After His denunciations of the Pharisees, Jesus now warns His disciples against hypocrisy. One day, everything will be made known, even the secrets and desires of the heart, and so we should live now with that Judgment Day in mind (vv. 2–10).
While Jesus is preaching, a man asks Him to arbitrate in a dispute with his brother over their inheritance (v. 13). This man is a living example of the hypocrisy Jesus has just warned people against. On the outside, it appears he wants justice, but Jesus publicly exposes the greed that is in his heart (vv. 14–15).
Jesus then tells a parable about a man who did not understand the purpose of life. He was so obsessed with amassing his possessions that he gave no thought to his mortality and that one day he would have to give an account of his life before God (vv. 16–21).
Most people place too much importance on gaining money and possessions, and for selfish purposes. Jesus calls us to a radical reorientation of our thinking. He notes that life is about being rich—towards God (v. 21). Life is about His kingdom and storing up treasure in heaven (Matthew 6:20; Luke 12:33, 18:22).
This has two implications. First, we should not worry (vv. 22–31). God is concerned that we have the necessities of life and, just as He cares for the birds and the flowers, we can trust Him to care for us. Second, being “rich towards God” means using our wealth to care for the needs of others (v. 33). Jesus will repeat this theme on His journey to Jerusalem (Luke 16:9, 19–31; 19:8, 13).
Jesus is not saying that we shouldn’t save and invest. He would not be against buying a house. However, He is saying that these are secondary things. A wise disciple will listen to Jesus’ words seriously and fearfully. Do you truly obey Him? One day, the secrets of our hearts—and our bank balances—which we have kept hidden away, will be revealed. So, let us live lives of trust and generosity.
Jesus warns against “all kinds of greed” (v. 15). Greed results in spiritual damage. Can you identify some of the different kinds of greed in life?
It is not always easy to trust God to meet our daily needs (vv. 22–31). What stops us trusting Him? How can we encourage each other to trust in the generous heavenly Father?