Historian and theologian Justo González presents the beloved Gospel of Luke, who heralds Jesus’ birth as “good news of great joy for all the people” (Luke 2:10). González guides us and challenges us to ask, “What is the meaning of this text for us today?” The result is an engaging and important theological discussion of Luke’s Gospel and its relation to the life and proclamation of the church and its members.
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“If that is the question, Jesus’ final injunction to the lawyer, ‘Go and do likewise,’ does not simply mean, go and act in love to your neighbor, but rather, go and become a neighbor to those in need, no matter how alien they may be. It is not just a matter of loving and serving those who are near us (which is what ‘neighbor’ means) but also of drawing near to those who for whatever reason—racial, ethnic, theological, political—may seem to be alien to us.” (Pages 139–140)
“What does the parable mean, in this context? It clearly means that those of us who survive, those Galileans who were not killed by Herod, or those Jews on whom the tower did not fall, or those of us who have not died from famine, or those who were not in the Twin Towers on September 11, are living only by the grace of God, and that our continued life is for the purpose that we bear fruit.” (Page 172)
“People are not angry because he claims to be the fulfillment of the prophecy. On the contrary, they are quite thrilled about it. It is when he tells them that they should expect no special favors—not even what he has done in places such as Capernaum—that they turn to him and seek to kill him.” (Page 66)
“Thus the parable has much to say about recognizing the action of God in those whose theology we may find faulty—in itself a very valuable lesson in these times of theological and political polarization.” (Page 139)
“The full message of Easter is both of joy and of challenge. It is the announcement of unequaled and final victory, and the call to radical, dangerous, and even painful discipleship.” (Page 276)
Dr. Justo L. González was born and raised in Cuba where he did his first university and seminary studies. In 1961 he became the youngest person to be awarded a Ph. D. in historical theology at Yale University. He is an ordained Minister of Word and Sacraments by the Methodist Church. For thirty years he taught in a variety of theological institutions. He has given hundreds of lectures in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Justo has written over one hundred books, although he is better known for his two-volume The Story of Christianity and his three-volume A history of Christian Thought, which have been translated into eight languages. Besides his passion for connecting theology with the life of the church through publications, his most cherished and valued activity is the mentoring and encouraging of Hispanics and other minority scholars. Today, as a retired professor, he devotes his time to research and writing and to promoting Latino theological education.