Investigate & petition – Luke 12:13-21

Investigation

1. “’Teacher’ is a title for Jesus . . . on the lips of Jesus and on the lips of those who had an inadequate understanding of him. His closest associates do not refer to him in this way and neither, with the exception of the covert operators of Lk. 20:21,28,39, did his bitter enemies.” (James M. Dawsey, The Lukan Voice: Confusion and Irony in the Gospel of Luke, Mercer University Press, 1986, 6; hereafter cited as Dawsey)

2. “Since the question of inheritance is treated in the Pentateuch (e.g. Deut. 21:15-17; Num. 27:1-11; 36:7-9), religious teacher or scribe would be the usual one to whom such a problem would be brought. ” (Fitzmyer, 2:969)

3. “He does not ask Jesus to decide between the merits of two claims: he asks for a decision in his own favour. . . . The man simply called on Jesus to intervene on his own behalf. In this he is taking Jesus as a typical rabbi, for the rabbis customarily gave decisions on disputed points of law. Jesus, however, refused to have anything to do with it. . . . He came to bring men to God, not to bring property to men.” (Morris, 212)

4. “Greed is the lust to have more, more than is needed, the boundless grasping after more. . . . The greedy person acts as if the important thing in life is only secured when he/she has amassed the superfluous.” (Fitzmyer, 2:970)

5. “There is nothing here of graft or theft; there is no mistreatment of workers or any criminal act. Sun, soil, and rain join to make him wealthy. He is careful and conservative. If he is not unjust, what is he? He is a fool, says the parable. He lives completely for himself, he talks to himself, he plans for himself, he congratulates himself. His sudden death proves him to have lived as a fool.” (Willimon, 163)

6. [vs.20 – “they are requiring”] “‘They’ frequently is used in rabbinic literature to avoid mentioning the name of God.” (Ellis, 200)

7. “Thinking he was an owner, he found that he himself was owned. Life does not consist in possessing. Life consists in living, and in losing that one loses all.” (Ellis, 177)

Petition

In the name of Jesus, God, I acknowledge you as the giver of all I have. Truly, none of it is actually “mine”; you own all things. May I never forget that. May I not act as if I ultimately “own” anything or that what I have is not enough, for you are more than enough for me to live and to for me to be owned completely by you is my great desire. Give me wise eyes, I pray, to keep alert watch over my desires, lest they flirt with goods, rather than you, God. Amen.

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