Continuing from my previous post, this time I’m outlining Spong’s overview of the distinctive way the Gospel of Luke portrays Jesus.
Bishop John Shelby Spong himself is renowned for his views on inclusiveness — that the Church should not discriminate against anyone for any role because of their gender or sexuality. In the Gospel of Matthew he sees a narrative expressing God’s will that “the whole world” will eventually be united in a new Israel that will transform both Jews and gentiles. In the Gospel of Luke he sees the same theme expressed differently. Instead of Jesus being a new and greater Moses as the Lawgiver who was building a new Israel on what he saw as the spiritual heart of Jewish Law, Jesus in Luke’s Gospel is:
- a greater Moses as the Deliverer from Bondage
- the suffering servant of Second Isaiah – representing a new Israel called to servanthood, not to power
- a new and greater Elijah to portray Jesus as “the exalted and universal Christ of heaven and earth.”
I focus first on Luke’s construction of Jesus as an emulation of Elijah.