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!