Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Luke 12:13-14 NIV
As we bring Jesus into our world, we may be tempted to put to right situations we are not called to correct, injustices we are not called to resolve.
In this passage, a man from the crowd is trying to get Jesus to act as a probate court—dividing an inheritance. Jesus flatly refuses to get involved.
This is a tough one to unravel. Why does Jesus turn down this request?
Let’s start with what we know and what we don’t know. We know that two brothers disagree on how and when an inheritance should be divided. But we don’t know which one is in the right and which one is in the wrong. All we know is that the man in the crowd thinks he’s been wronged.
We also know that God loves justice. If injustice has been done, God will someday, somehow make it right. And we know that the people of God are called to “loose the chains of injustice” (Isaiah 58). But exactly how and when we are to do that isn’t always clear from scripture.
Maybe the clue is in the next verse: Then he [Jesus] said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
Here’s the answer. Sometimes, settling an injustice builds the kingdom of God. Sometimes, it’s just a distraction. I think the Lord was showing this man that he had lost his mooring. He was so focused on getting what he wanted that he was unable to see the true wealth that stood right before him.
PS. For decades, porn has been a major problem in the church. In recent years, we’ve finally started looking at this elephant in the room. But are accountability groups and promises the best way to battle porn? On Saturday, June 8, 2019 in Inner Wealth we’re going to explore another way to get leverage to overcome this persistent addiction.