Therefore Do Not Worry 2

Luke 12:27-34

Now we continue with Jesus’ remarks to His disciples from last time. For best results, you should have read the previous post before going further.

Once again Jesus uses an example from nature to illustrate His point, this time it’s the flowers and grasses of the fields. God dresses them magnificently, God provides all they need; how much more will He provide for you!

Don’t worry about what you will eat, drink or wear, for the “pagan world” is concerned with these things. God knows what you need so seek His Kingdom, and He will see to your earthly needs as well (12:27-31). This is all familiar territory for us; we’ve read this a thousand times… ho-hum.

Hold on before you discount this familiar theme, there’s a shift coming…

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (12:32-34)

Did you catch that first sentence? God has been pleased to give us His Kingdom!

This is a game-changer; we have His Kingdom, and that renders the things, cares and worries of this world essentially irrelevant, at least as far as God is concerned. Oh sure, He’ll see to our needs, but we aren’t in this world for a party or to be rich and famous; we have something much better in store. So Jesus says they should sell their possessions and give to the poor, and to place their treasure in the Kingdom where nothing bad will happen to it. For where our treasure is, so will our hearts be.

Did you see what I just did? If you didn’t, don’t feel bad, I manipulated the wording as most do, so you probably didn’t notice, but I attributed the “hard” parts to “them” and the good stuff to “us”. Of course I did that because we don’t want to hear what He is really saying… Let’s try that again:

We don’t need all the stuff of this world anymore, so Jesus is telling us to sell our possessions, give to the poor and place our treasures in Heaven (Kingdom) for where our treasure is, so will our hearts be also.

So dear reader, how does that sound?

Yes, I can see my ‘approval ratings’ falling like a brick! Remember the story of the rich young ruler? Jesus told him to do this same thing, and he went away “sad”. We love to take that story and use it to criticize others, the rich in particular, but here He tells His disciples to do this, and… are we disciples too?

Feeling sad or just irritated with me?

If you look at your Bible, it may appear that Jesus is finished with this subject because there is another one of those subheadings after this, at least there is in the NIV. Yet once again, Jesus may have paused to take a breath after this, but He didn’t pause for more than that; He’s just getting warmed up!

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “Therefore Do Not Worry 2”

  1. Your rating has not fallen. Keep telling it like it is. That’s what Jesus did. For some that’s a hard pill to swallow but when one looks past self-centeredness we can see God’s plan. Oh, how great are His blessings and provision.

  2. I run into people who are broke and living off their credit card. What happened? When they did have money, it went to eating out, going to the movies, buying stuff just to be buying stuff. Then, when they were broke, they didn’t understand why no one would give them food money, or gasoline money so they could go to work and pay the utilities so they weren’t out in the cold.

    Ultimately, even if we ARE responsible and perhaps lose our job through no fault of our own, we must think about all the stuff and entertainment we are used to having. Who said we have to stay in that big house? Who said we had to have the most expensive car or truck out there?

    Thanks for the reminder.

  3. “Sell your possessions and give to the poor.” We see this being practised in the early Church soon after Pentacost where some of those with possessions sold them to provide for the needs of those among them.(Acts 4:32) They followed Jesus’ instructions.

  4. Every time I’ve heard a sermon about the rich young ruler, the pastor has said, “Of course, Jesus only meant this for him, not for everyone.” Hmm, and you have brought up another verse quite the same.

    I don’t think many Christians take this seriously. But, did he mean even sell your house and give all away until you were homeless and owned nothing? I find the teachings in the Bible very tricky and hard to pin down.

    You know where it says to take the homeless poor into your house? We did that a few times and it turned out to be a mistake for our children. One young man peeked in our oldest daughter’s room while she was changing and a woman we took it was running around our house naked with her boyfriend when my youngest girl came home from school.

    Now please answer me this; what should I have done? Never taken anyone in to stay at my house? I’m thinking, yes maybe I shouldn’t have. This has bothered me over the years. We never took anyone in again though, that’s for sure.

    How far do we take Jesus’ teachings? Man, I would love an answer to that! And thanks for bringing it up.

    1. As you know Belle, these are very tough questions, but since you asked, here’s my two cents…

      It seems to me that in the totality of the New Testament, these two passages, one directed at an individual, and the other directed to a general audience, that Jesus is speaking more to our attitudes than to anything else, and that there is a danger is being too literal in this matter. “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” is the key. Do we treasure riches or things or possession (whatever our income may be) more thn God? If God called us to leave it all behind, could we do so? Are we willing to share what we have?

      I think those are the real questions, and the only answer I can give is that we be willing to follow where the Holy Spirit leads us, and that we be willing to develop out relationship with Him to the point where we can clearly discern what is His call, and what isn’t. For instance, I think His leading may be different for a single person that it is for parents raising children, at least until the children are grown, for the parents’ highest calling would be to raise up their children in the knowledge of the Lord. Anything “drastic” should not only be prayed about, but also discussed with wise spiritual counsel.

      I hope that helps.

      1. It does help. I probably shouldn’t have taken a young man into the house when my girls were young. He was a member of our church, but that doesn’t guarantee anything. The woman was also a new Christian.

        I was thinking about all this and realized that Jesus’ friends and disciples owned homes, so God doesn’t expect us to sell our houses and give the money unless he specifically asks us to. He said, “If you have two coats, give one away.” I think that tells us not to have too many possessions.

        I really appreciate your answer. I will keep trying to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s