Once again we’ve got a Jesus we maybe don’t particularly like. These are hard words, and to break it all down would be extremely cumbersome. Throughout these rants of Jesus in chapters 11 & 12 we do get glimpses of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew five, six and seven. We like the Sermon on the Mount. It calls us to some hard things, but the teachings are seem less emotive and Jesus seems a little nicer. But in both cases a similar question surfaces: What am I giving myself to? Where is my heart? For whom or for what am I living?
12:1-3: Jesus is calling out that what’s going in inside of us is what will eventually come out. We can put on a religious show all we want, but our true selves will eventually surface. So why put on the show?
12:4-7: God knows what’s up. God knows all of what’s going on with us, everyone of us, and God will get the last word. So while bad things can happen in this world, fear not- there’s something more.
12:8-12: This really is about the whole of one’s life and not so much isolated moments. I do not presume to have any knowledge of what happens to anyone once we die, so I tend to stay away from that stuff, but I think what we can take from passages like these is that our life here and now matters. There is nothing we can do to “save” ourselves, but our lives do matter. So is my life one that broadcasts who God is? Does my life flow with the winds of the Spirit? Or am I charting my own course? Do I live in such a way that it is evident that I trust the activity of God within me? Or am I micromanaging my life?
12:13-21: And then he wraps up these passages with the story of the man who had an abundance of grain, and instead of using it for good in the world, chose to build bigger barns. Jesus is calling my bluff on where my heart is. He’s forcing to me to examine my own “grain” and my own “barns”. There is more.
There is something beyond this world in which we currently live, and I don’t know that Jesus is talking about a far away heaven some glad morning when myeline over. I think Jesus is talking a kingdom that is not of this world, but is here and is now. It is a kingdom that has no borders, only a center. And within this kingdom rests one broad, diverse, beautiful humanity. To be “rich toward God” is to live in this world with the same eye toward it that God has. But when we’re building bigger barns, we’re not seeing a kingdom without borders; we are seeing only within the confines of our own property lines. Hard words. What am I giving myself to? What am I really living for? Where is my heart?