In the Gospel of Luke, we are told about a man who was part of the crowd that was listening to the teachings of Jesus. This unnamed man seems to just blurt out an unusual request to Jesus. He said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me” (Luke 12:13). Rabbis would normally settle these type of matters but this man took his selfish request directly to Jesus. It appears that this man had not been paying close attention to what Jesus was teaching.
Luke 12:14-15: Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
This is a difficult teaching for many people to follow today. Our society tends to define us by how much money we earn, the type of house that we live in, the status of the vehicles that we drive, or the kind of clothes we wear. But Jesus is telling His followers not to judge a person’s life based on the abundance of the possessions that he or she has.
Jesus then tells a parable of a rich man who produced an abundant crop. The man was greatly concerned with where he would store this excess of crops. So he decided to tear down his barns and build bigger barns where he could store all of his grain and goods. The man was content because he had stored up plenty of good things for many years. This rich man decides to take life easy; “to eat, drink and be merry.” This rich man was more worried about protecting his wealth and acquiring more assets than living a life that accomplished things of eternal value.
But God tells the man, that what he has done is foolish, because “this very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” (Luke 12:16-20).
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us about storing up treasures in heaven. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).
Are you spending your time on earth only focusing on your possessions and trying to accumulate more stuff? Or, are you focused on what lies ahead, in eternity? God wants us to spend our time on earth helping those who are less fortunate and using our time and our resources to bring God’s kingdom into the lives of those who do not yet know Christ. By sharing the “Good News” and being the hands and feet of Christ in this world, you are ensuring that you will spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven.