Sunday 31 July 2016

Bible Book:

"But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich towards God." (v.20-21)

Luke 12:13-21 Sunday 31 July 2016

Psalm: Psalm 49



This passage in Luke's Gospel comes after a long section wherethe tension and antagonism between Jesus and the religious folk hasincreased markedly. It is followed by a more pastoral sectionaddressed to the disciples.

At the time, it was normal for the elder son to receive double theyounger son's proportion of the inheritance and disputes werecommon. Rabbis (teachers) were often called upon to settle such adispute. Jesus refuses to be a judge or arbitrator and, through aparable (a story with a moral lesson), puts the enquirer in theposition of the one who has died rather than the one who mightinherit!

Two facets of human nature emerge from this short encounter.First, the greed, envy and desire to acquire things to make us feelsecure. Second, the longing to be able to put our feet up andrelax, eat, drink and be merry. At one level these are perfectlyunderstandable impulses. But even a casual survey of what'shappening around the world and within our own communities (andamong our own friends) will reveal that in an instant something canovertake us and these things will mean nothing. Ultimately deathrenders them worthless but, if we are honest, they still have theirpowerful attraction!

Jesus invites the enquirer to consider their own mortality and, inthis passage, is likely to be addressing a male because at the timeonly sons inherited. In the light of that, how prepared is he fordeath and how rich is he in relationship to God.

To Ponder

  • What are the longings and priorities of your heart?
  • What does it mean for you to be 'rich towards God'?
  • How prepared are you for your death? What needs to be put inorder?
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