4.13.2014

The Gospel of Luke 3 (God’s poor)

ppt

The Gospel of Luke 3 (God’s poor)
Reading: Luke 16:19-31
Additional readings: Luke 12:16-21
Blanks: angels, Son, comforted, listen

(2) Today we are going to have another look at the gospel of Luke.
Especially, we are going to look at how Luke emphasized about helping the poor.
In this gospel, helping the poor is very important theme.
Luke also introduced the concept of God’s poor.
It appeared again and again in the Gospel of Luke.

For example, in the gospel of Luke, we see the Sermon on the Mount which is also appeared at Matthew chapters 5-7.
But Luke changed a bit.
(2) He wrote:
“Looking at his disciples, Jesus said: Luke 6:20-26
Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of Jesus.
Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets."

In Luke God will bless those who are poor, hungry, and weep, but still live for Jesus.
In those days, Christians lived like this.
Some of them were God’s poor.

(3) By the same token, Luke said:
“But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.
Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.
Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.”

Then, Luke asks people to be kind to the poor, using the story of the Rich man and Lazarus: Luke 16:19-31
In this story Lazarus went to be with Father Abraham.
But according to the story, we don’t know whether Lazarus did anything wonderful and faithful to be with Abraham, except that he was really poor.
But he was God’s poor.

(2) So, telling this story, Luke was saying something like this:
“Remember to look after the poor, God’s poor.
Then, we will be truly rich toward God.”

By the same token, Luke encouraged people not to be greedy.
(1) Jesus said that Jesus said something like this: Luke 12:16-21.
The ground of a certain rich man produced an abundant harvest.
So, he planed to tear down his barns and build bigger ones.
Then he wanted to enjoy these plenty of grain for many years.
He was talking to himself like this:
“Take it easy now.
Eat, drink and be happy!”’
But God was like:
‘What if you die tonight?’
Then Jesus reminds people to be rich toward God, and use money wisely for God when God blesses them.

Then Luke said: Luke 14:12-14
(3) Jesus said to his host who invited him for a meal:
"When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid.
But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed.
Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

(3) Then concerning how to handle money Luke said: Luke 16:10-13
Jesus said:
“No one can serve two masters.
Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and money.”
Luke is writing this gospel so that people could help the poor, God’s poor.

So, Luke is asking people to be trustworthy when God entrusts them something, some talent, and some gift.
When they learn to be honest with handling money in the way God wants, then God will also entrust them with God’s abundant wealth.
When you are trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, God will trust you with God’s true riches.
Being trustworthy is very important here.

Then God may feel comfortable giving you wealth so that you can take good care of more people and more ministries that God desires.

Reading this gospel, some people decide to serve the poor and be kind to God’s poor.
Some people dedicate their life for this.
Then, some people try not to spend money on themselves but for God’s poor.
Then they are able to share the story of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.
This is something to think about.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, you teach us to be God’s poor.
You teach us to share and love the poor.
May we obey you and live like you.
In your name, we pray.
Amen


Note: Mary’s Song: Luke 1:46-55: “He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.”