Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Enough for Everyone 04

Money and the Bible 04: The teachings of Jesus, not parables.

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Jesus was poor. His parents gave the sacrifices according to the lowest income bracket available. He was homeless throughout his adult life. See also Philippians 2.5-11.

Matthew 8.20, Jesus said to him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Luke 9.58).

Luke 2.22..23, Now when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, Joseph and Mary brought Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord… and to offer a sacrifice according to what is specified in the law of the Lord, “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.” (Leviticus 12.8; 5.11)

Jesus announces his purpose in ministry. At the start of his ministry, he identifies himself as the fulfillment of prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures. He finds a passage from the prophet Isaiah that he uses as his “calling card” to say to everyone, “This is who I am, this what my job.” Some call this the Nazareth Manifesto.

Luke 4.16-21, Now Jesus came to Nazareth where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as he customarily did. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and regaining of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on him, and he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (See also Matthew 11.5)

Jesus’ signature sermon. Matthew records one version (The Sermon on the Mount) in chapters 5-7. Luke records another version (The Sermon on the Plain) in chapter 6.

Matthew 5.3..6, Blessed are the poor in spirit, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to them…Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, because they will be satisfied.

Luke 6.20, 21..24,25, Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be satisfied…. But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your comfort already. Woe you who are well satisfied with food now, for you will be hungry.

Matthew 6.1-4, Be careful about not living righteously merely to be seen by people. Otherwise you have no reward with your Father in heaven. Thus whenever you do charitable giving, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in synagogues and on streets so that people will praise them. I tell you the truth, they have their reward. But when you do your giving, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your gift may be in secret. And your Father , who sees in secret, will reward you.

Matthew 6.19-34, Do not accumulate for yourself treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But accumulate for yourself treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not bread in and steal. For where your treasure is, there you heart will be also. They eye is the lamp of the body. If then your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! No one is able to serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. No one is able to serve God and possessions.

Because of this I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat or drink, or about your body, as to what you will wear. Isn’t there more to life than food and more to the body than clothing? Look at the birds of the sky: they do not sow, or harvest, or gather into barns and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you more valuable than they are? Can any of you add time to his life by worrying? Why worry about clothing? Think about how the flowers of the field grow. They do not work or spin, yet I say to you that Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. And if God clothes the grass of the field this way, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire to heat the oven, won’t he clothe you even more, you people of little faith? So then, don’t worry saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the unconverted pursue these things and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you. So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own.

Luke 12.22-34, Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God provides food for them. How much more valuable are you than the birds! And which of you by worrying can add an hour to the length of his life? So if you cannot do such a very little thing as this, why do you worry about the rest? Consider how the lilies grow; they do not work or spin. But I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. Yet if this is how God clothes the wild grass that is alive today and tomorrow is tossed into a fire to heat the oven, how much more will he clothe you, you of little faith! So do not be overly concerned about what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not worry about it. For all the nations of the world pursue these tings, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead pursue God’s kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

Do not be afraid little flock, for your Father is well pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide yourselves purses that do not wear out, a treasure in heaven that never decreases, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, your heart will be there too.


The Rich Young Ruler.

Mark 10.17-31, As Jesus was starting out on his way, a man ran up to him, fell on his knees and said, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false witness, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.’” The man said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things since my youth.” As Jesus looked at him, he loved him and said, “You lack one thing. Go, sell whatever you have and give it to the poor. You will have treasure in heaven. And come, follow me.” But at this statement, the man looked sad and went away sorrowful, for he had great property.

Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” The disciples were amazed at these words. But again Jesus said to them, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven.” They were even more amazed and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “This is impossible with people, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.

Peter begain to speak to him, “We have left everything and followed you!” Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, there is no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel, who will not receive in this present age a hundred times as much – homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, fields – all with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first. (Matthew 19.16-30, Luke 18.18-30)

Zacchaeus

Luke 19.1-10, Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through it. Now a man named Zacchaeus was there; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. He was trying to get a look at Jesus, but being a short man he could not see over the crowd. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, because Jesus was going to pass that way. And when Jesus came to that place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, because I must stay at your house today.” So he came down quickly and welcomed Jesus joyfully. And when the people saw it, they all complained, “he has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stopped and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, half of my possessions I now give to the poor; and if I have cheated anyone of anything, I am paying back four times as much!” Then Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this household, since he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Paying Taxes

Mark 12.13-17, Then they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to trap him in what he said. When they came they said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are truthful and do not court anyone’s favor, because you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay or shouldn’t we?” Aware of their hypocrisy he said to them, “Why are you testing me? Bring me a denarius and let me see it.” They brought it and he said to them, “Whose likeness is this, and whose inscription?” They replied, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were amazed by him. (Matthew 22.15-22)

A Widow’s Offering

Mark 12.41-44, Then he sat down opposite the offering box, and watched the crowd putting coins into the temple treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, worth less than a penny. He called his disciples and said to them, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow put more into the offering box than all the others. They all gave form their abundance. But she, out of her poverty, put in what she had to live on , everything she had.” (Luke 21.1-4)

Mary Anoints Jesus

Mark 14.3-9, Now while Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, reclining at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of costly aromatic oil from pure nard. After breaking open the jar, she poured it on his head. Some there were angry and said to one another, “Why was there this waste of ointment? It could have been sold for more than three hundred silver coins and given to the poor!” So they spoke angrily to her. But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why are you bothering her? She has done a good service for me. For you will always have the poor with you and whenever you want to, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She anointed my body before hand for burial. I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.” (Matthew 26.6-13 and John 12.1-8)

John 12.1-8, Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom he had raised from the dead. So they prepared a dinner for Jesus there. Martha was serving, and Lazarus was among those present at the table with him. Then Mary took three quarters of a pound of perfumed oil made of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus. She then wiped his feet dry with her hair. (Now the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfumed oil.) But Judas Isacriot, one of his disciples (the one who was going to betray him) said, “Why wasn’t this perfumed oil sold for three hundred silver coins and the money given to the poor?” (Now Judas said this not because he was concerned abou thte poor, but because he was a thief. As keeper of the money box he used to take what was put into it.) So Jesus said, Leave her alone. She has kept it for the day of my burial. For you always have the poor with you, but you don’t always have me.”


Next Week – the Parables of Jesus – The Two Debtors, The Parable of the Sower, The Pearl of Great Price, The Unforgiving Servant, The Good Samaritan, The Rich Fool, Inviting the Outcast, Counting the Cost, The Unjust Steward, The Rich Man and Lazarus, The Laborers in the Vineyard, The Sheep and the Goats and more!

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2 Comments:

Blogger Marquito said...

Cool! I'm enjoying these Enough For Everyone entries.

1:57 PM, March 07, 2007  
Blogger W Sofield said...

I'm glad you enjoy them. FYI, if you're around Grenada Presbyterian Church at 9:30 on Sundays, you can participate in the discussion that ensues from these entries.

The primary audience for these entries is a Sunday School class that meets in the Sanctuary Classroom. The discussion can get quite . . . "fun."

2:51 PM, March 07, 2007  

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