Someone in the crowd spoke to Jesus, “Master, tell my brother to share with me the family inheritance.” He replied, “My friend, who has appointed me as your judge or your attorney?” Then Jesus said to the people, “Be on your guard and avoid every kind of greed, for even though you have many possessions, it is not that which gives you life.”
And Jesus continued, “There was a rich man, and his land had produced a good harvest. He thought, ‘What shall I do, for I am short of room to store my harvest? Alright, I know what I shall do: I will pull down my barns and I will build bigger ones, to store all this grain, which is my wealth.
Then I will say to myself: My friend, you have a lot of good things put by for many years. Rest, eat, drink and enjoy yourself.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be taken from you. Tell me, who shall get all you have put aside?’ This is the lot of the one who stores up riches for himself and is not wealthy in the eyes of God.”
Family problems do happen especially if it involves inheritance. If the parents have not made a clear provision as to the division of the properties involved, misunderstanding and conflict may arise. And so one person among the crowd sought the help of Jesus to get what he thought was his legitimate share of the inheritance. He was probably banking on the moral authority that Jesus has acquired on the course of His ministry. But Jesus will not be simply dragged to an internal conflict between family members. Rather, He pointed to the root cause of the problem which is greed. Things would not have reached this point between the brothers had fairness governed their lives. And so Jesus told them what should be their true preoccupation first. They must grow rich before God by doing good. If such is the case, no problem of this sort will crop up. The heart will automatically do what is just and fair.
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