Summary: A sermon on Luke 12:13-21 on life, money and stewardship (Outline and material adapted from Jack Peters at: http://www.sermonseeds.org/Luke/Luke%2012.htm under Money Principles)
There have been times when we have gone to a high school football/basketball game and the kids asked for some money to buy candy. I gave them $5 and they returned with some candy. I ask for a piece and their answer is “no.”
Here is what they don’t realize. First – I could take the candy away and eat it all my self. Because I am bigger and stronger I could do that. Second – I gave them the money in the first place, I paid for the candy so really it is mine. Third – I could have bought so much candy that they couldn’t have possibly eaten all of it. Now look at this from God’s view when He blesses us. 1st – He has the power to take it all away if/when He wants. 2nd – He gives us everything. 3rd – He can supply endlessly. This goes for our finances, health, just about everything
A common problem in all societies is greed or covetousness. Many are never satisfied with what they have, and always looking to have more in the way of money or things. We, as Christians, must be careful, for it is easy for us to fall into this sin.
Jesus tells us a parable about greed here. This is the only place in the gospels where this is told. The parable was actually prompted by a request that our Lord received. Our Lord was talking about the false teachings of the Pharisees, about not fearing men, but fearing God. He gave a teaching called the blaspheme of the HS. He had just taught about the help of the HS during persecution. Now this. It doesn’t fit. It seems that Jesus was interrupted.
Vs. 13- The man’s request was that Jesus speak to his brother about properly dividing an inheritance. The eldest son was to be the executor of his parents estate. The eldest son was to get the largest portion of the estate and divide the rest with his brothers. Evidently this man was not the eldest son and he felt like his brother gave him a bad deal.
Whether the man had a case or not, we do not know. Rabbis were asked to act as judges between people on certain occasions, so such a request was probably not uncommon.
Vs. 14- Jesus refused to do this. This was not the time or the person to ask to resolve these kinds of issues. Jesus Christ did not come to be an earthly judge deciding inheritance issues.
Vs. 15- Like he often does Jesus Christ had an understanding of what this man’s problem really was. “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”” 1 Samuel 16:7, NIV. This man was greedy or covetous.
Vs. 15- Real life is not based on what we have in the way of money or possessions. “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10, NIV. Jesus knows about life, we better listen to him.
Our Lord goes on to tell the story of a rich, but foolish farmer.
Thesis: Let’s talk about some principles on life and money from this parable
Prosperity comes from God. Vs. 16
It was the land of this rich man that was responsible for the man’s wealth. God had given this man a very good piece of property.
We were made to work. In the Garden of Eden, Adam had work to do. A lazy man should not expect a giveaway. “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”” 2 Thessalonians 3:10, NIV.
God has no problem with men and women striving to do their best with the gifts, talents, and careers they have been given. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,” Colossians 3:23, NIV.
But no matter how hard we work, we must realize and accept something which the man in this parable did not. It is God who keeps us healthy so we can work. It is God who allows us to be productive. It is God who gives us knowledge and wisdom to be successful.
It is God who has allowed us to have whatever we have been blessed with. It is God who allows circumstances to be such that we prosper. “But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.” Deuteronomy 8:18, NIV.
God can be left out. Vs. 17-18
This man was thankless. Because of this he left out two important things: