Moved from His Inward Parts: Jesus’s Human and Divine Compassion in the Gospel of Luke
Keywords: Luke, Compassion, splagchnizomai, bowels, Benedictus, Nain, Good Samaritan, Prodigal Son
AbstractIn the Raising of the Widow’s Son at Nain (Lk 7:11-17), the Evangelist describes Jesus as moved by compassion when he sees a widow mourning the loss of her only son. This is an unusual description of Jesus’s emotions in Luke’s Gospel. Of the twenty-one signs and miracles in Luke’s Gospel, it is the only instance when we are told Jesus’s feelings. This article proposes that the Evangelist intended Jesus’s emotion at Nain to signal an important prophetic fulfillment as well as to introduce an important literary motif for Luke’s theology of love. A story that is rarely included in the Church’s Sunday readings, the miracle at Nain was written to unite three prominent liturgical readings from Luke’s Gospel: the Benedictus, the Good Samaritan, and the Prodigal Son. If its meaning and context are recovered, Jesus’s compassion at Nain will amplify our understanding of these prominent passages and enable a more effective evangelization from Luke’s Gospel.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and publication in this journal, and any modifications made.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its publication in this journal.