Tony Z

I’m seeing these stories in a different way. Before, I would have more likely dismissed the Luke story of the woman healed who had been bent over for 18 years as Luke’s attempt to impress the reader with an account of Jesus’s miracle working. But they way James explicates it, the point of the story is not to establish Jesus as an authority to look up to, or to look down on, but as a figure who unveils the logic of how the crowd scapegoats or casts out outsiders (this unveiling is going on in the Zacchaeus story, too). I suppose my previous dismissal treated Luke’s Jesus the way the synagogue leaders in Luke’s own story tried to treat him! I can see now that the story is meant to set the reader free, like Luke’s Jesus does the woman healed. I hadn’t paid so much attention to the reactivity of the crowd to Jesus before, which is an essential part of each of the stories.