Luke 12:22 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.
Jesus often spoke as though money was not important, even though terrible things can happen when people run out of money. Cars are repossessed and people lose their homes. Many turn to crime or prostitution, and some go to prison. Even in places that are wealthy, some people live in sewers, because they cannot afford the rent. Furthermore, the line between prosperity and poverty is surprisingly thin.
A friend of mine bought a new home before the old one was sold, and was paying two mortgages. Then he lost his high-paying job, and since the economy was down, he could not find a similar job. His savings was soon depleted, and he started missing payments, which ruined his credit. What assurance could he give his wife and children that God would take care of them?
First, we have a heavenly Father who is able to provide whatever we need. We may be amazed at his generosity, or bewildered by his seeming indifference, but he is always with us, and has our best interests at heart. This should give us hope even in the worst of times.
Second, a billion years from now it will be almost a billion years since the last time we had any lack. Apart from Jesus Christ every setback is a tragedy because this life is all there is. But because of Jesus Christ, even the worst can be taken in stride, since it ends in eternal glory. If we keep these things in mind, we’ll be less afraid when the money runs out.
Luke 12:32 Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.
Many think of God’s kingdom as a place on the far side of the galaxy, but the idea was more earthly in Jesus’ day. God told Abraham that he would become a great nation (Genesis 12:1), and that is what happened under King David. Israel was the kingdom of God, with a glorious future ahead of them.
The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them (Isaiah 11:6), wrote Isaiah. Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid (Micah 4:4), wrote Micah. So when Jesus talked about the kingdom of God, the people thought of a king, a people, a place and God—all together on earth.
The idea of an eternal worship service in the sky does not excite children or adults. The Bible looks forward to a glorified earth, with glorified people, and Jesus Christ our glorified king (Revelation 21:1-5). Truest heaven is earth made perfect.
When my daughter was ten years old, we went for a walk on a hiking trail. It went through a meadow, down to a river, and along some rolling hills. It was a beautiful day, and the landscape was so delicious that I had to make a point.
You know, Sarah, the world can be so beautiful that I would fight for it if I had to. But we don’t have to fight for it because God has said, The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever (Psalm 37:29).
The kingdom of God is a gift that we receive through faith in Jesus Christ. Whoever has the King will also enjoy his kingdom.
Luke 12:33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.
One of the biggest problems for people with money is holding on to it. The banking system in Jesus’ day was not guaranteed, so many kept their money at home. But even there, thieves could break in and steal it. So Jesus taught the safest place to put our money is in heaven, where there are no thieves (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
More recently, thieves broke into a bank and stole the contents of several safe deposit boxes. One lady nearly collapsed when she learned that she had lost half a million dollars worth of Jewelry. My whole life was in that box, she said. Another person won the lottery, but then was murdered for his money. The more we have, it seems, the harder it is to keep.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Philippi to thank them for their financial support. [W]hat I desire is that more be credited to your account (Philippians 4:17), he wrote. God keeps track of whatever we give, and credits it to our heavenly bank account. It is good to have a bank account on earth, but it’s even better to have one in heaven. And if God pays interest, there is no telling what could happen over billions of years.
Luke 12:40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
The more we believe in the soon return of Jesus Christ, the more we’ll live for him. The less we believe in the soon return of Jesus Christ, the more we’ll live for ourselves. Jesus taught us to be ready because he is going to come when we do not expect him. If you do not expect Jesus to come tonight, that would be a perfect time for his return.
For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man (Matthew 24:27), he said.
Many years ago, on a hot summer night, I went to bed with my window open. In the middle of the night there was a bolt of lighting and a clap of thunder like I had never seen or heard. Without even thinking, I sat up straight and said, He’s Back! It turned out that he was not actually back, but that’s how it will be when he does come back. [B]e ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
Reflection and Review
How does Jesus change our view of money?
What will the kingdom of God be like when Jesus Christ returns?
How can we be ready for Christ’s return?