While Jesus was speaking to the crowds, someone spoke up and asked Jesus to tell his brother to divide the inheritance with him. We can assume that this was a younger brother, as the eldest would have had the “double-portion” of the estate, and so also would have control. We are not told whether he was just seeking to get what he was rightly owed, or he wanted a bigger share. Since the parable that follows was about covetousness, the latter is likely, and Jesus, of course, refused to get involved in the dispute.
In the parable of the rich fool, the man had more already than he needed. But instead of using his wealth to help those in need, he was only concerned with being able to keep accumulating more. And so, he did just that. But then God told him that his soul was required of him that very night – not next week or next year, but now. So, God asked, who would possess all of these things that he had prepared for himself. The point is obvious. The man should have devoted as much effort to laying up treasures in heaven – doing good with his wealth, and becoming rich toward God. Riches will mean nothing at the end of this short life.
In verses 22-34, Jesus tells us not to worry and fret about what we will wear or what we eat. He reminds us how God even provides food for the birds of the air. Surely, we are more valued by Him! Jesus is not telling us that we cannot make plans to provide for our families and our future. The scriptures are plentiful with words to the contrary. But the wise words he speaks are often difficult for us to absorb – “which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?” This makes so much sense, but it is so very difficult for those of us who daily battle with anxiety.
Jesus says, “instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.” In the earlier chapter, Jesus told His disciples not to fear those who can kill the body. Now He tells them not to be afraid because God wants to give us the kingdom. If we truly devote ourselves to being His children, keeping His commandments, doing good to others, and giving to those in need, not only will God provide for our basic needs here on earth, but He will provide us with a place with Him forever. What more could we want?
There is nothing that can happen to us in this life that will matter when we cross into eternity with the Lord – nothing! To this end, Jesus tells us to provide ourselves with “moneybags” that do not grow old. Where our treasure is, our hearts will be also. My heart has been focused too much of my life on the cares of this world. I remind myself of these things Jesus said, and keep trying to change that day by day.
(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.