By Ian Cotton, retired Creston pastor
Jesus had been speaking to the disciples of the future. They were to share the truths He had taught them. He had assured them of wisdom which none could gainsay. His own words.
Words that moved the hearts of the multitude, and brought to confusion His adversaries, witnessed to the power of that indwelling Holy Spirit which He had promised to His followers.
“And one asked Jesus, Master, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” Luke 12:13. He thinks his brother has defrauded him. He has heard Christ’s stirring appeals. If words of such command could be spoken to his brother, he would not dare to refuse him his portion.
This brother revealed his selfishness. He thought that Jesus might work for his greed; but spiritual truths had taken no hold on his mind and heart. The inheritance absorbed him.
Jesus, the King of glory, who was rich, yet for our sake became poor, was opening to him the treasures of divine love. The Holy Spirit was pleading with him to become an heir of the inheritance that is “incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away.” 1 Peter 1:4.
He had seen evidence of the power of Christ. Now he had opportunity to speak to Jesus, to express the desire uppermost in his heart. But like many today his eyes were fixed on earthly profit. He valued the gift of God only for worldly gain.
The Saviour’s mission on earth was fast drawing to a close to establish the kingdom of His grace. But Jesus was not to be diverted from His mission. He replied, “who made Me a judge over you?”
Jesus could have told this man just what was right. He knew the right in the case; but the brothers quarreled because both were greedy. Christ virtually said, It is not My work to settle controversies of this kind. He came for another purpose, to preach the gospel, and to arouse men to a sense of eternal realities.
When He sent forth the twelve, He said, “As you go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:7, 8.
They were not to settle the temporal affairs. Their work was to persuade men to be reconciled to God. Their work was to bless humanity. The only remedy for the sins and sorrows of men is Christ. The gospel of His grace alone can cure the evils that curse society.
The injustice of the rich toward the poor, the hatred of the poor toward the rich, alike have their root in selfishness, and this can be eradicated only through submission to Christ. He alone, for the selfish heart of sin, gives the new heart of love. Let Christians preach the gospel with the Spirit sent down from heaven, and work as He did for the benefit of men. The result will be in the blessing and uplifting of mankind.
Jesus struck at the root that troubled this questioner, and of all similar disputes, saying, “Take heed, and beware of covetousness; for a man’s life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses.”
– Adapted from Christ Object Lessons
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