Spiritual Practices of Jesus
Learning Simplicity, Humility, and Prayer with Luke's Earliest Readers
Catherine J. Wright
Luke's Gospel was written to transform. In its original context, readers would have seen a portrait of Jesus as an ideal teacher and king, able to shape his people through exemplary leadership. They would have come to the Gospel expecting to be changed for God's purposes through the imitation of Jesus' lifestyle and adoption of his teaching. When today's readers approach the text in the same way, they can be transformed too. Spiritual Practices of Jesus explores Luke's portrait of the spirituality of Jesus, focusing on the themes of simplicity, humility, and prayer in his life and teaching. After establishing the likely thought patterns of Luke's first readers, Catherine Wright considers how Jesus models these three values and then explores how different readers have understood and employed key Lukan passages for spiritual formation, beginning with a first-century audience and tracing the reception of these texts in the ancient church. Demonstrating a theological interpretation of Jesus' spirituality grounded in church tradition, this accessible book combines New Testament studies and spiritual formation to provide fresh insight into the biblical text. Wright invites readers to join with Luke's earliest readers in adopting ancient spiritual practices that still hold the potential to revolutionize our relationships with money, ourselves, others, and God. Luke's Gospel reveals that as we individually and corporately imitate Jesus, we live lives of greater authenticity, are oriented toward his kingdom, and are transformed by his manner of life.