What Jesus Did! 'Greedy for Financial Justice' — Luke 12:13-15

Saturday, August 15, 2015

One of the men in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, {our father just died}. Tell my brother to share with me the things our father owned." But Jesus said to him, "Who said that I should be your judge or decide how to divide your father's things between you two?" Then Jesus said to them. "Be careful and guard against all kinds of greed. A person does not get life from the many things he owns."
— Luke 12:13-15
Illustration of Luke 12:13-15 — "Be careful and guard against all kinds of greed. A person does not get life from the many things he owns."

Key Thought

Most of us can really get upset when someone cheats us financially. Yet incredibly, nearly everyone gets cheated somewhere down the line! There are plenty of folks looking to cheat honest folks. This hurts us terribly when it is a person in our physical or spiritual family because they are supposed to be people we can trust. We shouldn't be surprised when this is a problem brought to Jesus. Jesus makes it clear that he is not going to get into the middle of a family dispute about money. He is not here to insure us financial justice. Jesus is more interested in our earthly character and our eternal trajectory. Greed can manifest itself in those who are rich. However, it is an even bigger problem in those who want to be rich. The issue isn't if we're going to be cheated financially, but whether or not we handle that offense with character and grace. We shouldn't be surprised that forgiveness in the teaching of Jesus is couched in terms of "forgiving a debt" (Matt. 6 & 18).

Today's Prayer

Father, don't let greed have a foothold in my heart. I know that it is a form of idolatry, and I don't want anything to have the desires of my heart but you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

It is true that serving God makes a person very rich, if that person is satisfied with what he has. When we came into the world, we brought nothing. And when we die, we can take nothing out. So, if we have food and clothes, we will be satisfied with that. People who want to become rich bring temptations to themselves. They are caught in a trap. They begin to want many foolish things that will hurt them. Those things ruin and destroy people. The love of money causes all kinds of evil. Some people have left the {true} faith (teaching) because they want to get more and more money. But they have caused themselves to be very, very sad.

1 Timothy 6:6-10

So put all evil things out of your life: sexual sinning, doing evil, letting evil thoughts control you, wanting things that are evil, and selfishly wanting more and more. This wanting really means to live serving a false god.

Colossians 3:5

When one of you has something against another person, why do you go to {the judges in the law courts}? Those people are not right with God. So why do you let those people decide who is right? You should be ashamed! Why don't you let God's people decide who is right? Surely you know that God's people will judge the world. So if you will judge the world, then surely you are able to judge small things {like this}. You know that in the future we will judge angels. So surely we can judge things in this life. So if you have those disagreements that must be judged, why do you take those things to people who are not part of the church? Those people mean nothing to the church. I say this to shame you. Surely there is some person in your group wise enough to judge a complaint between two brothers (believers)! But now one brother goes to court against another brother. You let men that are not believers judge their case!

1 Corinthians 6:1-6

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.