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6. Divine Visitations and Hospitality to Strangers in Luke-Acts

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Chapter Summary

Few interpreters have moved from recognition of Luke's interest in hospitality to the question of Luke's overall literary purpose and structure. Luke's portrayal of Jesus as the embodiment of God's visitation is explicit in Zechariah's hymn. Luke presents Jesus as the performer of God's visitation by portraying Jesus' actions as the actions of God. In his programmatic sermon in Nazareth, Jesus declares that "the Spirit of the Lord is upon me" and he declares that his ministry is "to proclaim the year of the Lord's welcome". Jesus' entire ministry, then, is both empowered by the Spirit of God (4:18a) and a manifestation of God. Luke uses multiple narrative tactics to present the ministry of Jesus as the acting out of God's visit. Luke portrays the nature of the hospitality Jesus desires in the story of Mary and Martha.

Keywords: God's visitation; hospitality; Jesus; Luke; Martha; Mary; Nazareth; Zechariah's hymn



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