A popular song released in the 70’s contained the lyrics, “Money, get away.
Get a good job with good pay and you're okay.
New car, caviar, four star daydream.”
The artist of this song was expressing the feelings of many people of their time.
In fact, this thinking is still prevalent today.
How many times don’t we hear that having money and the nicest possessions will give us a perfect life?
Jesus has something to teach us in today’s lesson regarding earthly possessions.
His parable asks us, *Where is your greatest treasure?
*Is it *In earthly storehouses?
*Or is it *Stored in heaven?*
Jesus was in his last few months on this earth before his death on the cross.
He was spending his time teaching his disciples the things they needed to know before he would visibly be with them.
In fact, there was a great crowd that was surrounding him.
As Jesus was teaching those listening to him, a man pushes his way to the front of the crowd.
He had something very important to ask the Teacher.
*“Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”*
Just think about that for a moment.
This man had one chance to ask anything he wanted to know.
One chance to ask the Son of God a question!
Of all the questions he could have asked, and this is what he asked?
He could have asked about the end of the world.
He could have asked about heaven.
He could have asked about God’s plan of salvation!
But he doesn’t even ask a question.
Instead he demands that the Savior of the world settle a matter of inheritance between him and his brother.
Every analogy limps, but consider this.
You are attending a presidential convention.
As you are listening to the candidate speak, one individual steps forward.
This individual has the chance to ask a question.
He could ask about anything!
He could ask what the candidate would do about a hot issue.
He could ask what the candidate would have done if he were in office during a particular time period.
Instead, the individual demands that the candidate settle a disagreement he has regarding a bank statement.
Jesus’ response probably wasn’t the one that the man wanted to hear.
*Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” *Jesus responded to the man’s concern with a question.
The Savior’s intention was to beg the man to realize his motivation.
Jesus was using a question, as he so often does, to bring the man to repentance.
Jesus knew that the man was more concerned about earthly possessions than he was about eternal life.
Jesus was also trying to point out what he had really come to earth for.
Had he come to be some judge who decides trivial matters?
No, he had come to be something so much greater.
He had come to be our Savior from sin.
Jesus follows up his question with a stern warning.
This warning wasn’t just addressed to the man, but it was also addressed to the whole crowd listening to him.
Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”*
Jesus knew the hearts of those listening to him.
He knew the man who spoke out was struggling with greed.
He knew that every last person in the crowd was most certainly struggling with it.
Our Savior used the man’s disappointing command and turned it into an object lesson.
What Jesus’ was warning against was not something that the crowd was supposed to do just once, or even just a few times.
Translated very literally, Jesus said “Keep on watching out” and “keep on guarding yourselves.”
Colossians 3:5 tells us why we need to do this.
*“Put to death, therefore, greed, which is idolatry.”*
What was the crowd’s reaction to Jesus’ statement?
Can’t you just hear them possibly murmuring under their breath, “Well, if earthly possession’s don’t make up a man’s life, then what does?”
In order to make sure his point was not lost, Jesus tells a parable.
*“The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop.”
*Notice the main character in the parable.
It was not someone who was down on his luck, or even a middle class man.
The main character was a rich man.
This man had planted his fields.
An even better possibility was that he had had his servants plant his fields for him.
The ground produced a good crop for the rich man.
Notice, however, that it does not say that the rich man grew a good crop.
The credit for the crop goes to the land.
God had allowed the land to produce a bountiful harvest.
However, this good crop posed a problem for the rich man.
He had nowhere to store all his harvest.
Where would he put it all?
His storehouses weren’t big enough to put it all in.
So, “*He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do?
I have no place to store my crops.’”
*The rich man’s first question was not, “How can I glorify God for this tremendous gift?
It was, “How can I hold onto all of this?”
The rich man considered these crops to be his own.
God had blessed the man with a bountiful harvest through the land.
And yet, the man could think of no one but himself!
Notice also, that the rich man consults his favorite person.
He doesn’t knock on the door of his neighbor’s house.
He stops what he’s doing and thinks to himself.
No one else is mentioned in this parable but the rich man.
It is interesting to note that the word “synagogue” comes from the Greek word for “to store.”
I bring this up because the crops and his possession’s were the rich man’s god.
Suddenly, a brilliant idea came to the rich man.
*“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do.
I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.*
The rich man wasn’t satisfied with what he had.
He could have easily given some of his crops away, helped some less fortunate individuals.
However, his greed was constantly craving more.
It probably wouldn’t have mattered what it was.
It could have been a bigger house, more servants, more land.
The crops were what was in front of him, and he wanted to make sure that he found a way to keep every last kernel of grain.
The rich man is still only concerned with himself and holding onto his possessions.
*And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years.
Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”
*Isn’t it amazing that the man only talks to himself?
Eleven times in this parable the rich man talks about himself and his own desires.
Consider for a moment the phrase, *take life easy*.
This is the same way that God speaks about heaven.