Then someone called from the crowd, “Sir, please tell my brother to divide my father’s estate with me.” But Jesus replied, “Man, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that? Beware! Don’t always be wishing for what you don’t have. For real life and real living are not related to how rich we are.” Then he gave an illustration: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. In fact, his barns were full to overflowing—he couldn’t get everything in. He thought about his problem, and finally exclaimed, ‘I know—I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones! Then I’ll have room enough. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “Friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Wine, women, and song for you!”’ “But God said to him, ‘Fool! Tonight you die. Then who will get it all?’ “Yes, every man is a fool who gets rich on earth but not in heaven.” The rich man in Jesus’ story died before he could begin to use what was stored in his big barns. Planning for retirement—preparing for life before death—is wise, but neglecting life after death is disastrous.
The Good Life
Jesus is pointing to a higher issue—a correct attitude toward the accumulation of wealth. Life is more than material goods; far more important is our relationship with God. Jesus says that the good life has nothing to do with being wealthy, so be on guard against greed (desire for what we don’t have). This is the exact opposite of what society usually says. Advertisers spend millions of dollars to entice us to think that if we buy more and more of their products, we will be happier, more fulfilled, more comfortable. How do you respond to the constant pressure to buy? Learn to tune out expensive enticements and concentrate instead on the truly good life—living in a relationship with God and doing his work.
Lord, Help us to never put any of these “things” before You! Amen…