Storing up in Barns…Take Life Easy

Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ‘ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”

It’s not hard to see that I’m quite fascinated with Jesus’ teachings on wealth. There are so many parables, so many commands and rebukes and admonishments he makes concerning wealth, it baffles me that anyone could miss how radical Jesus was.
Funny that the first thing that runs through my mind as I read this parable is how the guy could have responded to God, “Well, my children could get what has been prepared. That would be a pretty nice inheritance wouldn’t it?” Yet, Jesus’ parable and the rhetorical question of God is clearly not expecting that answer. So, what is the point of the parable?
Well first let’s look at the situation which he tells the parable after. A guy comes up to Jesus demanding, not asking, Jesus tell his brother to split their inheritance. I’m not sure if that was custom for Rabbis to dictate that stuff, or if the guy just had a warped idea of Jesus’ view of money and possessions.
Jesus rebukes him and reminds him, “Man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Now, what we tend to do is rip the verse out of it’s context, say “it’s an issue of the heart” and go on about our business collecting inheritances and possessions left and right.
I’m not here to demand a certain interpretation of the verses, I just want us to see them clearly so you can reflect on their meaning. Jesus rebukes the demand for an inheritance and then he tells a parable about how it is foolish/unwise to store up in barns. How do you apply that to your own life? Maybe it means you don’t accept your inheritance, you empty your storehouses, you humbly live your life in a way that is “rich toward God.” Let me know, cause I’m still just trying to follow.

3 thoughts on “Storing up in Barns…Take Life Easy”

  1. I don’t “reject” my inheritance per sey, I just choose to use it to the furthuring of God’s kingdom, to help the needs of my brothers and sisters…God’s chidren. Afterall, isn’t that what inheritance is all about? It’s a family thing.

    There are members of my family in dire need right now!! Storing up riches (or anything) seems so ridiculous when so many of God’s children are in desperate need of the basic things for survival- when I’m sitting here typing on an expensive computer, in a nice warm house, with food in my belly and a comfortable bed to look forward to crashing in.

    I choose LOVE and obedience to God over “wealth” for my children any day. I truly believe Jesus would have, too. I am raising my children to love people, and showing them that helping others is more important. God says so!! The true riches are in living a life of love.

    They must depend on Him to provide for their needs. Because he said He will!! I have trusted that promise throughout my life, and know that they will, too.

    Based on that promise, and that lifestyle, I have a hunch they won’t enjoy those riches even if I *did* choose to hord them. : ) They will lovingly want their fellow brothers and sisters to be fed, clothed, sheltered…in essence, LOVED. I can’t think of a better, more beautiful, future for them.

    I have the upmost respect for you, Ariah, for seeking to live the “good life” as you’re entering this journey of parenthood. I know from my own experience that lots of questions begin to arise….

    My advice to you and Mindy is to just stay the course you’re on…trust in God and the simple things of this life…and you can’t be led astray. If it’s good enough for you guys, it’s good enough for your children. You’re on the right track.

    When you start feeling pulled away from it (and you will) just go back to these scriptures and you will be reminded of Jesus’ heart…God’s plan for us all. It is perfect and good and beneficial for everyone involved! No matter what it may “look” like to the rest of the world. ; )

    Much love to you, my brother….

    Ohav Shalom,
    Jamie

  2. Jamie,
    Thanks for the encouragement. We are certainly preparing ourselves to tread through the temptations and expectations of the society (and good intending family and friends) around us. May the Lord give us strength.

  3. I think that the phrase, “taking it easy” is telling. Rest & peace are one thing, taking it easy another. Riches, my pastor often says, are a test. Riches and abundance of goods often are a great distraction from living a God directed life. KJV says “occupy till I come” Whether you do business, engage, or earn with little or lots I think is relative. I am glad there are those who love Jesus in every tax bracket. The tests are there for everyone but certainly I think to whom much is given, much is required. Though Jesus said the poor you will always have with you, Paul was instructed specifically to remember them, which he was glad to do.

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