Luke: Lifting up the Lowly
Luke: Lifting up the Lowly
Luke’s Gospel explores how the disciple should practise simplicity, and also have a place for the outcast and lowly.
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Bible Passages

Luke 1:51–53

He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.

Luke 2:8–11

And there were shepherds living out in the fields near by, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”

Luke 15:1–2

Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering round to hear Jesus.
But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners, and eats with them.”

Luke 12:32–34

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you
the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for
yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail,
where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Luke 14:33

“In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.”

Luke 22:24–27

A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be
greatest. Jesus said to them, ”The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and
those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But
you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.”


Luke’s Gospel places emphasis both on the non-negotiable essential discipline for a disciple of practising simplicity and humility, and also on the special place the poor and lowly and outcast have in the heart of God.

At the time and place of Christ’s birth, shepherds were looked down upon
– they were on the very bottom rung of the social ladder – yet it was to them the angel came.

The Song of Mary, which Luke sets out for us, rejoices in God’s option for
the poor, remembering and lifting up the lowly. Luke shows Jesus born in a stable because there was no room at the inn, the child of a couple who could afford only the poor man’s sacrifice (Luke 2:24).

Teaching about money is prominent in Luke’s Gospel, for example the parables of the Rich Fool (12:13–21) and Dives and Lazarus (16:19–26) – and Jesus warns that no one can serve God and money (16:10–13).



O God of love, your heart burns with compassion for the poorest, the loneliest, and the lost. Your eye sees even the sparrow that falls. You feel the sorrow and despair of the poor, and your choice on earth was to share that with them. Help us, we pray. Forgive us where we are complacent, indifferent, and selfish. Find us where we ourselves are poor or lonely and forgotten. Strengthen us to serve, to share, and to love, and so bring us to the place where heaven’s treasure is to be found in our midst here on earth. For we ask it in Jesus’ holy name; Amen.