Only Luke records Jesus saying, ‘When you give a dinner invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind.’
Luke was a well-educated person and the most skillful writer of the four evangelists.
His is the longest Gospel – about 23,000 words in the english translation. He added a second volume – the Acts of the Apostles. These two works make up over one-fourth of the entire New Testament.
Each of the Gospels has its own style, its own emphasis. Luke’s Gospel is sometimes called the “Gospel of Compassion” for he repeatedly underscores the kindness of Jesus towards the sick, the poor, the people who feel left out. His is the only Gospel to include the parables of the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son.
All of this carries over into the Passion. Jesus, even while being arrested, heals the ear of a member of the arresting party. On the cross he promises paradise to an outcast – a criminal crucified with him. And the Jesus who forgave throughout his ministry goes to his death forgiving his executioners.
Most of all, Luke teaches that to know this man Jesus is to love him. In Luke, the crowds at the cross don’t mock him. He says, “They stood by and watched,” and then went home “beating their breasts.”