Summary: How we think of ourselves is a reflection of how we think of God and others.
Title: Who Do You Love? (Encompasses “what” we love, as in inordinate affections for, devotion to and obsessions with things and/or people. What we love reflects who we love.)
Text: Luke 12:13-21
Thesis: How we think of ourselves is a reflection of how we think of God and others.
Sub-Points: Greed is a spiritual disease. It is idolatry. Idolatry evidences itself in many ways… we might think of those ways as side effects.
Jesus condemned the Pharisees’ self-righteous hypocrisy because it blinded them from seeing their own need for repentance and a Savior.
Many Pharisees prided themselves in their strict avoidance of obvious, outward sin. They were quick to make observations and judgments about the sins of others, which is perhaps the primary evidence of Pharisaical behavior. They refused to look inside themselves and acknowledge the presence of inner sin that didn’t fall within the boundaries of their man-made rules. Jesus knew that in spite of their obsession with outward perfection, they were not at all interested in facing up to their own sin and need for grace. (Reference Jesus’ teaching on the cup clean on the outside but filthy on the inside…)
The fact that Jesus pointed this out to them did not settle well. They were quick to dish it out but were not very good at taking it. They were so upset with Jesus that at the end of Luke 11 they had become outright hostile toward Jesus and were bent on trying to bait him into saying something they could use against him. In that context Jesus tells the gathered crowds,
“Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot do any more to you after that. But I’ll tell you whom to fear. Fear God, who has the power to kill you and then throw you into hell. Yes, he’s the one to fear!” Jesus went on to speak of the love of God and invited the people to consider matters of faith and make a decision to affirm their faith in the Son of God. Luke 12:4-10
In the context of Jesus speaking of matters of life and death in 12:1-12, a man in the crowd wants to talk about his father’s estate. The man who spoke was more concerned about his estate than his relationship to God or his own brother, so Jesus nailed him.
I. A person who is greedy lets money adversely affect his relationships.
(One side effect of greed is that it adversely affects our relationships.)
Then someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.” 12:13
Interestingly, the context in which Jesus taught the parable of the Rich Fool, the person who instigated the discussion was a poor person who wanted some money. And the parable itself is about a rich person who wanted more mnoney. So it would seem that greed is a spiritual malady that cuts across socio-economic lines. So we may all participate in this story. We may identify with the man who had none and wanted some or we may indentify with the man who had a lot and wanted even more.