Using The Evidence Of The St. Luke Gospel, What Made Jesus An Effective Communicator? How Was He Able To Attract And Impress Large Crowds?

2409 words - 10 pages

Topic 7: Jesus as CommunicatorUsing 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 preached this but also lived it by example.Most astonishing and radical was his concern for enemies. He preached passive resistance, extreme pacifism, and forgiveness: "if someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also...Do to others as you would have them do to you...Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful" (Luke 6:29-36). This certainly would have aroused curiosity, drawn attention and been most thought provoking.In spite of his powers, Jesus was not ego-driven, nor power/fame hungry. He remained modest, a man of humility, not taking the credit for his successors, but admitting and stressing that he was only a medium. This would have greatly enhanced his personal magnetism and reputation, making him easily accessible - a man of the people. Most appealing a quality "was his personal conviction that God was speaking and working through him in a manner unparalleled since the days of Mosses" (Wilson 109). He attributed his successful exorcism to God's powers - "But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you" (Luke 11:20). He also shared his power, making others facilitators - "When Jesus called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive...

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