Survey on the Dichotomy of the Rich and Poor in the Book of Luke

The point of this outline is to inform the reader of the prevalent theme of the rich and poor, money, and wealth in the book of Luke. This provides a helpful framework upon which the reader can be mindful of the concerns of Luke. Of course, the main concern of Luke is the witness of the ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the desire for all to believe in the saving message of the Gospel. However, just like the initial audience of Luke needed such emphasis on wealth, we too have a need for a biblical understanding of money.

*bolded texts are unique to Luke
  1. Chapter 1
    1. Verse 53: Mary’s Magnificat
      1. “He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.”
  2. Chapter 2
    1. Verse 4: Jesus’ birth in a lowly place
      1. The sign of the Messiah and Lord is a baby in a manger
      2. In contrast to the wisemen of Matthew, Shepherds, the lowest social class, worship the Lord
  3. Chapter 3
    1. Verse 7: How to produce fruit in keeping with repentance
      1. 11: John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”
      2. 13: “Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.
      3. 14b: He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”
    2. Verse 24: Jesus’ parents were of a economically humble
  4. Chapter 4
    1. Verses 18-19: Jesus’s mission statement 
      1. “I was anointed to proclaim good news to the poor, freedom to prisoners, recovery to the blind, set the oppressed free, proclaim Jubilee.”
      2. Isaiah 61:1-2; 58:6
        1. Seems to include Gentiles and demon possessed
      3. Also see 7:22, Jesus’ response to John’s disciples
        1. The blind see, lame walk, leprosy cleansed, deaf hear, dead raised, good news proclaimed to the poor.
      4. (Mark 1:15; Matthew 4:17)
  5. Chapter 5
    1. Verse 1: Calls the working class and the wealthy
      1. Lepers, paralytic, tax collectors, cripple, etc.
  6. Chapter 6
    1. Verses 20-26: Blessings and woes
      1. Blessed are those who are poor [rhetorical emphasis]
        1. “…poor in spirit,” (Matthew 5:3)
      2. But woe to you who are rich
    2. Verse 29: If someone takes your coat, give to any who asks, 
    3. Verse 34: “And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full.”
      1. The Matthean passage of love towards enemies is now interpreted as love toward those who do not repay their debts (Bosch, 104)
  7. Chapter 7
    1. Verse 22: Jesus’ response to John’s disciples
    2. Verses 25-28: Those who wear fine clothes and indulge in luxury are contrasted to the humility of John, who was the greatest born among women
    3. Verses 36-50: Jesus is anointed by a sinful woman
      1. Verse 41-43: Moneylender forgives unequal debts
  8. Chapter 8
    1. Verse 14: the soil with thorns represents the cares of this world
  9. Chapter 9
    1. Verse 3: The twelve sent with nothing
    2. Verse 10: Jesus feeds the five thousand
    3. Verse 57: The Cost of Following Jesus
  10. Chapter 10
    1. Verse 25: Parable of the good Samaritan
  11. Chapter 11
    1. Verse 1: The Lord’s Prayer
      1. Only the poor needs prayer for daily bread
    2. Verses 9-13: The Father will provide
    3. Verse 41: If the Pharisees are generous to the poor, everything will be clean of them
    4. Verse 42: Pharisees tithe but neglect justice and the love of God 
  12. Chapter 12
    1. Verse 7: You are worth more than sparrows
    2. Verse 13: Parable of the Rich Fool 
    3. Verse 22: Do not worry about what to eat and wear
    4. Verse 42: faithful and wise manager (watchful)
  13. Chapter 14
    1. Verses 16-24: Invitation to a Banquet
    2. Verse 28: Cost of Discipleship
  14. Chapter 15
    1. Verses 8-10: The Lost Coin
    2. Verses 11-32: The Lost Son
  15. Chapter 16
    1. Verse 1: Parable of the Shrewd manager
      1. Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much
        1. Be trustworthy with worldly wealth, so that you can be trusted with true riches.
        2. No one can serve two masters – God vs. Money
        3. Pharisees who loved money sneered at Jesus
          1. Would Christian leaders today sneer at a direct practical application of this passage?
            1. Verse 15 He said to them “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.”
    2. Verse 19: Rich man and Lazarus
  16. Chapter 18
    1. Verse 2-8: Persistent Widow and Unrighteous Judge
    2. Verse 9: Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
    3. Verse 18: The Rich and the kingdom of God
      1. What must I do to inherit eternal life? Sell everything you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me. How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!
      2. What is impossible with man is possible with God
      3. Those who have left everything to follow God, will receive many times in this age and in eternal age
  17. Chapter 19
    1. Zacchaeus
    2. Parable of the Ten Minas (similar to Matt. 25:14-30)
    3. Jesus driving out merchants in the Temple
  18. Chapter 20
    1. Paying taxes to Caesar
  19. Chapter 21
    1. Widow’s offering
  20. Chapter 22
    1. Judas betrays Jesus for money

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