Is Luther Jesus?

I think that Luther plays the role of Jesus in this novel.  I am not an expert on the Bible by any means, but I took note of some similarities. I think the chapter title mirrors the section in the Bible where Jesus walks on water. Before Luther hits Hopi, Hopi holds up his hands as if he is praying,

“Please Lutéro, please,” Hopi whispers. “Spare me. You can,” Scrambles forward, scrambles closer. Now holding up his hands. Like praying. Praying to Luther.” (page 605)

On the last page of the chapter (608) Luther walks on water.

“Luther pulls off his shirt. Let him see all this ink too, forget his face, his knuckles, his neck, look at this chest, this fuckin back, and those scars, count each round, nine bullet holes there, through this rib, under this nipple, one even through this palm. Luther even holds out his arms, holds them out wide, show off a whole different kind of cross, then steps forward and walks on water.”

I find myself wondering if Luther’s scars are actually from gun wounds. According to the Bible, Jesus was nailed to the cross. Since Luther has a scar on the palm of his hand, I think the scars could be from being crucified. Also, Teyo had once told Luther, “Remember, the higher you rise, the better they better remember you. (page 604)”  Jesus is said to have risen from the dead.

Did anyone else get the same feeling?


About icarlyrose

Hey, my name is Carly. I am a New York native, but graduated from Clemson University down in Clemson, SC with a degree in Sports Communication. I am passionate about sports, especially baseball, and also enjoy video editing, graphic design, and photography. You can follow me on twitter: @icarly_rose

6 responses to “Is Luther Jesus?”

  1. smaraslian1 says :

    I also noticed the allusions to Jesus, especially with the wounds that he shows. Unlike Jesus, however, Luther was not born with “greatness,” but rather had to prove himself worthy of the power he now holds. It was strange the way that this storyline ended, because of his slight interest in Hopi. It seemed as though Hopi reminded Luther of his younger self, and so I almost thought he would let him go. I now realize that Luther may have been trying to protect his position of power, because keeping Hopi around may lead to him being de-throned.

  2. Lauren Craig says :

    I got the feeling that Luther liked playing God, but not that he actually was.

  3. hfcaldw says :

    In a sense I think that Luther is being portrayed as goodness versus evil throughout the reading. I understand what you are saying Lauren because I picked up on this as well (Luther and prayer) and the gestures or actions that Luther did (walking on water and the wounds).

  4. hscrugg says :

    I noticed the religious mentioning through out the book, but it is much more pronounced in Luther’s sections. I think religion plays an important part in the novel, but I am still not convinced on how. Luther does act a lot like Jesus and God throughout his sections, and it could have been made for us to make that connection. However, I am not sure that Luther’s main role is to play God in the grand scheme of things. I think it will take a few more volumes of the story before we realize the similarities between God and Luther and what it all means. I joked with my friends that I will now have a 27 volume collection of books because I need these answers to the questions that were not answered in this book. But I also have a fear that we will never know all the answers which has been an apparent theme through out the book with the marked out parts of the book that are periodically placed.

    Also, I think that Luther is the best example of the struggle between good and evil within a person within this story.

  5. Trevor Byington says :

    When Luther’s sections first started getting religious, I first thought of Martin Luther (Protestant reformer). I thought it might fit at first because of the way Luther was trying to become something bigger, move away from the small gang stuff that he had been involved in before (I think I remember Tayo was La Eme, Mexican Mafia). Martin Luther was labeled an outlaw by the catholic church, and Luther is clearly an outlaw, though he also seems to be moving away from his click, and seems to worry about them turning on him too. I have a feeling that later books will move in that direction.
    But then Luther nearly quotes the devil when Hopi prays. He says “Just walk, Hopi. Right over to me. God wants you to live, you’ll walk on this water and walk right on out of here (p. 607).” This instantly reminded me of the temptation of christ on the temple, when the devil (Lucifer) tells Jesus to step off the temple and if he were really God’s son, let the angels save him. This got me looking for the associations to Jesus too, but I saw more opposites (which are still associations) than similarities. Instead of curing the afflicted, Luther spreads affliction (drugs, the balloon parade); instead of treating a prostitute (Magdalene?) like a woman, Luther treats women like prostitutes; instead of saving others, Luther harms others and saves himself; instead of seeing a last supper, we see a last breakfast; instead of being betrayed, Luther betrays.
    I think that if Luther ends up being a christ figure, it may be that he is a commentary on the corruption of religious ideals, so that even violence and greed are seen as virtues.

    • Trevor Byington says :

      Oh, yeah, and was going to make a point about the alliteration in Lucifer and Luther, which is obvious but we don’t always read the names that aren’t in the book, but I kind of lost track of all my points. Anyway, thats why Lucifer is in parenthesis in my above post.

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