Luke 12:13-21 – Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, `What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, `This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ‘ “But God said to him, `You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”
“Teacher, tell my brother…” This “someone” in the crowd is petitioning Jesus to step into a family and civil matter. It seems likely that this man would be younger brother to one his elder, who has withheld a portion of the family inheritance and, has apparently kept everything for himself. There are greedy individuals – sometimes even family members – who have no sense of equity or familial affection, who take advantage of those whom they ought to protect and support. This man, who was wronged, came to Christ looking for an authoritative intervention that would give him justice. How often have you brought an issue to God in which you have been wronged or left out? Normally, this man should have gone to the judge or the rabbis to settle this dispute. Perhaps he recognized in Jesus an authority that could set his brother straight without making a legal matter out of it.
Jesus responds to his petition with, “Man, who appointed me…” Our Lord does not step in to assume authority that He was not appointed to! There are civil laws and authorized persons who are appointed to deal with these things, and Jesus is saying, “I wasn’t appointed to this office.” Christ was not about to call out the thoughtless brother and say, “Hey, you, greedy man! Divide the inheritance with your brother!” He was not given authority to do that. That should be left to rabbis and judges! However, before the wounded man has time to feel rejected by Jesus, our Lord speaks to the crowd and says, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed.” He instructed them to understand that it’s not abundance of material possessions that makes a life meaningful! This was a good lead in to one of His earthly stories with a heavenly meaning! He told them of a rich man whose investments were extremely productive. His thoughts were totally absorbed in what he could do to make his wealth more secure and enjoyable. The rich man focused on making sure that he had plenty of good things laid up for many years, so that he could take life easy; eat, drink and be merry! BUT! God said to the rich man, “You fool! Tonight your life will be demanded from you. Then what will become of all that you have prepared for yourself?”
If both brothers are listening they will benefit from our Lord’s next words, “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.” It’s very easy to neglect our souls at the expense of chasing material comforts and securities. Or, we may become one of those brothers greedily heaping up for ourselves all that we can to make life easy, at the neglect of protecting and supporting those whom we ought to have equal consideration for! We could also be like the brother who came petitioning because he felt left out! He needed to heed the parable of Jesus as well, looking not so much for his share of material inheritance, but to make certain that he was becoming rich toward God!
Thursday: Meet together with at least 1 or 2 other believers to enter the Throne Room of Grace.
Friday: Pray for the families of the week: Matt & Megan George (Nicole,?), Pete & Laurel George (Annabeth, Luke, Josiah, ?), Pastor Dave & Cindy George.
Saturday: Pray that you will not neglect your soul at the expense of material comforts and pleasures.
Sunday: Celebrate the goodness of God and bring Him the tithes and offerings He is worthy of!
Monday: Be intentional about being rich toward God and pray that others will follow your example!
Tuesday: Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness!
Wednesday: Be rich in good deeds, be generous and willing to share!
Prayer Challenge – Remember that, “godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time–God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen. Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” – 1 Timothy 6:6-19