Tag Archives: Luke Timothy Johnson

Between the Lines: Proper 16- August 25, 2013

Text: Luke 14:25-33

Scenography for the movie Greed. 1926.

Scenography for the movie Greed. 1926. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.”

Luke Timothy Johnson observes that “Luke uses a character’s disposition of possessions as a character indicator” (Prophetic Jesus, Prophetic Church, see BibleWorkbench, issue 20.3, April 21, 2013).

In Luke we read “one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions” (12:15), “Sell your possessions and give alms” (12:33), “none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.” (14:33), and Zacchaeus, in making amends, declares “Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much” (19:8).

What relationship do you see between a person’s possessions and their character? What attitude toward possessions do you see evidenced in the lives of people around you, at work, or church, or home? What attitudes toward possessions are taught by advertisements on TV or in the newspapers or magazines? By politicians and opinion makers? What might Luke have to say about American character at the beginning of the 21st century?


“Between the Lines” is excerpted from BibleWorkbench, a weekly resource for engaging the biblical story in a new way published by the Educational Center in Charlotte, NC.  For details and subscription information, see  About BibleWorkbench.


Between the Lines: Easter 4: April 21, 2013

Text: Acts 9:36-43

Charity

Charity (Photo credit: Danny McL)

Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was devoted to good works and acts of charity… [When Peter arrived] All the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing tunics and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was with them.

Luke Timothy Johnson argues that “Luke uses a character’s disposition of possessions as a character indicator.” What might Luke have to say about our modern era of a widening gap between the wealthy and the poor and conspicuous consumption? What might your own use of your possessions say about you? Where are your priorities, according to how you spend your money, your time, your resources? Whom or what do you serve?

– Andy Kille


“Between the Lines” is excerpted from BibleWorkbench, a weekly resource for engaging the biblical story in a new way published by the Educational Center in Charlotte, NC.  For details and subscription information, see About BibleWorkbench.