A couple times a week, I’ll work from home or have Friday’s off with the girls. Because of this, my wife will sometimes ask me to do one or two things as I take work breaks throughout the day. She gets home usually by about 4:30. On more than one occasion, it will hit 4:00 and I realize, “She’ll be home soon!” I have to run downstairs, get my lunch dishes out of the sink (which she hates), do the thing(s) she asked, and generally makes things look like I’ve not brought destruction and disorder by being home while she was at work. Bear in mind before you judge me while reading this, I’ve not yet entered our passage so you’re only heaping conviction on yourself later!
Our passage today addresses three primary themes—greed, stewardship, and imminency. It opens with a shout from the crowd to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” Jesus, of course, cuts to the quick and calls this guy out, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed.”
Jesus’ parable is a stiff warning against greed (16–21). Likewise, his teaching in verses 22–32, about God’s provision ends with this statement, “your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.” Wow! Think about that for a second, that’s a lot that God has given. We have to also ask ourselves, “Since God has given us so much, how should we respond?”
It’s clear that God hates greed—when we love things more than the God who gave us those things. That’s why God calls every believer to be a steward. Since God has provided us with so much, we have to use those blessings wisely. Verses 33–34 encourages us to invest our resources in eternity, rather than temporary things. Our hearts can be accurately judged by an examination of our bank ledgers, if that doesn’t indicate an investment in eternal things, I bet neither does how you spend your time or talents.
Why should we be good stewards? Two reasons: first, as stated above, God has given us so much! Second, Jesus is coming back (35–48). Although we don’t know exactly when Jesus will return, I can tell you it’s a lot closer to “4:30” than it was yesterday. We don’t talk a lot about the doctrine of imminency, but we should. It is literally the doctrine that should put the fear of God in you to get you moving—investing in eternity with your finances, sharing Jesus with your neighbors, and basically living in such a way that you’d be happy for Jesus to “catch you” doing whatever it is you’re doing at any particular moment. Imminency is the doctrine that says Jesus could return at any second. Thus, in every second we must be more prepared for Jesus to return than the previous 60 seconds. “everyone who has been given much, much will be required.”
You might judge me for leaving dishes in the sink. “Why don’t you just put them away after you use them?” My wife asks me the same things all the time. Honestly, I don’t know. However, I could ask you, “Why do you let your quiet time slip, or your prayer life, or missing that opportunity to share with a lost friend, or any number of guilt-tripping things?” Sure, it feels like it’s only noon and I’ve got hours before my wife gets home—this is always our rationalization. However, this is not our reality. So ask yourself today, “what are you investing your time, talent, or treasure in that will burn up versus what should you be investing in today?”
By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate