Hi readers! I just wanted to go through a parable by Jesus with you. Some parts I probably subconsciously am repeating after reading the book “Confronting Christianity”. It is a fantastic book (aside from the bible, the best one read this year), so please do read it! Now to the passage
“Someone from the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” “Friend,” he said to him, “who appointed me a judge or arbitrator over you?” He then told them, “Watch out and be on guard against all greed, because one’s life is not in the abundance of his possessions.” Then he told them a parable: “A rich man’s land was very productive. He thought to himself, ‘What should I do, since I don’t have anywhere to store my crops? I will do this,’ he said. ‘I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones and store all my grain and my goods there. Then I’ll say to myself, “You have many goods stored up for many years. Take it easy; eat, drink, and enjoy yourself.”’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is demanded of you. And the things you have prepared — whose will they be?’ “That’s how it is with the one who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.””
Luke 12:13-21 CSB
Ouch! This is definetly a convicting passage for most of us. Please do have another read of it, more slowly.
So this is the context behind the parable: A man feels like he has been wronged in receiving inheritance, so he goes to Jesus, by then a famous person, requesting that he would tell the brother to be just. Instead, Jesus kindly says no and uses this as an opportunity to warn us against greed and putting our hopes in things of this world.
In this parable, the man, a rich person gets a good harvest and decides pretty much to build storage rooms to keep it in and live off it. This doesn’t seem that bad, right? Indeed, our culture promotes the idea of getting rich and then enjoying an early retirement. What is wrong with living off that, which you worked for?
However, God had decided to take the life of the man that very night after he decided to do that. In the parable, God then asks the man, where his fortunes are to help him now. They have all remained at earth, while he is naked before God in heaven, with no material possessions to show him.
There is this one problem, which all humans on earth (but 1) have. I’m talking about sin. Like this parable talks about, we are going to die one day and face God. This would be fine if we are good, but through us disobeying God’s perfect rules and bringing pain and suffering into the world as a result of that, God has got an anger against humans. This parable brings up this point: No material possessions will help you out there. You’ll leave them behind and face God and let me tell you this: God won’t look at that boat of yours and accept you because of it. He won’t let you into heaven because of your healthcare. Neither your photocollection of favourite walks will be the reason you’re safe.
Jesus says that we need to be “rich towards God”. But what is this reason to have that will make God accept us? How can we be “rich towards God”?
The bible talks about how God himself came down to earth to help us be ‘rich towards him’. In other words, he came down to tackle the problem of sin, allowing us to be ‘rich towards God’. By Jesus dying for our sins on the cross, he paid the punishment for us! In his ressurection, we clearly can see how he defeated death and sin!
To quote the probably most quoted verse John 3:16: “whoever believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life”. To be just with God, all we need to do is believe what he says. To believe that sin is horrible and needs to be repented of, but that Jesus has paid for all the sin of the world!
To return to the title
So this leaves us with a choice: Who do we ultimately trust? What is worth building our lives around?
We have got two choices: God or not God
The man in the parable decided that his comfort and pleasure was what he’d build his life upon. He believed that comfort was the way to go, so he trusted his life upon his wealth. We see how that ended. He died, faced God and had nothing to show him, making him still receive the punishment from God that he deserved for his life. If you don’t believe Jesus’ claims that he can forgive your sins and that you need your sins forgiven, I’m sorry to say that that’s the road you’re heading, too. You may live another 50 years, but then you’ll die and need to tell God why exactly he shouldn’t punish you for the things you’ve done wrong. And frankly, no answer, except that Jesus has died for your sins and taken that punishment, granting us forgiveness with God, would do. If you are heading down this road, please do come to Jesus! He is the only one who could forgive your sins and mend a relationship with the Father.
If you ultimately trust in Jesus and believe that he has died for your sins and that because of that you are safe when you die, man you’ve got a lot to look forward to! God is unbelievebly generous, so not only does he pardon your sins, but he also adopts you into his family. What? We get to be children of God? Yes! We can call God our father! Not only that, but he has promised that he will live with us! The maker of everything good is going to spend time with mere humans! So much more could be said of all his blessings, but I think that would be worth a seperate article
I want to end this article with a request: Whatever you think is the most important thing, the thing you trust in, so that all will be well… if it’s not Jesus, I believe that it’s not worth it. So, please, don’t put your faith in money, good experiences, other people or simply the new year 2021, but put your faith in Jesus and he will not dissapoint.