“Someone in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.’ Jesus replied, ‘Man, who appointed me as a judge or an arbiter between you?’ 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.'” (Matthew 12:13-15)
Do you enjoy being interrupted? I’m guessing most of us don’t really enjoy being interrupted. In this text Jesus was teaching the people eternal things and then someone in the crowd spoke out. What was it that was so important? He wanted Jesus to help him make sure that he got his fair share of stuff.
What does Jesus say? “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed.” Ouch. Did this man need to hear that? What about you and I? Do we need to hear that warning from Jesus? Do we think we need something more than what Jesus has already given us? Is “stuff” more important to us than the eternal things that Jesus gives? Do we think we need Jesus plus __________? Jesus’ warning is for you and me too.
But notice what Jesus said? “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” So, in what does life consist? Remember how Jesus answered the devil’s temptation in the desert? “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Jesus has effectively made greed of every kind downright ridiculous. How so?
If we are greedy, we’re failing to grasp the beauty of what God tells us in His Word. If we’re greedy, we think we need something else in life in order to be happy, in order to be successful, in order to give life more meaning. But if we think that, we’re not fully grasping the gospel. Think about what the gospel is! The gospel tells us that Christ lived and died for us, that with his blood Christ bought us, that we’re God’s dearly loved children, that we’ve got something far more awesome than what we could ever imagine awaiting us in heaven!
In short, in Christ, we already have everything we need! What more could we possibly want?
Freed from greed by Christ, just like you,