The Gospel of Luke and the Book of Amos both convey a central ethical message championing God’s justice and compassion for the exploited poor and needy. However, an overlooked nuance is a parallel ethical pattern shared by Luke and Amos concerning the rebuke of the unrighteous and how the unrighteous respond to the messenger with hatred and rejection. To explore this nuance further, I use a methodological approach to ethical issues which span both Testaments to distill underlying, and potentially unifying ethical implications of several passages in Luke and Amos (Davies, 2021; Goldingay, 2021).
Together, both Luke and Amos offer a helpful ethical paradigm to meaningfully grasp the significance of the passages in Luke describing hatred of Jesus and his disciples (Luke 6:22; 6:13; 19:14, and 21:17). I argue that this approach to biblical ethics highlights a unifying ethical principle shared by both Luke and Amos: unrighteous people, when intentionally confronted and rebuked because of their evil behavior, become angry and hateful toward the messenger and God, which becomes a focal point of their subsequent rejection and hatred of God and his messengers. In other words, being hated has become a litmus test for truth and moral integrity.
To clarify, this paper does not illustrate an intertextual literary relationship (Meek, 2014), or even “an allusive pattern” (Garrett, 2020) since there is no evidence that Luke made use of Amos specifically¬––but rather illustrates a parallel paradigm regarding rebuke and hatred in Luke and Amos. This thesis is developed by exegeting the texts of Amos 5:10-13, Amos 7:7-17 which offer, respectively, both a secular rebuke by a court judge, along with a theological rebuke by the prophet Amos. These passages will be set in tandem to similar Lukan texts where Jesus rebukes the Pharisees and chief leaders, provoking angry responses and hated, alongside Jesus’s words warning that his disciples will be hated on account of his name.