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PARK Jin-Soo

Peace through the Forgiveness of Sins: Research on the Meaning of Peace in the Gospel of Luke in Light of the Isaian Fourth Servant Song

Mod.: Prof. R.P. Dean BÉCHARD

The prominence of peace (εἰρήνη) in Luke is remarkable. Unlike the other two synoptic Gospels, in Luke the word appears fourteen times from the beginning of the Gospel to the end. And Luke summarizes the ministry of Jesus with the proclamation of peace (Act 10:36). If so, for Luke, what was the basis for the prominence of peace? How does Luke unfold it in his Gospel? This research is an attempt to answer these questions.

This study argues that the Fourth Servant Song (Isa 52:13–53:12) influenced the Lucan descriptions of peace. Luke was aware of the servant song and identified the portrayal of the Servant of the Lord with Jesus. The mission of the Servant is to lead the people of Israel into real salvation by removing their sins and bring them peace (Isa 53:5). Based on this concept, Luke develops the meaning of peace in accordance with his theology.

In the Infancy Narrative, Luke presents the overall meaning of peace. The Benedictus: in the new era that is begun with the child Jesus, a new way of salvation is forgiveness of sins. By carrying out it, Jesus will guide us into peace (Lk 1:79). This is the connection point between the Fourth Servant Song and Luke. The Gloria: the multitude of the heavenly hosts not only confirms peace as a soteriological effect of Jesus’ coming but also reveals its conditional aspect (Lk 2:14). The Nunc Dimittis and the Oracle of Simeon: these oracles speak of the two different responses of people—receiving or not—to Jesus. Thus, it implies that people are divided into two regarding the peace offered by Jesus.

In the Galilean ministry, Jesus proclaims peace twice. When a woman known as a sinner showed her love, Jesus confirms forgiveness of her sins and proclaims peace (Lk 7:50). By touching Jesus’ garment, another woman was healed from abnormal bleeding that was regarded as a sinful state. Thus, Jesus’ peace greeting is understood as a proclamation of peace to the one free from a sinful state (Lk 8:48).

In the Journey to Jerusalem, Jesus focuses on the conditional aspect and different responses to his peace. Instructing his disciples, Jesus says that peace rests upon the person who deserves to receive it (Lk 10:5-6). By using the form οὐ A ἀλλά B, Jesus emphasizes division more than peace (Lk 12:51). When Jesus enters Jerusalem, the disciples praises peace only in heaven (Lk 19:38), and Jesus says that the city did not recognize the things that make for peace (Lk 19:42). Thus, it shows that Jesus’ mission to bring peace is not yet fully accomplished. However, it is not that Jesus’ peace will never be given to us. Jesus expresses the failure to recognize him in the passive, thereby opening the possibility to receive his peace. And repentance for the forgiveness of sins is reiterated. Thus, the peace greeting of the risen Jesus (Lk 24:36) is the unending invitation to peace.