Luke 12 v 15. “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
Notice that this section opens with a family dispute about an inheritance. I wonder how many times you have heard of family disputes over this very issue? Perhaps you have been involved in something like this? There are few things more soul-destroying than to watch a family of usually very normal people change character completely when it comes to money and the dark side of greed and covetousness emerges. Usually the scars that occur over this kind of fight take a very long time to heal.
In the case before us we do not know whether the man had a just cause for complaint or not because Jesus refused to get involved. In v 14 Jesus declares that his role is not to act as an arbiter between the two brothers. Ironically, he would one day be their judge, but not today, and not over such matters!
This is a good lesson for all of us to make sure we do not get sucked in to other people’s problems, when it is no business of ours. All too often we are tempted to take sides and the result is a lot of unnecessarily broken relationships. Let us be very careful.
Notice that Jesus accompanied his refusal to be involved, with a very strong warning against covetousness, as our verse today indicates.
It seems that Jesus is giving us a warning about pursuing our legal rights. Although we should have recourse to justice if we are defrauded, we should always consider that getting our legal rights may not always be the best thing for us. It may be that our pursuit of justice is a cover up for covetousness. That is not a victory for the spiritual life, nor a victory for God. Rather that would be a victory for the devil.
Keep a watch on the motives of your heart.