Lessons from Luke

By Stew

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

5 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Lessons from Luke”

  1. Jay Says:

    I believe you mean synoptic gospels, not synaptic. In which case you are referring to Matthew, Mark, and Luke but not John. The first three are called synoptic, from the Greek “seen together,” because the material in each of the three synoptic gospels is related. Most of the stories in the book of John are only in the book of John, and not in the other three gospels.

  2. Linda Says:

    I am a Christ follower not a theologian, as the one post must be as he pointed out your errors.
    My comment is I am glad I found your blog. I am new to blogging so I don’t understand much about it.
    I feel there needs to be more Christians out there step out, and teach things of this world through a biblical prospective, even if it is couponing etc. I am excited about your lessons from Luke! Blessings to you and keep up your good works for the Lord.

  3. Stew Says:

    Jay, you are right, of course . . . I have corrected the “synoptic” typo, but left the other error since you correct it in the comments.

    Either way, I still excited to begin the study on Luke, thank you for your kind words, Linda.

  4. Micah Says:

    Looking forward to reading it. I’ve enjoyed following your blog and this sounds promising!

  5. EW Says:

    Thanks for highlighting these thoughts from Luke! I’m currently reading Luke in my daily devotional times with God and I’ve never thought before about it being written by a rich man to another rich man. Definitely encouraging to keep my finances well-stewarded! Thanks in advance for your upcoming posts on Luke!