Jesus must have had a profound effect on people. In this reading a man looks to Jesus to solve a family dispute. Maybe he felt if Jesus could heal people then solving a family dispute would be easy. The man is only seeking what he believes is fair and just. Surely Jesus is about justice and fairness, and he would go to defend the man.
Jesus’ response is quite funny if you think about it. He says, ‘Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?’, I would have replied, ‘God did, didn’t he?’
Jesus uses this event to talk about greed. I think it is important to note that Jesus says, ‘all types of greed.’ many would think this was only abut money, but greed is wanting more than you need.
Jesus uses an image that many of the listeners can relate to, the harvest. Storing up part of the harvest for the future was an expected act. Food for the winter, and seed for the next years crop. This is not the norm though. This is the excess. The man has enough to fill the barns that he has to meet his needs. He doesn’t want enough to meet his needs, he wants it all. He sees the security of his future, and his family. He sees the relaxed life. Is there any of us who would not do the same thing if we had the chance?
Isn’t it what most of us do. Superannuation is expected in our society as a storing up for the future. Insurance is the protection of our future. Society shows us what happens to those who are not prepared, and a good life in old age costs money. I think most people are afraid of the future,
Greed can be about anything, e.g. time, food, possessions. Greed can be driven by hurt, fear, desire and envy. It can be masked by such things as justice and fairness. It is at times a search for pleasure, joy or security.
Jesus did not get into arguments where money was involved. He knew what Judas was doing and yet he did not stop him. He made sure he paid the tax even though he had nothing. Jesus was concerned about the now and trusted God with the future. He sought nothing more then what he needed for the day, and what he had he shared. Jesus says be aware of greed. He understood the human heart. He did not get angry about greed, he was just concerned about the effect it had on peoples lives.
What draws us to be greedy? How does it affect our lives, the lives of those around us, and our relationship with God?