“How much is enough?”
Much of humanity is suffering with problematic preoccupations.
That is to say that the vast majority of us have misunderstood life to be about getting rich.
But it is entirely possible to be rich in this world and not rich toward God.
Think about it, by and large everybody is trying to get more.
But the question that we need to address is “how much is enough?”
I mean because trying to get more “preoccupies”.
What did I say?
Preoccupation occurs when our minds are engrossed with something, and in this case, the something is getting more.
Ask your neighbor how much is enough?
Context of the Text
Well, that's the scene here as Jesus it's to Jerusalem to be crucified.
He is being dogged at the heels by the scribes and the Pharisees.
He has put them in their proper places and has ticked them off.
Luke reports at chapter 11 verse 53 through 12 verse 1: when he left there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to be very hostile and to question him closely on many subjects, plotting against him to catch him in something he might say.
Under these circumstances, after so many thousands of people had gathered together that they were stepping on one another, Jesus began saying to his disciples first of all, Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy.
Hypocrisy is the practice of claiming to have moral standards or believes to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.
Jesus said that the leaven of the Pharisees is hypocrisy.
What then is leaven? it is described simply by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as a transient verb meaning to raise something, such as bread.
secondly it is to mingle or permeate with some modifying, alleviating, or vivifying element.
Jesus was revealing the truth to his disciples about the scribes and the Pharisees.
Look again at the story: the people loved Jesus, it is evidenced by how they flocked to him; the scribes and the Pharisees hated Jesus, it is seen by how old they are trying to trick him and trap him.
And soul, they would deliberately mislead the people with sugary teaching or with watered down doctrine aimed at preoccupying their minds.
While Jesus is conversing with this enormous multitude of people, a man comes out of the crowd of blind, bruised, and broken people.
He emerges from the crowd of those who are crippled and crushed, those who are deaf and devastated.
He comes out of this crowd of hungry, hurting, and hopeless people.
He literally interrupts the conversation at verse 13 by singing to Jesus: “teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.
Can you all believe that?
Right at the time that Jesus is being bombarded with all of the legitimate issues he was facing, here comes this fella with his problematic preoccupation.
Jesus makes short work of his petition by saying man, who made me a judge or an arbitrator over you.
According to family law found in Deuteronomy 21:17, the double portion of the inheritance was allotted to the firstborn son.
It would appear then that's a request is coming from a younger brother who would have been granted or given something but who wanted more.
So Jesus had no interest in settling material disputes he does use the occasion to warn of the pitfalls of abundance and the evils of greed.
She declares to them that life does not consist of the amount of stuff you accumulate.
Me, Myself, and I
The lesson was important enough for Jesus to illustrated it with a parable and this particular parable is unique only to Luke's gospel.
And he told them a parable, so you saying the land of Richmond was very productive.
And he began reasoning to himself, saying what shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?
Then he said, this is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.
And I will say to my soul: soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
But God said to him, You fool!
This very night your soul is required of you and now who will own what you have prepared?
Jesus continues by saying that this is how it will be for everybody who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
And I believe that's what the Lord wants to challenge us with this afternoon.
What are you preoccupied with that he is problematic true you're being rich toward God?
Is it your life?
Is it your body?
Jesus says don't be!
Worry can be translated as don't preoccupy yourselves with stuff like that because you don't control it.
If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters?
Being rich in this world and not toward God means that when you leave this world you leave your treasures.
So Jesus says if you are going to be preoccupied... if you are going to be engrossed in something: seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness...
ONLY WHAT YOU DO FOR CHRIST WILL LAST
Jesus closes this lesson by assuring his followers that they don't have to worry about stuff.
He says your father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.
Sale your possessions and give to charity make yourselves money belts which you do not wear out and I’m feeling treasure in heaven when no thief comes near nor moth destroys.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
When I think about my Savior’s love for me and his love for all who will come to repentance, I am reminded and so should you be, about the mission that he has charged us with.
We cannot allow any preoccupation to become problematic and prevent us from telling everyone we meet that Jesus Christ is the way.
Does anybody want to be rich toward God?
Then make for yourselves money belts that do not wear out!