Author: Clarivel Anne Dinh

Parable of the Rich Fool - Luke 12:16-21 This is called the Parable of the Rich Fool. His error wasn’t in building bigger barns and warehouses. It was his reason for doing so. His motive was greed. He was going to spend his abundance solely on himself. Jesus applies the lesson of the parable in v. 21 when He says we ought to be rich toward God. He doesn’t say it’s wrong to have earthly wealth. It’s only wrong when that wealth is all we care about, our sole sense of what’s valuable. As we process all this we need to realize Jesus isn’t talking here about the rich and poor at all. He’s talking about what’s of supreme importance and value to us. We have to decide what the word “treasure” means. What we truly, genuinely treasure is that which we’d never give up, even at the peril of our lives. It’s of...

The Antidote to Covetousness - Luke 12:15 (Yet again) Notice in particular the last part of the verse. Jesus (literally) says our life isn’t about accumulating stuff. We paraphrase for a clearer take on what Jesus said, “A person’s life isn’t IN getting more possessions.” That flows naturally from His warning about covetousness. And it’s why we need to be on guard against coveting, because it doesn’t add life, it subtracts from it. While Jesus tells us what life ISN’T about in v. 15, He doesn’t tell us what it IS about. What it IS about is implied by the opposite of coveting – contentment. Contentment is the antidote to the desire for more. Contentment lies in choosing to be satisfied with God and His provision. That’s easy to do when we realize how much He loves us and has promised to care for us....

Coveting is Dangerous - Luke 12:15 (again) Jesus’ call to beware of covetousness echoes the Tenth Commandment prohibiting coveting (Exo. 20:17).  In light of Colossians 3:5, which says covetousness IS idolatry, we realize the Ten Commandments are a closed loop. The prohibition on coveting in the last commandment sends us back to the first two commandments; to have no other God but God and to make no idol to worship in His place. Many consider the Tenth Commandment’s forbidding covetousness as not belonging with such serious sins as murder, adultery, theft, and deceit. Maybe they lighten the seriousness of the idolatry of coveting precisely because it’s their sin while the others are not and so are easy to condemn. It’s human nature to give a pass to those sins we like. Let’s ask the Spirit of God to instill the same moral weight toward coveting as we give to murder, adultery, and theft....

A Little Discomfort Can Be Good - Luke 12:15 The words, “Take heed and beware” are strong words that call for focused and determined action. They picture someone getting ready for mortal battle. Specifically what Jesus says we’re to take heed to and beware of is covetousness. The word means “the desire for more,” and is always a strong-negative in the Bible. It’s usually attached to the idea that in the pursuit of more, morality is thrown out the window. Right and wrong become defined only by what will get someone the desire more. Obviously, since Jesus calls for such strong action against covetousness, we ought to see it as a major threat. The challenge is, do we? Do you? How tightly wound is covetousness to popular culture? Consider advertising. What’s the connection between marketing and covetousness? Let’s apply this now. What ads, if any, are especially potent in stirring desire in you? What appeals...

Interview with Jesus - Luke 12:13-15 Take a quick look at the dozen or so verses before v. 13. In this larger section of Luke’s Gospel, he relates several brief teachings Jesus gave based on various encounters with people. In the teaching just before v. 13, Jesus had spoken about fearing God rather than man. What this man says in v. 13 is an interruption. It has nothing to do with what Jesus has been talking about. So, what’s on this guy’s mind? What’s important to him? If you had a chance to talk to Jesus about ANYTHING, what would you want to talk about? What questions would you ask? If you could secure help from Him, (as this guy’s asked for) what would you request? Think about what that reveals about your motives and innermost desires. Jesus took this man’s request (demand) and used it as a diagnosis of his spiritual condition;...

WE BEGIN WITH REST - Mark 2:27–28, Luke 6:5, Luke 13:14, Isaiah 58:13–14 Jesus’ words, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” say to the Christian, “Find your weekly refreshment in ME!” In a seventh–day Sabbath, the emphasis is on six days of work first, and then the Sabbath day for rest. The work comes first, and then the rest. Jesus redefined the cycle of the work week: we rest first, then we work! The Christian’s “Lord’s Day” is typically Sunday: He rose on the first day of the week. His notable appearances to the disciples were on the first days of the week. Pentecost was on the first day of the week. The early church gathered on this new “Lord’s Day”—Sunday. Now, we aren’t to wrangle about days of worship (Romans 14). In fact, the early church would gather on every day to worship Jesus together. But the fact remains: Sunday is...

A FAULTY SYSTEM OF WORKS - Luke 6:9–11, Luke 6:5, Ephesians 2:8–9, Titus 3:4–6 Jesus’ words, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” say to the religious person, “We are saved by grace, and not by works.” Sometimes our actions have the exact opposite result than we desired or expected: Trying to slowly ease yourself into a cold pool. Once your foot feels the cold, you aren’t getting in. Trying to diet by only taking a small sample of a delectable chocolate cake in order to ease your temptation. Once you’ve tasted it, you are going to devour a huge piece. Trying to deal with your tantrum throwing toddler by getting angry and yelling at them, and you end up freaking out right alongside them, being reduced to their same infantile level of insanity. The Pharisees legalistic control of the Sabbath achieved exactly opposite of what they intended. They wanted to...

CHRIST OUR CREATOR -  Exodus 20:11, Deuteronomy 5:15, Isaiah 58:13–14, Luke 6:5 Jesus’ words, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” say to the theologian, “Jesus is God!” The Greek word “Lord” in the New Testament (“kurios”) has the basic meaning of “Master” – but is also used to translate the Old Testament’s “Yahweh,” or “the Lord,” as most Bible render it. Not only was Jesus laying claim to the Sabbath as its new Master, He was also making a divine claim—that He was God! Consider this: Throughout the Bible, God lays claim to the first portion of every good thing He gives His people, so they would remember Him. God gave all the trees to Adam, except one The first city of Joshua’s conquest, Jericho, was to be given to God and not touched as booty The first–born children required a special sacrifice to give thanks to God for rescuing His Firstborn...

CHRIST OUR IDENTITY - Exodus 31:13, Luke 6:5, Galatians 2:20 Jesus’ words, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” say to the Jew, “Let Me be your identity!” God’s covenant with Moses was the sign of the Sabbath. It was given to remind Israel of their Creator. Unlike Abraham’s sign of circumcision, which was private and hidden, Moses’ sign was public and visible. The Sabbath became the national sign—how Israel was best identified among all the other nations on earth. And Jesus laid claim to their most visible, national identification! Some national holidays in America have been redefined over time: Labor Day is no longer a day for labor unions to organize and have member meetings. It is now a day to mark the end of summer and have a BBQ. Columbus Day is being widely replaced with “Indigenous People’s Day.” Thanksgiving is less about giving thanks to God for our nation, and...

SABBATH SURRENDER - Luke 6:2 & 7, John 11:47–48, Luke 22:25–26, James 4:13–15 Jesus’ words, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” say to the Pharisee, “You are not large and in charge – I am!” The term “Lord” in the New Testament is used for both, “Master” and “Lord God.” The simplest meaning of “Lord of the Sabbath” is that Jesus is claiming to have authority to call the shots on this most critical day. But, the Pharisees wouldn’t give up their self–appointed position as “masters” of the Sabbath easily! You see, the Pharisees saw it at their duty to enforce the Sabbath, and the other details of the Law of Moses, in order to protect Israel from another exile to a foreign nation. They were the “masters” of the Sabbath—as a matter of national survival! But, because they weren’t simply trusting God’s word, they ruined the intent of the Sabbath for everyone! What...