“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.” vs. 24
A series of warnings immediately following a list of blessings is not unusual in the Hebrew scriptures. The prophets used that tactic regularly in delivering their oracles. But Luke is the only gospel that has Jesus using this method. In his Sermon on the Plain Jesus follows his favorable assessment of the poor with cutting words for the rich and the prosperous. Naturally American Christians tend to ignore his words…we have learned from a young age that wealth is to be desired and that bountiful blessings await those who can turn hard work and clever investing into massive profits. We honor the rich and do all we can to ease their burdens. It’s doubtful that Jesus would be impressed! He would agree that those who are wealthy can live comfortably and enjoy their place of privilege. But he would be quick to add that life is more than riches and that the pursuit of wealth is a futile foolish enterprise…amassing a fortune can never bring spiritual satisfaction. So what then should we who have “gotten ours” do with what we’ve accumulated? Jesus’ likely answer to that question is disconcerting, “Give it away…get rid of it!” Few people will do that! It’s just too hard to give away what we’ve spent a lifetime getting. We’d rather test the truth of his words. Maybe he’s wrong and we can take it with us!
Thought for the Day: How much do I really need to live a comfortable life?