Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Luke: Jesus, The Son Of Man For All Mankind
Part XLVI: Christ's Identity As God's Savior By His Condemnation Of Covetousness
(Luke 12:13-21)
  1. Introduction
    1. The tenth commandment called Israel to avoid covetousness, a lust for possessions to gain fulfillment.
    2. Failure to heed this command impacted Israel particularly hard after her Babylonian Captivity (Zechariah 5:1-11) as it does Western nations today. We thus do well to see Christ's view of this sin, and to make application to our needs today (as follows):
  2. Christ's Identity As God's Savior By His Condemnation Of Covetousness, Luke 12:13-21.
    1. As Jesus was speaking about the sin of hypocrisy, a hearer who was not paying attention because his mind was absorbed with gaining a family inheritance spoke to Jesus about the inheritance, Luke 12:1-12, 13.
    2. He asked Jesus to tell his brother (who might well have been present) to divide the family inheritance with him opposite the donor's decision directing that the entire estate go to his brother, Luke 12:13.
    3. Jesus refused this request, noting He had no civil jurisdiction over the case, Luke 12:14. [Jesus' statement here counters the Reconstructionist view that He set up the Kingdom of God over the secular world in His life, death and resurrection so that the Church as an institution is to try to control secular governments today (Renald E. Showers, "An Evaluation of Christian Reconstructionism," April-May 1991 Israel My Glory, p. 22). Only at Christ's Second Coming will He rule the world's governments, Revelation 20:4.]
    4. After refusing the man's request, Jesus condemned the covetousness in both men -- the covetousness in the man that made him want some of his brother's inheritance, and the lust in the brother that made him want to keep the entire inheritance for himself instead of sharing it with his brother, Luke 12:15-21:
      1. First, Christ warned against every form of covetousness, be it the greed of the possessor of material goods, or the lust of the impoverished party who did not possess such things, Luke 12:15a.
      2. The reason Jesus called men to avoid covetousness was that a person's life does not consist of the abundance of what he possesses in this life, Luke 12:15b. To explain this, Jesus gave an illustration in the form of a parable of a rich man and his love for his material goods in Luke 12:16-21 (as follows):
        1. Jesus told how a certain rich man saw his farming efforts produce an abundance of crops, Lk. 12:16.
        2. Accordingly, he thought that since he did not have enough room to store all of the produce, he would tear down his current barns and build larger ones to store it all, Luke 12:17-18.
        3. Then, he presumed that this great produce would provide all the income he needed for the rest of his life, so he could afford to live the rest of his days in ease, eating, drinking and partying, Luke 12:19.
        4. However, that night, before he could begin to implement this plan by starting to tear down his old barns, God told the man, and we paraphrase: "You fool, tonight your earthly life will end as your soul will be required of you before Me, so who will then own all of these things?" (Luke 12:20)
        5. Applying this parable to His hearers, Jesus claimed those who store up earthly treasures for themselves but who are not rich toward God are as foolish as the man in His parable, Luke 12:21.
      3. This parable would have been convicting especially to the brothers who contended over the inheritance, Luke 12:13-14: Jesus implied that whenever either brother might die, something that could happen that night, neither would own any of the inheritance, so both men were foolish to trouble themselves by coveting over it while not hearing and heeding Jesus' teaching so as to become rich toward God!
Lesson: Jesus revealed He was God's RIGHTEOUS Savior of the world by LIVING and THINKING free of the sin of covetousness, for He affirmed that true spiritual wealth toward God is eternally fulfilling where temporal wealth is transitory and hence not worth lusting in place of eternal things.

Application: (1) May we trust in Christ as God's RIGHTEOUS, NON-COVETOUS Savior of the world! (2) May we store up for ourselves treasures in heaven by partaking of salvation by grace through faith in Christ and heeding His will VERSUS making the accumulation of earthly wealth our goal. (3) May we not focus on a life of temporal ease, eating, drinking and partying as though it was of any value in itself, but on DEVOTING the RESOURCES of THIS life for Christ's COMING, eternal KINGDOM!