“Hey Preacher, Settle This Dispute …”
of course in my favor!
Every preacher has had this experience. You are approached by someone who essentially says, “Hey preacher, I need you to fix this problem for me. Settle this dispute in my favor.”
Wise preachers refuse such requests. We deliver the gospel message. We are not to function as mediators of financial or estate disputes. Jesus didn’t touch it!
Listen now to Luke 12:13-21.
13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14 But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
In the first place, Jesus was clear about his role; He did not come to earth to serve as “a judge or arbitrator” in such matters. But Jesus knew what the underlying problem was: Covetousness. He said, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
Then Jesus told a story about a man who thought his life consisted in the abundance of his possessions. The man wound up being a barn builder instead of a life builder. The point for us? Lay up the kind of treasure that will make you “rich toward God.”
Truth Connection: “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry,” (Col. 3:5).