Summary: Mythbusters is one of those TV shows I enjoy watching. So let’s bust a myth today about money and families.
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.”
Mythbusters is one of those TV shows I enjoy watching. So let’s bust a myth today about money and families.
A lot of people think that a terrible disease like cancer or a death of a parent brings out the best in families. Not so… this is a myth that needs to be busted.
What happens to families in crisis is that the reality of the relationship is uncovered. Whatever is hidden beneath the surface – whether it is good or bad – in a family is revealed. If there is unresolved sibling rivalry, anger about not feeling loved, and resentment over perceived favoritism then in crisis it all comes bubbling up.
That’s what we see here in the beginning of an extended teaching by Jesus on the subject of possessions and money.
Here is a man who wants Jesus to settle an old family dispute. Jesus refuses to get involved (that’s called wisdom) and then begins a powerful and insightful teaching on possessions and faith.
Today I’m going to walk you through this passage verse by verse and let Jesus teach us about our possessions and faith. He busts a whole bunch of myths about possessions in this teaching. These are foundational truths that once really understood – will transform your heart by turning you away from stuff and helping you to be a giving and generous person.
This is not my sermon. It’s not my teaching. It’s our Lords – so listen up!
Are you ready? Let’s go… We begin with a story about a rich man. In this story Jesus reveals some simple truths about possessions. We see the first right away.
Myth: Possessions Are Good
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?’
The Truth: Possessions aren’t good… and they aren’t bad. They are just… well… stuff and they are neither good nor bad. Money is not immoral and neither are the things you can buy with money. That is not the real issue. The real issue is that money and possessions are a burden.
We all believe that if we had enough stuff all our problems would be solved! Well Jesus is pointing out that this is a myth! Possessions do not make life better. Possessions weigh you down.
Look at this guy that Jesus is telling us about. Look at what he says! “I’ve got all this corn, wheat, and soybeans and nowhere to put them! They are going to rot in the fields. Now what do I do?” There is the weight of possessions – they require our attention.
When you have stuff you have to take care of it. Consider that new car you just bought. Now you have to insure it. You have to change the oil in it. You have to put gas in it. You have to wash it so it looks nice. You have to park it carefully so some other jerk doesn’t ding up your doors with his heap of junk when you go to Meijers. You have to tow it in when it won’t run and pay the shop to fix it. That car is a burden.
And think about that house you own. The furnace has to have new filters. The lawn has to be mowed. The driveway has to be shoveled (well maybe not this year). The carpet has to be cleaned and the floors mopped. It just goes on and on.
You say, but if I have enough money I’ll just hire someone to do all that for me. And it is true that If you get rich you can hire people to work for you… but that’s a burden too. Now you have to watch and manage the people to make sure they are doing the work and they aren’t cheating you. If you are really rich you can hire some to watch the people you hire but then you have to watch the watcher. It never ends.
I’m not saying it is wrong and that you should live like a monk or take a vow of poverty… although it might be an attractive option on some days.
I’m just saying that possessions don’t free you up… they weigh you down. The more you have the more you have to take care of, maintain, protect, and defend. Possessions are a burden.