in their world. They reflect the kingdom they belong to. The ethical vision from Jesus that this Gospel projects champions the reversal of people’s tendencies to debilitate their world. Jesus has established the pattern in his life…crucifixion…resurrection and ascension.[36]

Ben Witherington evaluates the “dominion of God” ethics as a narrow gate for all (Luke 13:24):

[Jesus’] is a radical ethic.., things change when the eschatological saving reign of God finally breaks into human history. The verities…assumed to be true about marriage, family, children, land, wealth and the good life in general are challenged in a variety of ways… Discipleship makes considerable demands on all of these aspects of normal life; indeed, it urges serious sacrifices in order to pursue the path into the dominion of God. The gate into the dominion is not narrow just for a rich person; it is narrow for any disciple for a variety of reasons, yet God can make entrance possible, even for a formerly rich person.[37]

Jesus ushers in the kingdom of God where eschatological considerations anchor ethical and moral decisions as far more eternally valuable than any temporary cultural conformity or societal norm, even those within familial relationships (Matt 19:29; Luke 14:26).

Contemporary Ethical Application

The kingdom of God is counter-intuitive to the un-renewed soul and requires an adamant perceptual shift to realize along with a complete change of heart to respect and obey the ethical considerations it presents. Hays asserts that the Gospels “contain stories that present Jesus as a moral teacher…[and] stories form our values and moral sensibilities in more indirect and complex ways, teaching us how to see the world [offering] us nuanced models of behavior…”[38] He equates the church of Christ as “an embodied metaphor” for the transforming power of God “to which the text bears witness.”[39] The Lukan Jesus preaches shocking role-reversals which convict and inspire inner virtue and relational conduct. This preaching method is ethically valuable and culturally viable both inside and outside the contemporary church. Witherington attests:

New Testament ethics has suffered both abuse and neglect, and it is theological…Reformed theology is all about God’s sovereignty and grace.., there is an almost allergic reaction to the notion that the ethics of the New Testament have something to do with…salvation, because of course ethics is almost exclusively about human behavior… [But] how exactly can one “know” a truth in the biblical sense without living into and out of that truth? Belief and behavior are not meant to be separated…[40]

Salvation indicates wholeness (sozo); with the person now being the temple of God, not one stone of the human life will remain unturned (Luke 9:24; 1 Cor 3:16; Matt 24:2; Heb 12:27).

Beneath the umbrella story arching the Gospels, the Holy Spirit power and anointing is made available for each individual member of the church of Christ. An individual “role reversal” occurs via divine intervention in a personal context along the same hourglass, expansive pattern which was set forth universally in the previous section.[41] Collective biblical ethics is based on individual soul-by-soul salvations of Jesus Christ, which come through authentic, anointed preaching (Luke 4; Rom 10:14; Matt 28:16-20). Each member of the church takes up the ethical baton when they pick up the Bible to study it. The motive is love, and an eternal kingdom mindset, wherein fruit will glorify God (Luke 19:38, 21:27). Frank Matera offers:

[T]he kingdom of God is the horizon against which Jesus makes his ethical demands. With the in-breaking of God’s kingdom, a new age of salvation has begun in which God is effecting a reversal of fortunes. …The period up until John the Baptist was that of the law and the prophets, but from that time on…the kingdom of God is being preached… The pressing need to preach the kingdom leads Jesus to make extraordinary demands upon disciples and would-be disciples (9:60, 62). …Jesus [is] a model for ethical conduct” in doing God’s will, continually praying, associating with the marginalized even if it creates conflict, and preaching.[42]

The Gospel is ethical instruction, and motivates the same, in and of itself.

Jesus practices what he preaches… Jesus’ behavior teaches disciples to seek God’s will, to pray constantly, to listen to Moses and the prophets, to form a community that excludes no one, and to overcome evil by doing good...[43]

The anticipatory inheritance of the full kingdom of God produces the spirit to keep the law. The more one preaches the Gospel, the more one should emulate its ethics, morals and socio-eternal perceptions.

The contemporary exodus involves the estimated forty million persons in slavery today; one in four are children.[44] Those who would follow Christ’s example personally adopt Isaiah 61:1-2, accepting the Holy Spirit anointing to preach the good news to the poor, oppressed and afflicted (Luke 4:18-19). It is God’s people, his new Israel, whom the Son sets free and anoints to preach (Matt 28:16-20). The amount of societal, perceptual, behavioral and spiritual material these future saints will need to press through to victory will take exemplary amounts of faith. The Gospel is for today, for the contemporary church, to win this fight of faith to assist those in modern exodus. The Gospel message is inclusive. The only ones excluded choose to first deny Christ. Treatment of others, regardless of socio-cultural norms, reveal the Lukan ethics required for the serious undertaking of disciple-making for the kingdom of God. The church of Christ is the contemporary world’s ethical model to continue the art of Lukan role reversal in order to realize each and every anointed ministerial saint.

