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What Would You Ask the Lord if Given the Chance?

Would you be as silly as this guy?

Luke 12:13-21 (ESV)

Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” And he told them a parable, saying, “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.”

Wow. The opportunity of a lifetime – of a thousand lifetimes! The crowd is massive but this guy gets close enough to ask Jesus a question. What will he ask the Lord?

A follow up question on Jesus’ previous point about the unforgivable sin would be good. Or he could ask Jesus why He’s going to Jerusalem, or how we can know He’s the Messiah, or any number of things. The crowd is hanging on Jesus’ every word. What will he ask?

Instead, this fool manages to bore everyone with some petty dispute about money. Has he even been paying attention? His baggage owns him.

So Jesus turns this around and teaches a lesson on how people are owned by their money. It’s brilliant judo.

This guy tries to change the subject to something secular, and Jesus brings it right back to the kingdom of God.

We are more like this guy than we care to admit. He understands Jesus’ authority, he just wants to use it for his own petty ends. Yeah, we do that too. I do it too.

Many of my prayers could just as well begin with, “Dear Santa.” It’s not wrong to want someone you love healed, but these kinds of prayers are so dominant they make it sound like that’s why we’re there. The praise and worship parts seem to just be a pro forma warm up.

If Jesus really is who we claim He is, our prayers should sound more like we are before the Lord and talking to Him the way a servant would talk to his master. Instead of asking the Lord to tell my brother to divide his inheritance with me, I’d be asking something like, “What is your will for me today?”

When was the last time you said a prayer that was a question? Was it the kind of question you should be asking someone who’s in charge of the universe?

Just as the guy in this passage blew his chance to “ask any question” of the Lord, we blow our chance too.

The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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