Universal Salvation - textsandtraditionsunit3

‘He has deposed the mighty from their thrones and raised the
lowly to high places. The hungry he has given every good thing
and the rich he has sent empty away’ (1:52)
• Discrimination was not just a persistent force it
was a state of being
• To understand the true enormity of Luke’s
message, one must fully understand the state of
complete discrimination that Israel existed in.
Discrimination is born from prejudice and arrogance and these flaws
were a subconscious foundation of Jewish culture and mentality
The Jews had a perceived belief that they were a race better than any
other- this was mainly due to the arrogance born from being labelled the
Chosen race by God. This title led the Jews to believe they were better
than any race and this perceived superiority manifested itself in the form
of discrimination
It is important to understand the basis of the Jews ‘percieved superiority’.
 Although God had already designated himself as guardian of the Jews
through his covenant with Abraham. He did not designate the Jews as
‘His people’ until the time of Moses. At first the Jews were humble
about having Yahweh as their God, they had just witnessed Him
singlehandedly defeat an entire civilization (Egyptians) and were in
awe of his power
 After a time the age of David dawned and the Jews became the most
powerful civilization in the world
 After the fall of Israel, the time of The Exile occurred and this served to
humble the now arrogant Jews.
 At the time of Jesus it was roughly 550 years after The Exile and although the
Romans occupied Israel it was a relatively relaxed rule and by and large the
Jews were allowed to govern themselves. The people did not remember the
humbling experiences of their enslavement in Egypt and Babylon, they only
remembered the glory stories; that their God delivered them from two
powerful civilizations, loved them so much he provided them a blueprint on
how to live their lives and watched over them. This utter love and respect of
God led to three things.
1. A great affection for God
2. It led them to jealously guard God from other races
3. It gave them a ‘perceived superiority’ over those who did not share their
 And hence the discrimination began
For you are a people holy to the LORD your
God; the LORD your God has chosen you to
be a people for his own possession, out of all
the peoples that are on the face of the earth
 Male
 Practicing Jew
 Not of Samaria
 100% Healthy
If you did not tick all these boxes you were an
outcast and therefore discriminated against.
Women, Gentiles, Lepers and even
Samaritans were looked down upon
He [the Jew] should not press his fellow [Jew] for payment
...the foreigner [Gentile] you may press for
payment."Deuteronomy 15: 2-3
 You must not make your brother pay interest, interest on
money, interest on food, interest on anything on which
one may claim interest. You may make a foreigner
[Gentile] pay interest but your brother [fellow Jew] you
must not make pay interest.Deuteronomy 23: 19-20
 And strangers [Gentiles] shall stand and feed your flocks,
strangers shall be your plowmen and vinedressers; but you
shall be called the priests of the LORD, men shall speak of
you as the ministers of our God; you shall eat the wealth of
the nations, and in their riches you shall glory.Isaiah 61:5-6
Universal Salvation was “the teaching that
God, through the atonement of Jesus, will
ultimately bring reconciliation between God
and all people throughout history. This
reconciliation will occur regardless of whether
they have trusted in or rejected Jesus as saviour
during their lifetime.”
Or more simply as Luke states- All flesh shall
see the salvation of God. --Luke.3:6
Biblically Universal Salvation was the
message that God was available to all, Gentile
or Jew.
After spending the timeline of the Old
Testament creating and shaping ‘His’ people,
God shifted his gaze globally and opened his
arms to the marginalized through the
preaching of Jesus and welcomed them to
worship him openly without fear of
PSALM 145:3-17:
“Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One
generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts.
They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your
wonderful works. They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will
proclaim your great deeds. They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully
sing of your righteousness. The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger
and rich in love. The LORD is good to ALL; he has compassion on ALL he has made.
ALL you have made will praise you, O LORD; your saints will extol you. They will tell
of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that ALL men may know of
your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is an
everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD
is faithful to all his promises and loving toward ALL he has made. The LORD
upholds ALL those who fall and lifts up ALL who are bowed down. The eyes of ALL
look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of EVERY living thing. The LORD is righteous in all his ways
and loving toward ALL he has made.”
I believe this commentary sums this Psalm
up perfectly
“Wow! This passage says it ALL! God has
compassion on ALL he has made. He is loving
toward ALL He has made. He upholds ALL who
God promises to love, protect and look after
ALL: everyone, not just His chosen people
As succinctly as possible this is the message
of Universal Salvation
Luke 6:20-26 Blessings and Woes- “Blessed are you
who are poor for yours is the kingdom of God”
 “When Jesus speaks the beatitudes, he is announcing to
these people the happy news that they have been
chosen by God to share in God’s kingdom, which will
end their hunger and exclusion” (Tannehill 1996)
 The message of the beatitudes is Universal Salvation
but more than that the Beatitudes offer hope to the
marginalised. Jesus declares that everything will be
reversed in heaven: the rich will be poor and the full
will be hungry whilst the poor will be rich and hungry
shall be full.
Luke 14:15-24 Parable of the Great Dinner”None of those who were invited will taste my
This parable is as much a warning to the Jews as
it is a message of Salvation to the marginalized.
Jesus warns that those who expect to be at the
table of God are not guaranteed a place whilst
those who thought they had no chance are told
they have as much of one as their neighbour.
This parable is the promise of Salvation to all
those who have faith in God and a warning to
the Jews that the Lord is not just for them.
All these texts despite being chronologically
separated by hundreds of years, preach a
similar message: The Kingdom of God is not
just for Jews it is for everyone who places
their faith in God. But also those who do not
place their faith in God, Jew or Gentile, will
not be allowed to sit at the table of God.
Luke’s audience were Gentiles, non-Jews, until Luke the wide held belief
was that the Jewish God was only for Jews.
If Luke did not successfully convey the message of Universal Salvation as
preached by Jesus acting as the mouthpiece of God then the message of
his Gospel would be rendered mute, and his work reduced to merely a
well written piece of literature.
Conversely if the Gentiles bought into the idea of Universalism then
Jesus mission was accomplished.
Jesus was sent to Earth as a messenger of God to preach his word but
most importantly, crush the misconception that His Father was only to
be worshipped by Jews.
Luke used miracle stories and parables to convey the message of
The significance of Universal Salvation to Jesus and Luke's communities
is one and the same. Both wished to spread the word of God and make it
clear that ALL should place their faith in Yahweh and those who did not
would not be recognized by God
Biblical Quotes Regarding Israelite/Jewish
Supremacy, May 2011. Retrieved May 5 2011, from
The Great Debate:Universal Salvation or Calvinism,
June 2007. Retrieved May 5 2011, from
Old Testament Scriptures
Supporting Universal Salvation, 2009. Retrieved May 5
2011, from
Tannehill, Robert 1996, LUKE, Abingdon Press,

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