Thursday, September 18, 2008

“Tell my brother…”

Luke 12:13: “Someone in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me’."

In the midst of Chapter 12 we find the parable about the barn building rich fool. In thinking about this parable, we contemplate about greed, abundance, retirement and we ask if we’re living a self-centered life or a Christ-centered life.

Often we slide over verse thirteen: “Teacher, tell my brother”. Here in an instant we see man’s tendency to avoid personal application of Christ’s teaching to ourselves. It is his brother that he thinks about, not himself at all. The man has a disagreement with his brother concerning the disposal of an inheritance. The man is in the presence of Christ and all he is thinking about is his brother’s unfairness or perceived unfairness. The last thing a man thinks of is applying Christ’s truth to himself.

Do we listen to God’s word and the first thing we think of is this, “Boy, Bubba sure should hear this.” Yes, Bubba needs truth applied in his life also but all the while the “issue” is eating a hole in our gut. It distracts and blinds us from Christ’s message when we are consumed with our “worldly cares”. We listen to Christ all the time thinking of our “inheritance problems”.

We are distracted by the “worldly cares” and make pronouncements that Bubba better get his life in order while all the while we are consumed with me, myself, and I. These issues, whatever they are, tend to become absorbing and engrossing. It blinds us from Godly insight and truth. The message of Christ gets lost in the shuffle. We fail to make application in our own life and we become less because of that, and sin continues unchecked in our life.

May I make application to my life, not my brothers. Let the Holy Spirit do its work in both our lives. May we forget about self-righteous pronouncements against our brother.

Jesus doesn’t take the bait. Jesus is the Messiah not some earthly judge working out inheritance squabbles. Jesus tells them in verse 15: “Then he said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions’." We need to be on our guard against all sin, especially those which apply to us. On second thought, they all apply to us. Let the Holy Spirit deal with my brother.

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