Our chapter essentially breaks down into two sections:
Verses 1-16: These verses are talking about generosity. Remember that the book of Deuteronomy is a second telling and unpacking of the Law. The Ten Commandments can be summed up in to two: loving God and loving neighbor. These verses discuss how to treat those who are in your service and how to treat the poor. How we treat the poor is close to the heart of God. Look at the ways that Jesus modeled loving the poor throughout his life:
And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ Matthew 25:40
Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen—the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.” And he added, “God blesses those who do not fall away because of me.” Matthew 11:4-6
Jesus replied with this story: “A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations. When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant to tell the guests, ‘Come, the banquet is ready.’ But they all began making excuses. One said, ‘I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I have just bought five pairs of oxen, and I want to try them out. Please excuse me.’Another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ “The servant returned and told his master what they had said. His master was furious and said, ‘Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ After the servant had done this, he reported, ‘There is still room for more.’ So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full. For none of those I first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet.’” Luke 14:16–24
Caring for the poor is close to the heart of Jesus because in many ways it’s the highest form of love, because they are often the hardest ones to love.
Verses 17-23: These verses are talking about giving God the best of your offering. When you think about how you give to God, is it the best you have to offer, or is it the leftovers after you spend money on yourself?
By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Apprentice