Read Luke 4:14-19
How do you convince people who have comfortable lives that they need to rely on God for daily living?
It’s a tough question for me as an American. You see, I have a pretty physically comfortable life. By earthly standards, my wife and I are rich people. We make more money, eat more food, have a bigger home, and have more clothes than most other people in the world. By American standards, my wife and I are middle class. We make “middle class” money that allows us to have access to food, clothing and shelter beyond what we just need.
By Jesus’ standards, the only ones that matter, what is my true financial status?
Luke chapter 4 puts everything in perspective. Jesus has yet to have one disciple who followed and was definitively driven by 40 days in the desert where Satan provided plenty of temptation, all revolving around earthly and national comforts and even basic human physical need.
The funny thing about Luke 4, is that it is a direct contradiction of my American “wealth” because of Jesus’ words when returning to His hometown, fresh from the desert. Jesus makes it clear in 14-19 that He has come for the poor, the oppressed and the broken. I often wonder: if Jesus has proclaimed that He has come for the poor, then why do we try so hard to be rich?
What if we could flip the script?
Jesus came for the poor, the oppressed, the imprisoned and the broken. We should too. There is nothing about His affect, words, or being that sends a message of promised prosperity for following Him. For those of us who are prosperous, our challenge is clear:
What are we doing with our wealth and who benefits from it?
What is the purpose of Jesus’ ministry and what is the purpose therefore of ours? How do we engage the community, region and world around us in light of His words and what satisfaction do we really seek with our prosperity?