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Luke Chapter 21 (Part 1)

The poor widow

Read Luke 21:1-4

Luke 18:24 says "How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!"

  • They find security in their wealth, rather than in God

Notice the progression of these stories from Luke:

  • First we heard about the rich ruler, who became very sad when Jesus asked him to give his wealth to the poor (we don't know ifhe gave anything at all)

  • Then we heard how Zaccheus pledged to give away half of his possessions and pay back 4x to anyone he defrauded.

  • Now we hear about this widow, who gave everything - 100% of what she had. The others that gave at the temple that day gave "out of their surplus" - they still had plenty for themselves. They did not make the kind of sacrifice that this widow made. Neither did the rich ruler or Zaccheus.

This narrative is not a "prescriptive" story, that God expects us all to follow. God does not expect all ofus to give up everything. We do have to provide for ourselves and our families. Read II Thess. 3: IO

Instead, this is a "descriptive" story- its purpose was to show the widow's faith, and how she demonstrated full trust and reliance on God. She was able to give all that she had because she had faith that God would provide for her needs.

  • In earlier chapters of Luke, Jesus said "your faith has made you well" (18:42) and "your faith has saved you" (7:50) . These point to the fact that your faith can bring about healing and salvation. This story of the poor widow points out that your faith can also bring about provision.

The disciples dropped everything to follow Jesus. Did Jesus provide for them?

  • I'd say, Yes! Why?

  • We know the disciples had a money box Read John 12:3-6, 13:27-29 And from this, we know that they had enough money that they would give to the poor

  • Jesus worked as a carpenter - it is possible that he could have saved money for years

  • But here's the main thing -the gifts from the wise men - they were valuable. The Bible never said there were 3 wise men. There were 3 types of gifts. There could have been dozens of wise men that brought gifts. I believe these gifts were saved for the purpose of His future ministry. Mary and Joseph knew His destiny. I'm sure they didn't blow it on themselves. (They may have used some of it to help them survive when they fled to Egypt.) But I think the provision for Jesus, His disciples, and the ministry expenses came from these gifts. Jesus did not live an extravagant lifestyle, with a luxurious home and the            finest camel - but I do not think that he was poor, although He lived the lifestyle of someone who was.

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