Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20090930.htm
THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Luke: Jesus, The Son Of Man For All Mankind
Part XLVII: Christ's Identity As God's Savior By Solving Potent Livelihood Anxieties
Lesson: Jesus revealed that the fears for livelihood provisions and survival that often fuel covetousness are pagan faithless fears when God is the Source of all of nature's livelihood provisions, anyway! Thus, we should aim to promote God's kingdom and let Him provide all that we need for our lives!
- The covetousness Jesus critiqued in Luke 12:13-21 is often fueled by two very potent anxieties -- the fear of one's inability to gain living provisions coupled with the resulting fear for one's survival.
- Aware of these fears, Jesus revealed Himself to be God's true Savior of the world by addressing them:
- Christ's Identity As God's Savior By Solving Potent Livelihood Anxieties, Luke 12:22-34.
- Having condemned the sin of covetousness in Luke 12:13-21, and knowing that fear over one's survival and over successfully obtaining his livelihood provisions to survive often fuels the temptation to covet, in Luke 12:22-28, Jesus revealed how foolish one was to be anxious over his livelihood in view of God's provision of helpless life forms in His creative order (as follows):
- Christ told His hearers not to be anxious about prolonging their lives by gaining food and clothing, Luke 12:22. [In our area, housing is also needed to survive, so we add it to the food and clothing list!]
- His reason was that God views life as more valuable than its livelihood provisions (Lk. 12:23), for He sustains the raven that He created to be unable ever to possess its livelihood provisions, Lk. 12:24:
- Ravens "normally neglect their own young (Job 38:41)" so that young ravens were created by God to need His direct help aside from their parents just to stay alive, Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 524.
- Even as adults, ravens do not collect livelihood provisions like we do, but are created as scavengers, birds needing food supplied by "accidental" events of God's continual intervention, Lk. 12:24a; Ibid.
- Jesus concluded that if God created ravens to need His continual intervention in history to thrive as a species, as we are more valuable to Him than they, it is illogical for us to fret about our livelihood, and that even if we like the raven are unable to acquire our livelihood provisions, Luke 12:24b!
- Then, Jesus noted that no human by being anxious about his livelihood needs can change the living crises he faces, for being anxious cannot add even an hour to his life span, Luke 12:25-26 NIV!
- Besides, Jesus illustrated through His reference to God's care for the lowly lilies of the field that just as He clothes these common flowers with greater beauty than what the wealthy king Solomon had, and though they do not toil and spin for their "clothing" as we humans do, and though they are so transitory as field plants, how much more would God clothe His own people, Luke 12:27-28.
- Having provided the reasons for not being anxious about our livelihood needs, Jesus gave direction in how to live above the anxieties we often experience in facing livelihood need issues, Luke 12:29-34:
- First, Christ directed that we not be focused on seeking for livelihood provisions, nor on being anxious about obtaining them, Luke 12:29. After all, (a) staying focused on gaining livelihood provisions is the focus of the lost pagan world, a focus that is below the calling of God's people, Luke 12:30a. (b) Also, God knows we need His livelihood provision help, so it is demeaning to Him for us to worry about our livelihood needs when that is a responsibility God has Himself assumed in our behalf, Luke 12:30b.
- Second, Christ directed us to seek God's kingdom and all we need God will then provide, Luke 12:31.
- Third, Christ directed that since God wants to give us the Messianic Kingdom in all of its material bounty, anyway (Luke 12:32), we should focus on using the goods we have to give to others in need, thus storing up treasures in heaven that are rewards of those contributions where our heart ought to be opposite covetously hoarding goods that turn our heart from God to possessions, Luke 12:33-34.
Application: (1) May we trust that Jesus is God's true Savior by His view that all men need God for livelihood provisions, and thus should avoid covetousness that fears over living needs can fuel. (2) May we shift from the world's fears over livelihood needs and survival and focus on God's kingdom! (3) If we fear our inability to acquire living provisions is any problem to God -- recall the raven and the lily!