What Jesus Did! 'Greed' — Luke 12:13-15

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Then someone called from the crowd, "Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father's estate with me." Jesus replied, "Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?" Then he said, "Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own."
— Luke 12:13-15 NLT

Key Thought

Most of us can really get upset when someone cheats us financially. Yet incredibly, nearly everyone gets cheated sometime! There are plenty of people looking to steal from honest folks. Being cheated hurts us terribly, especially when done by a person in our physical or spiritual family because family members are supposed to be people we can trust. We shouldn't be surprised when a family financial problem was brought to Jesus. However, he made it clear that he was not going to get into the middle of a family dispute about money. He was not here to ensure us financial justice. Jesus was and still is more interested in our earthly character and our eternal trajectory. Greed can manifest itself in those who are rich, and it can be 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 sometimes couched in terms of forgiving a debt (Matthew 6:12 NIV & 18:21-35).

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

  • 1 Timothy 6:6-10
  • Colossians 3:5
  • 1 Corinthians 6:1-6


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Illustration of Luke 12:13-15 NLT — "Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.