Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?”
We sometimes think that Jesus came to settle our differences and make everything right. While He is concerned with how we treat each other, He also makes it clear that we are responsible for our behavior. Jesus teaches us the lessons, we must learn and apply them in our lives. He has not come to judge us – yet!
In this week’s scripture (Luke 12:13-21), we will hear how our behavior toward each other affects our relationship with God. It deals specifically with our drive for possessions and financial success, warning that we can get so wrapped up in our “stuff” that we lose sight of what God calls us to do. The old hymn “God of Grace and God of Glory” tells us we must guard against “our wanton, selfish gladness, rich in things and poor in soul.”
Jesus isn’t saying money is bad, but that it is often a source of conflict among us, as in the two brothers mentioned in the opening verse. We often want what others have, and Jesus warns against that as well. So is Jesus being unfair by not stepping in on this disagreement? Not at all, He is teaching us that there are more important things for us to focus on than our money and our possessions. He calls us to look beyond our human desires and hear God’s plan for us.
Loving Lord, our struggle to obtain earthly success often overshadows Your offer of eternal life. Help us to see the truth that nothing we have now will matter later, and to place value on what is truly meaningful – our connection to You. Amen.