Then someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.”
Jesus replied, “Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?” Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”
Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’
“Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”
Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own. The questions Jesus was asked seem innocent enough until He reaches down into the root of the question. What harm is there in asking for an inheritance to be divided fairly, or storing a bumper crop of grain? We are told to consider the ant and how industrious they are in their preparations for the winter. But at the root of these questions lies another issue. An issue with greed, a desire that stems from self, self-provision, self-desire. A desire that does not consider the Creator, love for Him and obedience to His commands. It is the mind-set turned inward, the focus not outward on what God desires and requires. God would be the center of our being. “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up for himself, but is not rich toward God,” as another translation puts it.