Luke 12: 13-21, such a short passage… so many questions.
Isn’t it ironic that Jesus says “who appointed me a judge…”? This coming from the one whom God appointed as the judge of the living and the dead, as per Acts 10:42. Perhaps there is a difference between Jesus being the judge of us and judge between us… or, maybe it was textbook irony.
In verse 15, Jesus issues a warning then begins a parable in verse 16… who is this warning and parable for? The brother who wanted half of the inheritance or the brother that wouldn’t share? Is it greedy and like the rich land owner to horde the inheritance? Or to be the brother that demands half? Both? (Jesus often used parables to take a particular situation or issue and make universal claims to teach all of the people about the way that things work in God’s kindgom, in God’s realm.)
So the land owner has lots of crops, builds bigger barns, then really gets in trouble with his statement in verse 19. And I can see how this could be a problem for me. At this stage in life, my “grain stored in barns” is less financial and more spiritual. With all the seminary learning and Bible study I do for my job, I could take a break from daily pursuing a relationship with Christ and say to myself “You have plenty of churchy-ness laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”
What is it that you are storing up? And who is it benefiting?
We can read what Jesus says… “You fool.” Who benefits from all this that you have stored up for yourself? Unspoken answer… no one does. Verse 21… my paraphrase, “this is the truth, this is how the world works–when you store things up for yourself, no one benefits in the end, not even you because your life is fleeting.”
So… whether it is money and material possessions, or piety and spiritual capital, or something else entirely that we are storing up… Jesus is asking us to be rich toward God, which I think means to yield our stuff to God’s disposal. Our gifts, the blessings in our lives, our spiritual gifts, our “wealth” whatever it may be, are given to us so that we might be a blessing to others. (Genesis 12:1-3)
Tough passage… good stuff. Sorry I didn’t answer too many of the GPS questions.