Luke 12:13, “13 Someone in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.”
- In verse 13 it appears there is some tension around who inherits what, and I don’t know how many of us have been in those conversations about inheritance when someone passes away in the family, but they are really uncomfortable.
Luke 12:14-15, “14 But He said to him, “Man, who appointed Me a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15 Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.”
- In the previous verses of Luke 12 Jesus has just talked about His glory, and the consequences of rejecting His glory, so you have this huge subject being discussed in front of huge crowd of people, and then in verse 13 someone in the crowd asks about their light bill. It’s odd.
- Therefore, in verse 15 says, “We need to talk about money.” This is important because we never think of ourselves as rich, wealthy, greedy, or materialistic, and in verse 15 Jesus is saying, “Be careful. Do not underestimate how easily you can get distracted from the abundant life you have been freely given in Jesus.” Be careful!
Luke 12:16-17, “16 And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. 17 And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’”
- In verse 16 we see the story is about a rich man who finds himself in a lucrative place, and says to himself, “What shall I do, since I have no place to store all my crops?”
Luke 12:18-19, “18 Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.” 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’
- Do you notice the pronouns used over and over in verses 18-19, “I will do, I will tear, my barns, my soul, I will store, my grain, my goods?” This man is under the impression that all these grains and goods are his grains and his goods from his doing, and they are going to last for many years.
- Even if you look back at verse 17 there is a pattern of isolation and individualism, “The man reasons with himself, what shall I do since I have no place to store my crops?” There is a lack of biblical community in his life. There is a lack of awareness for others. There is a lack of gratitude for God’s goodness in his life.
Luke 12:20-21, “20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ 21 So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
Have you noticed greed is always easier to spot in others than in ourselves?
- Have you noticed how easy it is to look at someone’s life and say, “Look at how they waste money on that car, that house, that vacation, that coffee, (fill in the blank)?” They are so greedy!
- But, we conveniently overlook the expenses in our lives and say to ourselves, “Oh, this (fill in the blank) no, this is something I need. This is necessary.” That’s why Jesus is speaking to us through His word, “Be careful!”
Have you noticed greed wants to avoid the details?
- A really easy way to get swept up with greed, materialism, and the illusion that money is our security is to have no idea where your money is going? Greed loves ambiguity!
Have you noticed greed leads us into worry?
- If you scan down to verses 22-27 in Luke 12 Jesus turns to His disciples and says, “Why do you worry about your life? Consider the raven, and yet God feeds them. Consider the lilies, how they grow. How much more valuable you are than the birds! How much more valuable you are than the grass in the field!”
- Do you the greatest cure for anxiety is to know Jesus? It is Jesus who forsakes all things for you. It is Jesus who grows up in poverty for you. It is Jesus who lays His life down on the cross for you, and He never flinched!
Have you noticed how greed leads us to an inward focus instead of an outward focus?
- Do you remember the pronouns used over and over in verses 18-19, “I will do, I will tear, my barns, my soul, I will store, my grain, my goods?” Do you remember how isolated the man was in verse 17, “He began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’” Do you remember the lack of gratitude for God’s goodness in His life? There is such an inward focus.
Matthew 6:19-21, “Matthew 6:19-21, “19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
We want to make sure that our treasures are going to what the God of Scripture treasures. We want to make sure that our investments are going toward where the God of Scripture is invested. We want to make sure that our resources are being used in such a way to push back darkness for His glory.