What Am I Going To Do?

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.” (Luke 12:13-21 ESV).

Have you ever really given much thought to why we struggle so much with unfounded fear? Our reading today simply says we don’t need to. It points to at least four things that we are prone to fear. First, in verse 4 Jesus says, “I tell you, friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.” So it implies that we are prone to fear death, especially death by persecution. Death is not a thing to fear for the child of God. Second, in verse 11 Jesus says, “And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious how or what you are to answer or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” So Jesus implies that we are prone to fear public shame. We are prone to be anxious about what others will think of us if we don’t have the right thing to say. Our culture is built on the prized position of peer acceptance. The only acceptance that makes an eternal difference is that which we have already received in Christ. Third, in verse 22 Jesus says, “Therefore do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat nor about your body, what you shall put on.” So he implies that we are prone to worry about whether our basic physical needs will be met, food and drink and clothing and shelter.

The truth is that death is not the worst thing, hell is. And God will keep you out of hell and care for you with detailed tenderness. He says the hairs of your head are all numbered. Jesus also tells us that the Holy Spirit will teach you what to say in an hour of public testing. You will not be left alone. And, last Jesus reminds us that our Father knows our daily needs and is far more inclined to give you what you need than he is to feed the ravens and clothe the lilies, but look how he takes care of them!

So Jesus does not want us to fear. That is great news! There is now no fear of death, no fear of public shame, no fear of poverty and want. He wants us to see that God is the kind of God whose people do not need to fear.