“Teacher, make my brother divide the inheritance with me!” (Luke 12:13)
It has to be one of the most bizarre interruptions in all of the Bible. Jesus, the sinless Son of God is preaching a power-packed sermon to several thousand stalwart souls, and He is hammering away at the wickedness of the self-righteous Pharisees who are standing nearby waiting to ensnare Him in His words.
Those listening had to be held in the grip of great tension, for they all knew that at any moment the Pharisees could erupt in anger and haul Jesus off to be punished – or even stoned to death.
And then it happened. Some brainless guy in the crowd, sitting near the front interrupted Jesus with this – “Teacher, make my brother divide the inheritance with me!”
What!? Obviously the man had not heard a word Jesus had said, and here’s why. He was a man with money on his mind! I can’t help but wonder if that is true of many of us today? Perhaps we would benefit by what the Lord said to this hapless soul.
Jesus asked him, “Who made Me a judge or arbitrator over you?”(vs.14). In other words, Jesus was asking the man if he was truly willing to accept the Lord’s unbiased judgement in his financial affairs, and to implement His decisions without dispute. I wonder – would you be willing to let the Lord decide your financial affairs?
Jesus told the man, and also the listening crowd, “A man’s life does not consist of the abundance of the things he possesses”(vs.15). Then, to illustrate His point, Jesus tells the story about a man who built himself bigger and bigger barns to hold all the bounty of his labors – only to be confronted one night by God saying, “Fool! This night shall your soul be required of thee! Now, to whom shall all these things belong?” And just like that, the man died.
Jesus said, “This is what it will be like for those who lay up treasure for themselves, but are not rich toward God.” (vs.21).
God is able to make all grace abound to you SO THAT in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound to every good work.” Yes, God is able; but the real question is, “Are you willing?”
Are you willing to stop the stock-piling of your ever increasing wealth, so that others can be blessed by your generosity as you openly share what God has graciously provided into your hands? Will you let the Lord show you how to become a giver? Are you willing to “abound to every good work?”
That is what the Judge and Arbitrator of your life’s estate is directing you to do. “You already abound in so many things,” He says, “See that you abound in this grace of giving also”(2 Co.8:7).
The only questions now to be answered are, “Will you live as a generous man? Or, will you die as a rich fool?”