“‘ Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.’ But He said to him, ‘Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?'”
– Luke 12:13-14
The firstborn inheritance rights are outlined for us in Deuteronomy, chapter twenty-one. The firstborn was to receive a double-portion. It could be this was a younger brother crying out for more. This exposed his coveteousness, and as long as both brothers were greedy, no settlement would be to either’s satisfaction.
This man who cried out from the crowd was honest before the Lord. He made his request known to Jesus. His prayer was off, but it was fair, and when we begin to cry out to the Lord in such a manner, this is when Jesus can really start to work in us. Our hearts are exposed and can be examined. We should not be afraid to tell the Lord what is truly on our hearts, He knows anyway! If it is selfish, let it out and be ready to be corrected. In fact, we should ask to be adjusted like Jeremiah when he prayed, “O Lord, correct me, but with justices; not in Your anger, lest You bring me to nothing” (Jeremiah 10:24).
Jesus gave a warning to this man, the disciples, and the crowd to, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Luke 12:15). Our Christ did not come to settle petty disputes such as this one, and it was none of His concern. The Lord was not here to give riches, titles, position, and possessions on this earth. His entire plan is to take your mind and heart off of these things and set them on eternity!
The words of our Lord seem very contradictory to what we hear from many today. Many teach God’s favor is shown through the so-called blessings of possessions in this world. Jesus never taught that at all. Covetousness is the desire for more than what God has set aside for each one of us. It has been rightly defined as “lusting for a greater number of temporal things that go beyond what God determines is eternally best.” If we are Christians, then we are pilgrims in a foreign land. Why then would Jesus ever give us that which would anchor us to this earth?
“If Christ should come today, whose would all my possessions be? How much better to use them for God today than to let them fall in the devil’s hands tomorrow. We can lay up treasure in heaven with them now, and thus be rich toward God. Or we can squander them on our flesh.”
– William MacDonald