Luke's Gospel Food Analysis

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In many ways, the ministry of Jesus Christ can be understood through his interactions with other people. In particular, Jesus’ interactions with others while sharing a meal often reveal the heart of his ministry. The simple act of eating with another is mentioned in all four of the Gospels, especially in the gospels of Luke and John. Luke and John’s Gospels use stories of Jesus eating with others to highlight the most important aspect of his ministry, sacrificial and radical love for the other.
Of the four Gospels, Luke’s contains the most accounts of food. Mark Allen Powell comments on the “food motif” in this Gospel, saying that there are nineteen different meals in this Gospel. Being the third of the synoptic Gospels, many of his stories
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These stories are often some of the most controversial in Luke’s Gospel as Jesus often defies social norms about dining. He is often criticized for choosing to eat with those considered “unworthy” by the religious leaders, such as tax collectors. Early in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus accepts the invitation to eat with Levi, a tax collector. It would be shocking of Jesus to choose to eat with a tax collector because they were associated with the Roman Empire and therefore hated by many of the Jewish people. Luke writes that the Pharisees and scribes were the most offended, saying that “the Pharisees and their scribes were complaining to his disciples, asking, ‘Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?’” Jesus responds to their criticism by saying “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance.” Jesus’ decision to eat with tax collectors and sinners at the beginning of his ministry reveals the understanding that his ministry was intended for all people. This theme is also highlighted by the fact that Levi, the man who invites Jesus into his home, is also called to be one of the twelve Apostles. Although the…show more content…
Of the three synoptic Gospels, the longest account of the Last Supper is found in Luke’s Gospel. In this story, Jesus celebrates Passover with the twelve, knowing that he will soon suffer and die. Luke’s account of the Last Supper focuses on the physical meal shared between Jesus and his Apostles. In this moment, Jesus breaks a loaf of bread and shares a cup of wine with the Twelve, asking them to do so in remembrance of him. Although the Apostles do not understand the importance of Jesus’ words in that moment, it is their memory of that moment that gives them the wisdom and grace to continue their ministry after Jesus’ death. O’Collins argues that in order to understand another, Jesus for example, it “demands our participation in and relationship to another personal mystery.” Luke’s account of Jesus’ last moments allows for the Twelve to do this. The act of participating in a final meal with Jesus allows for the Twelve Apostles to share a final moment with Jesus that survives his death and allows for them to continue his ministry with

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