Conclusion

The kingdom of God induces multi-level inversion. It presents an all-encompassing holy economy which turns the tables of man’s contrary-to-God ways. The kingdom is God’s will done on the earth (Matt 6:9-13). Anti-kingdom prejudice marginalizes Christian saints. This is the opposite of the unity and effectiveness Jesus prayed for his church (John 17:21-23). The contemporary church must follow the Lukan Jesus as the primary ethical example, administering inclusive love amidst incorrect socio-cultural norms, such as gender, race or class discriminations. The diametrically opposed classes are reversed by the “Servant/King” Jesus, turning external appearances and status around in consideration of conviction and blessing. The church of Christ has the Bible as its only box, wherein all are set free proving Christ as the fulfillment of Isaiah 61:1-2 (John 8:36; Luke 4:18-19). The intent of ethics and values within the church is to draw all classes into the upheaval of role-reversal in order to effectively be free to participate in the kingdom of God via the Holy Spirit. The fully inspired Christian church of today would employ Lukan ethics and aspire for unity void of gender, class or race restrictions.

Bibliography

Brawley, Robert L. “Luke.” In Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics. Edited by J. B. Green, J. E. Lapsley, R. Miles and A. Verhey. Ada, MI: Baker, 2011.

Burridge, Richard A. Imitating Jesus: An Inclusive Approach to New Testament Ethics. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2007.

Gosnell, Peter W. The Ethical Vision of the Bible: Learning Good from Knowing God. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2014.

Hays, Richard B. The Moral Vision of the New Testament: A Contemporary Introduction to New Testament Ethics. San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1996.

________. “Response to Richard Burridge, Imitating Jesus.” Scottish Journal of Theology 63, no. 3 (August 2010): 331-35. Accessed July 12, 2018. http://www.liberty.edu.

Matera, Frank J. New Testament Ethics: The Legacies of Jesus and Paul. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 1996.

Meadors, Gary T. “The ‘Poor’ in the Beatitudes of Matthew and Luke.” Grace Theological Journal 6, no. 2 (Fall 1985): 305-314. Accessed August 7, 2018. http://www.liberty.edu.

Reich, Keith A. Figuring Jesus: The Power of Rhetorical Figures of Speech in the Gospel of Luke. Leiden, Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill, 2011.

Tutton, Mark. “40 Million Slaves in the World, Finds New Report.” Cnn.com. Accessed August 10, 2018. https://www.cnn.com/2017/09/19/world/global-slavery-estimates-ilo/.

York, John O. The Last Shall Be First: The Rhetoric of Reversal in Luke. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015.

Witherington, Ben. New Testament Theology and Ethics. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity, 2016.

________________

[1] Unless otherwise noted, all biblical passages referenced are in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (La Habra, CA: The Zondervan Corporation and the Lockman Foundation, 1987). Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified Bible (AMPC), Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.Lockman.org.

[2] Robert L. Brawley, “Luke,” in Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics, edited by J. B. Green, J. E. Lapsley, R. Miles and A. Verhey (Ada, MI: Baker, 2011).

[3] Peter W. Gosnell, The Ethical Vision of the Bible: Learning Good from Knowing God (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2014), 168-9.

[4] Richard B. Hays, The Moral Vision of the New Testament: A Contemporary Introduction to New Testament Ethics (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1996), 114.

[5] Gosnell, The Ethical Vision of the Bible, 190-195.

[6] See Diagram One. (Note: Not available in this blog post.)

[7] Burridge, Imitating Jesus: An Inclusive Approach to New Testament Ethics (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2007), 227.

[8] Brawley, “Luke,” in Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics.

[9] Gary T. Meadors, “The ‘Poor’ in the Beatitudes of Matthew and Luke,” Grace Theological Journal 6, no. 2 (Fall 1985): 305-314, accessed August 7, 2018, http://www.liberty.edu.

[10] Brawley, “Luke,” in Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics.

[11] Meadors, “The ‘Poor’ in the Beatitudes of Matthew and Luke.”

[12] John O. York, The Last Shall Be First: The Rhetoric of Reversal in Luke (New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015), 29-34, 162.

[13] York, The Last Shall Be First: The Rhetoric of Reversal in Luke, 29-34, 162.

[14] Ibid., 75-92.

[15] Keith A. Reich, Figuring Jesus: The Power of Rhetorical Figures of Speech in the Gospel of Luke (Leiden, Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill, 2011), 138-144.

[16] Reich, Figuring Jesus, 138-144.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Richard B. Hays, “Response to Richard Burridge, Imitating Jesus,” Scottish Journal of Theology 63, no. 3 (August 2010): 331-35, accessed July 12, 2018, http://www.liberty.edu.

[19] Gosnell, The Ethical Vision of the Bible, 174.

[20] Ibid., 171.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Ibid., 173-4, 187.

[23] Ibid., 175-6.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Gosnell, The Ethical Vision of the Bible, 179-80.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Ibid., 188.

[28] Ibid, 179-80.

[29] Ibid., 189.

[30] Ibid., 197.

[31] Ibid., 195.

[32] Gosnell, The Ethical Vision of the Bible, 196.

[33] Ibid., 198.

[34] Ibid., 230.

[35] Ibid.

[36] Ibid., 203-4, 230.

[37] Ben Witherington, New Testament Theology and Ethics (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity, 2016), 465.

[38] Hays, The Moral Vision of the New Testament, 73.

[39] Ibid., 304.

[40] Witherington, New Testament Theology and Ethics, 422.

[41] See Diagram Two. (Note: Not available in this blog post.)

[42] Frank J. Matera, New Testament Ethics: The Legacies of Jesus and Paul (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 1996), 66, 89.

[43] Ibid., 89, 87.

[44] Mark Tutton, “40 Million Slaves in the World, Finds New Report,” Cnn.com, accessed August 10, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2017/09/19/world/global-slavery-estimates-ilo/.



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