The journey to Jerusalem continues apace; Jesus has “set his face” to meet and fulfill his mission’s destiny. Along the way, Jesus encounters a man who is having a family dispute over the estate left by the man’s father. Believing Jesus to be a man of wisdom, voice for God’s justice and truth, he asks Jesus to settle the matter.
Jesus flatly refuses, and instead offers a parable about a farmer who had a bountiful crop and decided to keep it all for himself. In the midst of securing his bountiful harvest, the man died suddenly, and was therefore not able to keep any of it. “My work is about more important things than estate law,” is the gist of Jesus’ word to the man with the family dispute.
In our world today there are still many competing voices that vie for our attention, dissipate our energies, and distract us from the work of God’s kingdom. These voices tend to make us spiritually stupid, chief among them are the pursuit of material things and desire to have “more.” Whole lives are spent chasing after food that will not satisfy and water that leaves us thirsty. Apart from the Holy Spirit’s council, such persons often reach the end of their lives utterly unprepared to give up their earthly spoils and completely poor in spiritual things. Or as comedienne Lily Tomlin once famously quipped: “The trouble with the Rat Race is even if you win, you’re still a rat.”