Once upon a time a dude came to Jesus to have Him settle an inheritance dispute with his brother. Of course we’re all assuming that Jesus will weigh-in on this matter! Of course Jesus will stop whatever else He is doing, and make this His top priority! Because this is a very big deal! A brotherhood is in jeopardy! And benefaction regulations and rulings are incredibly important. Moreover, isn’t it common courtesy to give your full attention to people’s impassioned complaints, and immediately agree to intervene on their behalf and adamantly advocate for them, and aggressively strive to resolve the issue that they are so worked up about?

But Jesus said, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?”

This seems kind of dismissive. …As a matter of fact, this seems straight up RUDE!

Amidst all the stress of his fraternal struggle, and the taxing litigation process; Jesus’ response must have been deeply disappointing to this dude!

But it gets worse

Jesus goes on to reprimand this dude, saying, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”


Not only is Jesus going to abruptly dismiss this dude’s super serious complaint, but He’s going to accuse this dude of ‘covetousness’!

At this point, I imagine the dude has had enough! So the dude turns to leave, but Jesus isn’t finished…

Jesus says, “Are you not going to stay for storytime? Like I said, I’m not the arbitrator of your inheritance dispute, but I am A STORYTELLER! …once upon a time 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.”

I imagine that after this many of Jesus’ disciples turned back and no longer walked with Him.

But maybe you want to defend Jesus. Maybe you’ll say, “Well, Jesus wouldn’t do this to His close friends.”

Actually He would.

Just a few days prior to this exasperating interaction with the dude mentioned above, Jesus was at the house of His dear friends Mary and Martha. Martha was diligently hosting Jesus, and she sincerely believed that her sister Mary was being lazy and unhelpful. So Martha went to Jesus and said, “Do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me!”

But Jesus said, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. …ME! Mary has chosen to simply sit and listen to Me, and I will not take that away from her.”