Lessons from Luke
Yesterday, our speaker in church chose a text from the book of Luke. Luke is one of the first four books of the New Testament known as the Synoptic Gospels or simply, the Gospels. They are historical narratives that focus on the deeds and sayings of Jesus Christ while on earth.
The thing that struck me during the message was the number of times that the subject of money came up during Christ’s earthly ministry and especially how often Luke includes monetary descriptions in his writing. I spent a large part of my evening reading through portions of the book and noting the occurrence of words like “rich”, “wealth” and “poor”. Luke often recounts exact amounts of money such as in the story of the widow’s mite or the value of the perfume used to anoint the feet of Christ.
Luke talks about tax collectors and creditors and the prodigal son who squandered a portion of his inheritance. In Luke we read about the Zaccheus, the dishonest tax collector. Wealth is presented as an enemy of faith, a blessing, but not something to be desired. According to Luke, many of the disciples “left all” to become followers of Christ. Luke exhorts his readers to “lay up treasure in heaven” and he recounts the story of the rich man who built bigger barns in order to live easy for the rest of his life . . . only to have his soul “required” by God during the night.
Luke was wealthy himself. Most scholars believe that he was a physician from Antioch, a city north of Israel. Furthermore, he addresses the Gospel of Luke to another wealthy man by the name of Theophilus. I believe that the subject of wealth occupies a prominent place in the Gospel because Luke was writing directly to a fellow rich man. It is one thing for the poor to lecture the wealthy, but exhortation carries more weight when coming from a peer.
For the next few months, all of the articles here at GLBL that look at money through the lens of Scripture will come from the book of Luke. I am going to call the series “Lessons from Luke” and hope that the study is a challenge to you and me as we learn more about what it means to biblically gather money “little by little”. If you are looking for a topic for your own study, you might want to read through the book on your own and note how often the subject of finance is referenced in the book.
Article by Stew
Photo by portableantiquities