Eat Drink and be Merry



This comes right in the middle of Jesus speaking to a very large crowd of people who had heard he was visiting a local Pharisees house.  When he came out, possible thousands were waiting to hear from him, and he did not disappoint.  This is directly following Jesus teaching about some very big subjects – like acknowledging or denying Him before Men.

“Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?”   Wow.  Imagine this guy, right in the middle of hearing  from Jesus, asking Jesus to get involved in his family dispute!!  Jesus, as usual, refused to get involved in the dispute over worldly possessions and wealth.  Apparently this differed from most rabbis of the time.

“Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” 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.”    Basically, Jesus tells the guy this is not his problem, and it shouldn’t be his either.  Stop worrying over “things”, because the “things” you have do not add up to what your life really is.  Unfortunately, many of us get this so wrong, and this is what we live for.

And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’   What shall he do with all those extra crops?  Maybe help the poor, give even some of his overflow to someone around him who has none.  But, no, that’s not the plan.

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. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’   So what we have here is not a guy who is not inherently doing anything wrong.  Many of us (me included unfortunately) look at this and think this would be the right thing to do.  Expand our capacity, so we can store up more for ourselves, maybe take that early retirement, sit on the beach, do some fishing!!  Eat, drink and be merry, right??!!

But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.  And, we would  be wrong!!  First, notice what this does not say.  It does not say we should not have wealth and treasure in this life.  Quite the contrary, many of the major heroes of the bible were very wealthy people.  What this is saying is that having wealth here without storing up wealth in heaven is foolish!!  Instead of tearing down his storehouses to store more and more, this wealthy landowner should have been using some of that extra to store up heavenly treasure.  We always seem to lose sight of the fact that  we serve a savior who CHOSE to live his life landless, homeless, and penniless!!  This hits me in the face multiple times every week.  I don’t consider myself wealthy, but I see many people on the streets of D.C. daily who would disagree with me on that.  I know the savior I serve would disagree with me on that.  So I know I need to be storing up treasure for myself beyond what appears in the checking account or IRA.  I better be giving some away regularly, and I better be happy doing it…but this is hard for me.

“Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” 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.” And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 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. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.””
‭‭Luke‬ ‭12:13-21‬ ‭ESV‬‬



John Lewis

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