Jump Start # 3071
Luke 12:13 “Someone in the crowd said to Him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.’”
The man in our passage is interesting. He is bold. He is confident. He is greedy. And, he doesn’t realize that Jesus is about to turn the tables against him. Following a brief conversation, Jesus launches into the parable of the rich farmer and the barns. The parable is extreme. The farmer, rich in produce, plans and dreams is bankrupt towards God. He never mentions God. He sure talks about himself and believes all the credit goes to himself. God ends the farmer’s life, that night. No time for changing. No second chances. Right then, right now, his soul is required by God. He is called a fool by the Lord.
Jesus uses this parable to get this questioning person to see himself. He is that farmer. He is the one who is solely focused upon money. He is blind to who he is talking to.
What makes all of this so sad, is that contextually, Jesus has not said anything about money. He is talking about His role. He talks about the Holy Spirit. Nothing about sharing. Nothing about inheritances. Nothing about money. Here is a man standing in the presence of God on earth, and he is not paying attention. He is so absorbed in his world that he knows nothing else. Before a crowd, he brings up a family problem. This man and his brother were not on the same page. He was anticipating Jesus siding with him. He figured Jesus would tell the brother to do what is fair and right. Never did he dream that Jesus would use the circumstances to accuse him of greed and worldliness.
Now, some lessons for us:
First, there are those who stand before Jesus but do not have a clue as to what Jesus is about. I think of the countless professors in universities today who teach religion classes. So many of them do not even believe in the way the Bible defines Jesus. Day after day, they are teaching young minds about a Jesus that they believe was made up and manufactured by legends, myths and a wicked way of controlling people. So close to Jesus, but they just don’t see Him.
Second, there are those who assemble every week in church buildings, yet they do not know the Jesus of the Bible. They come to appease family. They come out of habit. While there, they visit with their friends. While there, they play games, day dream and even sleep. All around them praises to God are being sung. Around them, God’s word is being explained. Yet these same people are overcome with fear, worry and doubt. Week after week, answers are given, but their minds are somewhere else. They don’t hear the message. They stumble and struggle through life, but it’s by their own choice. What they need is right before them. So close to Jesus, but they just don’t see Him.
Third, there is the spouse who is married to a true disciple of Jesus. The believer worships all the time. An example is set daily before the eyes of this spouse. Kindness, gentleness and grace are the makeup of this disciple. But the mate never recognizes it. The mate never acknowledges it. So close to Jesus, without ever seeing Him.
Fourth, there is Judas, who betrayed the Lord. For three years he saw the Lord everyday. He heard the words. He saw the miracles. He was in the storms that were calmed. He saw demons go into pigs and then into the sea. He saw Peter walk on water. He saw the dead raised. He heard that amazing Sermon on the mount. His heart was greedy. His mind was twisted. He was crooked in this ways. Jesus was so innocent. Jesus had washed the feet of Judas. He was so close to Jesus, but he never saw the Lord.
Paying attention—we need to do that as we read the Bible. We need to do that as sermons are preached. We need to do that to be pleasing to the Lord.
One so close to Jesus, but he never saw Him.