Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

 Sermon Text: Luke 12:22-34

 Other Readings: Genesis 15:1-6 and Hebrews 11:1-3,8-16


  1. These verses are very similar to Matthew 6:25-34, so much so that some commentators think this account in Luke happened at the same time as Matthew chapter 6. What do you think? Build a case that Luke chapter 12 was said either at the same setting or a different one.
  2. Why might Jesus have chosen to use the raven as an example? Confer Leviticus 11:13-15,46-47.
  3. In the first half of the text, which name does Jesus use for the first person of the Trinity? In the second half of the text, which name does he use? What emotional impact does that change bring about in you?
  4. Making provisions for treasures in heaven (v. 33) sounds kind of works-righteous, as if we can improve our own heavenly circumstances. In your own words, explain Jesus’ point.
  5. Choose one of the following statements to respond to and articulate how you would counter it.
    1. A true Christian is one who sells his possessions and gives to the poor.
    2. Having a financial plan for the future is evidence of someone with "little faith."

  1. The most convincing argument is that Luke records a second time that Jesus said this kind of message. The different word choices are a good indicator. Also, the context makes it clear this was later in Jesus' ministry and spoken in a different region than Matthew 6. Finally, since Jesus had such large followings, it makes sense he would have repeated key teachings multiple times to his different audiences.
  2. Ravens were an "unclean" animal for Old Testament Jews. Unclean animals and food pictured how sin's uncleanness was all around them. Perhaps by referring to an unclean animal, Jesus was emphasizing, "If God cares for this animal which you have no use for and are to avoid, of course he's going to care for you, his chosen people!"
  3. Jesus initially uses "God" and then uses "your Father." This puts us at ease and gives us confidence, knowing that the first person of the Trinity is not just some divine and distant creator, but he is also our close, intimate Father.
  4. One commentator explained it this way, “Let your bank be, so to speak, not on earth, but in heaven, and make regular deposits into this heavenly bank.” We know that we can’t earn heavenly treasure since the Father has given us the kingdom. Now, we do not do the things which would detract or distract us from what awaits us.
  5. In response to (a), Jesus' point here is that Christians are willing to sell possessions, if the opportunity presents itself, because they do not have their hearts set on them. He is not giving a literal command to become poor (and then become a burden on your neighbor.) 
    In response to (b), Jesus does not condemn putting in work or being wise stewards. He condemns worrying about the future or obsessing about it.