The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Everything belongs to God

In word and works, Jesus teaches the value of wholistic stewardship

Many who gathered at the place known as the House of the Holy Spirit had a firsthand experience of the earthly ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. Traveling through villages in Palestine, preaching about the kingdom of God, teaching with power and authority, healing people, feeding people, casting out demons, and raising up those who were considered to be dead, Jesus had drawn large crowds.

One of the main things that attracted people to Jesus was the insight and incisiveness with which his teaching related to their real-life situations, including their economic circumstances. The majority of these people were poor, living at or below subsistence level. They were exploited by the economic systems of the Roman Empire, as well as by the ecclesiastical systems of the Jerusalem Temple.

Jesus used scenes and stories taken from the lives of his hearers and looked at them through the penetrating lens of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Jesus helped people to see that God’s values and priorities were different from those of the empire and, sometimes, from those of the temple. He taught that first-and-foremost, everything belongs to God.

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