Topic 7: Jesus as Communicator
Using the evidence of the St. Luke Gospel, what made Jesus an effective communicator? How was he able to attract and impress large crowds?
Jesus was (and still is) a contradictory and paradoxical figure. Some saw him as a prophet, a liberator, a king; others saw him as a charlatan, a blasphemer. He was a preacher, teacher and guide. However, no matter what role people cast him in, Jesus was a magnetic personality, an effective communicator, who was able to attract and impress large crowds and appeal to all social levels.
He was an advocate of egalitarian society, including all people, classes and genders in his teachings, Gentiles as well as Jews. He showed great concern for the poor, giving them hope - "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God" (Luke 6:20). He showed concern for all sinners, much to the disgust of the Pharisees and teachers of the law - "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them" (Luke 15:2).
He showed special concern for the role of women. This is seen when Jesus was anointed by a sinful woman who "stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them" (Luke 7:38). When Jesus forgave her for her sins, he shocked the Pharisees with his radical, unconventional behaviour - socialising with undesirables, sinners and prostitutes, thereby exposing himself to social contamination. In that patriarchal society women were second-class citizens (prostitutes were third-class citizens): "...in Jesus' day almost any association with a woman, outside one's family was frowned upon" (Wilson 94). Jesus was an advocate of egalitarian society, that all men and women were equal. He not only...