November 9, 2010

Nameless But Notable XV: Pricelessness Of The Kingdom

The first man in this post is: Nameless
The second man is unflatteringly described: The Rich Fool
The lesson from this story: Priceless

...and ironically, it is a post about money or possessions

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; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” ~Luke 12:13

Talk about a resounding, "No!". Not just a no but a no with sarcastic wit. We do not know the details of this situation. We do not know whether or not the father withheld a dowry, inheritance and we do not know if the other brother swiped the goods.

What we do understand from Jesus' response is that Jesus did not deem this worth arbitrating. There is a good chance that this complainer's motive was greed. As such it was not in keeping with why Jesus had come to the world. We also then see Jesus launch into a the parable of the Rich Fool.

...“The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 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 my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain 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?’ ~Luke 12:16-20

"The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest." So he intends to build additional barns and then live "high on the hog"...or so he thinks. Imagine that. God actually calling someone a fool. This guy must of been really dumb. God is usually not so caustic and slighting with insults of His own creation. Judgement, yes, flippant, no. The implication here is that this is by association, the man with the shortage of inheritance.

The Rich Fool's failure in the parable is that he total neglected God's providence or participation in his life which was akin to ignoring God. In doing this it never occurred to him that he would never get a chance to live off the fat of the land given to him by God whom he totally ignored.

God the One who would in later verses in this chapter describe the fact that not even Solomon in all his glory, wealth and wisdom could could be adorn in such a way as the grasses and lilies which are quiteshort-lived, finite and perishable. How much more would he value a man and cloth him? Jesus tells "them" (v.15) that they should "Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you."

Today, we get so wrapped into what we need and how we are going to get it that we forget that if God does not provide it, we will never have it anyway. We can toil as much as we want but we toil in vain if god prevents us from getting what our hearts desire. This is especially true when it is something we either do not deserve, puts us in a situation where we will sin or is counter to God's will.

Do not seek the wrong thing. Seek the Kingdom or the good of the Kingdom, everything else is secondary.

1 comment:

ArtWerx said...

even the poorest person i know about is dressed like a king compared to a poor person of Jesus' day. we just keep wanting more & more & comparing ourselves to our neighbours with nike shoes & gucci bags! i reckon until you appreciate something, it hasn't even become yours yet! we claim things by focusing gratitude on the Giver as well as the gift...hence contentment with Godliness being great gain...because that's when you begin to own what you have been given! it's the opposite of greed to, & as God helps you, really a great sense of freedom & relief! :)

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