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Art Analysis: Social Justice Issues. By Rachel Omiliak. Poor and Marginalized. Luke deals with many social justice issues Categories of "poor" or marginalized people in his Gospel: Sick People Outcasts, esp. Lepers Women, esp. Widows Tax Collectors Samaritans Children, esp. Orphans.

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poor and marginalized
Poor and Marginalized
  • Luke deals with many social justice issues
  • Categories of "poor" or marginalized people in his Gospel:
    • Sick People
    • Outcasts, esp. Lepers
    • Women, esp. Widows
    • Tax Collectors
    • Samaritans
    • Children, esp. Orphans
  • Not merely sickness, but a social condition
    • Sign of Impurity
  • Lepers were considered unclean
    • Society did not accept them
    • Forced to live on outskirts of society

Luke 17:11-19

“Jesus Heals Ten Lepers”~ Caspar Luiken

  • Jesus heals all ten lepers
  • They go to show them-selves to the priests, to certify that they are "clean" again
  • Samaritan is the only one who comes back to thank Jesus
  • “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”
women in society
Women in Society
  • Inferior to men
    • Not respected by men in society overall
    • Lacked political rights
    • Lacked credibility in public
  • Luke has a great emphasis on women
    • Jesus talks to them and helps them
    • Widows are especially helpless / vulnerable

Luke 18:1-8

“The Unjust Judge and the Importunate Widow”~ Sir John Everett Millais

“Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:6-8)

tax collectors
Tax Collectors
  • Most people did not like them
    • Collected taxes on behalf of Romans
  • Seen by most Jews as traitors and thieves
    • Made fraudulent charges as much as possible
    • No way to get out of these taxes
  • Because Pharisees hated tax collectors, they thought Jesus should too
  • In next parable, we see how the humility of a tax collector gains him favor with God

Luke 18:9-14

“The Pharisee and the Publican”~ Gustave Doré

“The Pharisee stood and prayed thus… God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are… And the publican… smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner…” (Luke 18:11,13)

children in the time of jesus
Children in the Time of Jesus
  • Considered a Burden
    • Many died young, before they could give back to their family
    • While young, they cannot help provide for the rest of the group
  • Considered Unclean, acc. to Jewish laws and customs
    • Did not know right from wrong when it came to Jewish rules
  • The placement of this story is interesting
    • Luke: Last story before they enter Jerusalem
      • About forgiveness and salvation
    • Mark: Last story before Jesus enters Jerusalem is the Healing of the Blind Man Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52)
      • About faith in Jesus
  • Only Luke's Gospel has the story of Zacchaeus
    • Exemplifies proper attitude toward wealth:
    • gives half his possessions to the poor
    • results in achievement of salvation

Luke 19:1-10

“Zacchaeus” ~ Nicolas Fontaine

“When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” And he came down quickly and received him with joy.” (Luke 19:5-6)