Summary: Life, Purpose, Eternity, Materialism
Luke 12:13-21 (p. 727) March 23, 2014
For those of you plugged into social media you are familiar with a common occurrence around this time of year. For those of you who are like that older woman in the Insurance commercial who physically pastes all her vacation pictures to her condo wall and thinks she’s on facebook, I’ll clue you in. All kinds of fake death announcements tend to be circulating online. Around April Fool’s Day. I’m sure this year will be no different. Jon Bon Jovi dies in apparent suicide, Paul McCartney and friend killed in small plane crash...I will share with you something horribly ironic that happened last year...There was a joke death announcement put out about Paul Walker, the actor from the car films The Fast and the Furious which said, “Paul Walker Killed in Fiery Crash...” and then the next day he and a friend were!
Foolish and dangerous to play games with death huh?
[The Des Moines Daily News recorded this incident on April 3, 1896.
Near Nashville yesterday John Aherns, a farmer, planned an April Fool’s joke on his wife with disastrous results. He disguised himself as a tramp, fastened a white mask over his face, and knocked on his door. When his wife appeared at the door he ordered her to fix him dinner. To his horror his wife fell over faint and died an hour later. Aherns had only been married to his wife a few months and idolized his wife. Her death had crazed him with grief and remorse, and he threatens to take his own life.
The biggest problem for John Aherns was the hundreds of men who kept showing up at his door to borrow the white mask!]
(The first part was true...I made that second part up. LOL)
What we really need to understand is being a fool isn’t being silly, or stupid or crazy or loud.
The Biblical definition for fool is found in the book of Psalms the 14th chapter.
“The fool says in his heart...”there is no God.” (v. 1)
The fool’s attitude is....
Basically...there is no higher power than myself. I am accountable to no one for how I live, so I might as well “eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow I die.” (Luke 12:19)
How’d you like your obituary to say...”He (or she) died Fat, Drunk, and Happy?”
I promise you...a lot of people in this world would say, “yeah...I’d like that one!”
But it’s a Fool’s Obituary according to the Savior of mankind...so he tells us a story and it begins with this truth...
I. HE WHO DIES WITH THE MOST TOYS DOES NOT WIN!
Jesus is teaching in the midst of fierce opposition from the Pharisees according to
LUKE 11:53 (p. 726)
But there is also a crowd of many thousands of regular folk trying to be near him, according to Luke 12:1, so much so they’re trampling on one another.
In the midst of this Jesus focused on his small group, the 12 disciples and says, “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” (12:1)
And Jesus then teaches...there’s a God who knows everything, every word spoken, the number of hairs on your head...you should worry a whole lot more about pleasing Him, than pleasing people or yourself.
And from the crowd someone yells out a request...”Teacher tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
Just so you know, according to Jewish laws, the eldest son receives a double portion of the estate and becomes the executor of the rest of it...all the other siblings were dependent upon his decisions...
This is probably one of those siblings and he wants Jesus to tell his brother to be fair.
Jesus says, “who made me the arbiter or mediator of your family estate? And then he says:
“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed. Life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” (v. 15)
When the son of God says, “WATCH OUT...and then follows that warning with “BE ON YOUR GUARD” we should pay attention huh? He was telling the crowd and us...This is important for the way you live your life.
[All of us have seen families implode because of jealousy and greed during estate settlements...Damage is done that is almost irreparable...words are spoken that cannot be retrieved and Satan takes a time of grief and turns it into a relationship destroying opportunity.
Why? Because like the man who asked Jesus to tell his brother to share the inheritance people begin to think how much better life can be with money, the bills they can pay, the stuff they can buy.
Like the certain rich man in Jesus’ parable who thought “you have plenty of grain laid up for many years...take life easy; eat drink and be merry.”