LUKE: PART I
Read: Luke 2:21-24
“21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived. 22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.” ” (Luke 2:21-24 NIV)
Study: In any economic system, situations arise when the poor simply can’t hide their state of need. One such occasion in ancient Israel came at what should have been a joyous time: after the birth of a child. The form of their sacrifice made a public statement about their economic place in society. According to the law, a woman was considered unclean after giving birth and required a waiting period followed by a sin offering and purification offering (Lev. 12:1-8). The sacrifices called for a lamb and a pigeon or dove, but a woman who couldn’t afford a lamb could offer a dove in its place. For Mary and Joseph, a lamb was too great a sacrifice to surrender. That’s not to say Mary and Joseph felt ashamed by their need to offer the poor man’s sacrifice, but Luke did point out this detail for a reason. The doves used for Mary’s sacrifices point out their lack of means—but their attention to the requirements of the Law is also one of many signs that Mary and Joseph were people of faith who obeyed the Word of God. Many believers won’t say it out loud, but our actions often reveal the underlying belief that social standing and financial success are important indicators of our spiritual well-being. While there is definitely a spiritual, moral element to how we manage our money, being a strong believer does not guarantee prosperity. Today, find your true wealth from the status of your faith and obedience to Christ rather than your income or possessions.
Pray: All I have is yours Lord. My treasures are in you and not in the things of this world. May my actions reflect this reality. Amen.