Luke 12:13 – “Someone in the crowd said to Him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family
inheritance with me.’”
Here is a man with a problem. He has one of the worst kinds of problems, money. And it’s not just a money problem, but it’s complicated by the fact that he has money problems with his family. Some things never change! He comes to Jesus and wants Jesus to fix his problem.
There are several obvious and even troubling things we find in this man’s request. First, he says, “Teacher, tell my brother…” Excuse me? We do not tell Jesus what to do. We do not order Jesus,
command Jesus, authorize Jesus, or even expect Jesus to do anything we want. It’s the other way around. Jesus tells us. Jesus commands us. Jesus expects us. And the reason is, He is God. He has
proven that, demonstrated that, and man needs to realize that. His first mistake was in thinking He could tell Jesus what to do. That makes us rethink some of our prayers and even our attitudes from
time to time. Job repented of the way he talked about God.
A second problem here is that Jesus was not in the position to divide family inheritances. Yes, He is God, but this man, as well as most of the multitudes, did not grasp that yet. Jesus was not the legal
voice of the land. If there was a dispute, he needed to take it to the courts. There are proper channels to solve disputes. This man, like so many others, wanted a quick and easy solution without having to put much effort into it. Have Jesus do all the work. Have Jesus take care of things. Sometimes we
forget after the “amen,” our effort is not done. Just pray that God will make my kids turn out right. Just pray that the church will grow. Just pray that the lonely will not be lonely. Amen!
After the Amen, we need to raise those kids, spread the word, and visit the lonely. Just going to Jesus doesn’t end our responsibilities.
Thirdly, and maybe the most important, Jesus didn’t come to earth to solve all of our disputes, issues and problems. He came to save our souls. He was on a mission. His mission was spiritual. If Jesus had
solved this man’s problem, before long, people would have lined up with land disputes, tax issues, neighbors whose dogs bit someone, and on and on the list would go. The mission of Christ would have been sidetracked and derailed. He would not do that.
Modern times are no different. Some expect religion, the church, or even God to just fix all their problems. Troubled kids? Take them to the church, folks think. When the kids don’t change, blame the church. Leave. Find another church, and loudly proclaim, the church didn’t do anything. Were they
supposed to? Same goes for broken marriages, or out of control debt, or addictions. We’ve gotten within us this thought that the purpose of religion, the church, is to make my life easier and happier. Wrong. It is to help me get to Heaven. It is not a social club, free baby sitter, or an end all to the mess I have made. There is an old expression that says, “You made the bed, now sleep in it.” We don’t like that. We want to do as we please until life gets messy, and then run to Jesus with demands on how He or his church ought to make things better for us.
What should have happened in our passage is this man falls to his knees and says, “Lord, please save my soul.” That would have stopped Jesus. That is what Jesus is looking for. What are you expecting
from Jesus? How about the church? Are you thinking that Jesus ought to fix all of your problems? Better spend a few more moments in the Gospels and check your thinking. Jesus wants to save your soul. That’s far more important to Him than inheritances.