Summary: Being an Authentic Follower of Jesus: Treasuring What is Important in Life
Being an Authentic Follower of Jesus:
Treasuring What is Important in Life
1. Do Not Fear in the Midst of Uncertainty (vs. 22-30)
Jesus just finished telling a story about the man who was a fool because he was greedy because he was not rich toward God. Jesus now turns to his disciples, who at this point are a bit nervous about this story because they have left everything to follow him. Worry arises when we are fearful over the uncertainty of our future. Fear and worry are closes cousins. Jesus tells his disciples not to fear for three reasons:
Life is more than the essentials – what we wear and eat. He is hinting at what he will make more clear is that kingdom life, Spirit given life, is more important than this earthly life. The kingdom brings life so the king is where I should focus my attention. If the majority of your energies are directed toward this life then your energies are misdirected and you are foolish.
ESV Luke 4:4 And Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone.'"
ESV John 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is of no avail. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
Second, God is faithful to care for you, his children. The ravens neither sow nor reap; neither do they store away food in barns yet God is faithful to feed and provide for them. Ravens were unclean and despised birds, insignificant in the scope of things yet God faithfully cares for them. You are much more valuable than a bird because you are his children (v. 30). This is not academic, this is practical. Third, worry is futile and foolish – it does not bring about its intended result. Fear gives birth to worry because we do not believe that God will be faithful to take care of us so we need to take care of ourselves. That is a lie. God has committed himself and his reputation on his care of us - I will be with you to the end of the age. Consider the lilies of the field. They do not spin toil yet God richly clothes them. In other words, God is sovereign and rules and orders the world and makes sure creation is cared for and you are much more valuable to me than birds and flowers, which are hear today and gone tomorrow.
Fear, worry, anxiety clouds our thinking so that we do not think God is at work or do not see him at work. The point so far is that God is faithful; God cares for us; God will provide for us. So do not be a thing seeker but be a kingdom seeker.
Thing seeking exposes a foolish heart that trusts in things and not trusts in King Jesus. Jesus again goes beyond the superficial – fear and worry - and performs heart surgery. Jesus knows the questions going through their minds, their fears and uncertainties, so he reminds them that God, their Father, is good and will take care of them. He is committed to them so they and we do not need to be greedy, seek things.
2. Be a Kingdom Seeker not a Thing Seeker (vs. 31-34)
The basis for fearless living is that God is there for us
ESV Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.
ESV Joshua 1:5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.
SV Matthew 28:20b Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
ESV Hebrews 13:5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
The disciples are sheep among wolves (10:3) so there are real threats out there just like there are real threats for each of us. But we have a Father who owns and runs the world and he really does love giving us the kingdom to his sheep like children. So repent of thing seeking and turn your hearts toward kingdom seeking and follow King Jesus. Renounce your love for things and love the King.
But what does it mean to seek the kingdom? We don’t need to look beyond the immediate context. We can look back a few verses and we can look forward a few verses. If we look back Jesus tells us, ‘don’t be like the nations who seek things like the rich fool, building bigger and better things (v. 30) or look forward where Jesus tells us to sell your possessions and give things away to the needy (2 separate things?). Seeking the kingdom includes both. It includes stop doing something and start doing something. Stop the quest for things and start selling what you don’t need and turning your resources into ministry of kingdom opportunities. In doing so we provide for ourselves treasures in heaven. When we sell things we really don’t need and when we give sacrificially like alms we store up treasures in heaven. It is not buying the kingdom but it shows what we value – our treasures are not here but they are treasures in heaven. Selling and giving rather than accumulating and gathering is the path to the kingdom and shows that you love the King, the kingdom more than things.