“Be On Your Guard Against Every Form of Greed” (10/26)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Luke 12-13.

Greed is often associated with the wealthy. Those who believe the government ought to confiscate wealth from the rich through higher taxation and redistribute to those who have less will often condemn the “greedy” rich as a way to make people sympathetic to their views. Some will even try to use the Bible to support such government action. After all, we are to seek after equality and justice, right?

Notice what Jesus said to one who complained about an “unequal” and “unjust” distribution of wealth.

Someone in the crowd said to Him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.’ But He said to him, ‘Man, who appointed Me a judge or arbitrator over you?’ Then He said to them, ‘Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has a abundance does his life consist of his possessions’” (Luke 12:13-15).

To this man who came to Jesus, it did not seem fair that his brother had received the whole family inheritance. Human reasoning might cause one to be sympathetic to his complaint. It may not seem fair that his brother received the inheritance and this man did not. But Jesus said He was not a judge over these types of matters. He did not come to earth to bring about economic equality. Those who believe that He did and try to use the Scriptures to make their case are twisting and perverting the word of God.

Rather than seek for economic equality through the redistribution of the family inheritance, Jesus issued a warning to this man: “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed” (Luke 12:15). This warning needs to be heeded by all of us today.

If others are more wealthy than we are, we are not to covet what they have (Colossians 3:5). Instead, we are to be content with what we have (1 Timothy 6:8) – whether we have little or much (Philippians 4:11-12).

Yes, the wealthy can sometimes be guilty of greed. But the poor (or less wealthy) can be guilty of greed as well. Paul warned that “the love of money” – not money itself – “is a root of all sorts of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). Let us not be so concerned with what others have and what we do not have that we become distracted from our purpose in life – to faithfully serve the Lord.

Tomorrow’s reading: Luke 14-15

[I’m using the Chronological reading plan on the Bible Gateway website if you’d like to follow along, too.]

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