- We are often worried about things like….
- Where and when do we get to go on holidays
- Will my wife pick up milk on the way home… should I phone and ask
- What car will buy…
- What are we going to get someone for Christmas… what do I want for Christmas
- We have greater concerns… of course… but our context to deal with them is an industrialized society, where very, very, very, few people actually starve to death… (unless the have an addiction or squander available resources).
- Where we have E.I., C.P.P., Provincial medical…
- It makes it harder to understand the context of an Agrarian culture… When our Saviour shares a parable, being the outstanding communicator He is… plays of their socio-cultural context…
- His stories are biting (not mean… intense) because He knows their heart and life…
- I want to share a couple of parables that Christ shared…. Regarding Worry…
- This was a dirt-floor-poor people
- (They would have not seen it this way)
- They were dependant on rain (enough – too much), they were dependant on the sun (enough-not too much)
- They feared hail, heavy winds, cold snaps, heat waves, insects, disease….
- Their survival was dependant on the success or failure of their farm
- Considering some 90%+ were in the same boat….
- They family managed the farm, the animals… the women worked from sun up to sun down to make the bread and other foods needed for the day…. They would ensure the home and family were taken care of… then would do the other duties around the farm… the men would spend the day plowing, planting, weeding, harvesting, milking, grazing,…
- There was no break… except the Sabbath….
- The worked when there was light… stopped when it was dark… and started again tomorrow…
- If you didn’t you put your family at risk… even though the weather and pestilence were never a sure thing.
- Wealth… money... power… was never really within their grasp….
- They wore the same old sandals… on the old dirt road… in their one tunic… in their sun cracked skin… surviving day to day on the back of hard work with few precious things squirreled away…
- Where family wasn’t valuable but essential
- There were few who could holiday… study… take other socialite liberties.
- This is the context in which Christ shares this story…
- The crowd gathered….their dusty feet… the precious time taken to listen… the frailty of their day to day survival palpable… gathered to hear wise words…
- Just a Jesus winds up… readies himself before the assembled… there is a divine coincidence… happenstance
- Someone leads in with a question… one that is pertainate to most of the listeners… on that will intensify the desire of the hearers to hear and the impact of the parables to follow…
Luke Chapter 12 –
The Parable of the Rich Fool
13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14 But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
- There are more important things!
- You are worried about land… covetedness and that’s unhealthy
- Have you No idea…
- The crowd would have been intrigued…
- You just told common folk… struggling to survive…. That it ain’t about the stuff… there is something more important…
- one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions
- He continues…
16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’
- Farmer’s subsistence living… here a message of prosperity
- Just imagine…. This could a first century 649 commercial
- Such bountiful crops
- Now what?
- Tear down perfectly good barns (gasp in the audience)
- Say to my Soul…. (say to the essence of my life)
- Relax, eat, drink, be merry!
- Ample laid up…
- Temptation to seek blessing
- Danger of idolatry
- Israel was surrounded by idol worshipping nations
- They kept slipping from worshipping the giver to the gift (Baal)
- We want more…. More… more…
20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
- So from rich to poor like poof!
- The peasant farmers listening would see a dream bubble pop
- That which was tempting was now seen clearly
- Earthly treasures bring no eternal security!
- Jonathan Edwards #19 Resolution
- Resolved, never to do any thing, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump.
- This story really brings a clear perspective on life and death, where to trust, where to have faith
- Jesus uses strong words… truly the contrast of the wisdom of faith in God is made apparent when He declares that a Fool trusts in the things that are perishing.
- Jesus has their attention…
- He has taken the story….
- From Some Guy and his inheritance (that we understand)
- To the Rich Guy and his Crops (someone we probably had wished we were)
- Now to us… He has circled the plane… and is going to land the story…
Do Not Be Anxious
22 And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.
- What is the point in light of all that he has said… for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions
24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!
- Who has real value! Society finds it in money, clothes, status….
- God finds it in who you are!
25 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 26 If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!
- Stop focusing on the temporary… stop being consumed with SELF
- Focus, orient, seek, long for…. Him who is so much more!
29 And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried.
- Faithfully living for Him puts even food in perspective! Everything in light of the Giver.
30 For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them.
- Remember to seek God not the blessing!
- It isn’t about what we get… it is about qhom do we glorify… whom do we serve…
31 Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. 32 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old… imperishable wealth…, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
- Jesus just told the peasant farmer how to be rich!
- Rich beyond their wildest dreams…
- What is worry?
- Not trusting God
- Trusting in self and material wealth…
- Seeking our future… not trusting God’s future
- Worry is seeking the blessing instead of First seeking God
- Covetedness is seeking the blessing instead of First seeking God
- Greed is seeking the blessing instead of First seeking God
- Pride is seeking self first seeking God first
- The point of the three stories is the same
- “What is the focus of your life…”
- The Brother seeking an earthly inheritance over a heavenly one
- The rich farmer who found rest for his soul in material things and then found them fleeting
- Or the worrier who seeks their future, their blessing…. And fails to trust in God, storing temporary wealth instead of eternal treasure!
- Luke 12:34 nails it…. The issue is faith… 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
- In whom do you trust?
- for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions
- one’s life consists in the abundance of the grace of God and revelling in His glory forever!