Sunday 11 August 2013

Bible Book:

Luke 12:32-40 Sunday 11 August 2013


Today's reading is part of a longer passage where Jesus speaksto his disciples about God's provision and how the disciples shoulduse what they are given. The topic was initially inspired by arequest from a person in the crowd for Jesus to tell his brother toshare the family inheritance (Luke12:13). Jesus replies by pointing out that the real issue hereis greed, and warning the crowd of people of the foolishness ofprioritising material gain.

After speaking to the crowd Jesus turns to his disciples. Heencourages them to trust God to provide for them, expanding hisproclamation found in Luke12:31 and Matthew 6:33: 'Seek first the kingdom of Godand you will be given all you need'. In the verses precedingtoday's passage, Jesus tells his followers that it is God whoprovides for the flowers and birds and people, and it is theirresponsibility to seek God's kingdom first rather than worryingabout themselves.

In verse 33 the outworking of seeking first the kingdom of Godis to be generous to the poor, prioritising others above yourself.Concern for the poor and needy is a strong theme throughout theBible with more than 2,000 verses that help us to understand God'sheart for justice.

Verse 34 says that "where your treasure is, there your heartwill be also". When the person in the crowd had asked about hisinheritance, Jesus recognised that he was motivated by caring abouthimself. His decisions about money were motivated by his heart,that is, his priority of himself and wealth for himself. But Jesusprioritises marginalised and disaffected people so here heencourages his disciples to spend their money - their 'treasure' -to help these people. He urges his followers to invest financiallyinto the kingdom by selling their possessions and giving generouslyto those living in poverty - to put their money where their mouthsare.

To Ponder

  • If someone were to look at your bank statement and your diary,where would they think your priorities lie?
  • What do you think is the right balance between faith andgiving, and responsibly providing for yourself and yourfamily?
  • To what extent do you think "sell your possessions and givealms [to the poor]" (v. 33)' is a literal instruction forChristians today?
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