October 24, 2012

Healthy Eyes Needed

Luke 12:13-21; Matthew 6:22-23

“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
—Luke 12:21


It has been said that the biggest obstacle to discipleship is possessions. However, I think the biggest opportunity for discipleship is also possessions. Materialism could be labeled a great sin of today’s world, but material blessings are also a great help for many in need.

Many people in Western society live as if possessions and security are the most important things in life. In some ways like the rich man in the parable, many of us think, “I want enough wealth for years to come so that I can eat, drink, and celebrate.”

The solution to this problem is described in Matthew

6:22-23. We need healthy eyes—that is, eyes that prompt us to be generous. Unhealthy eyes denote stinginess and selfishness. Proverbs 28:22 explains, “A person with an evil (unhealthy) eye hastens after wealth and does not know poverty will come upon him” (literal translation). And Proverbs 22:9 says, “A person with a generous (healthy) eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor” (literal translation).

The parable in Luke ends with a call to be “rich toward God,” because God is benevolent to the poor. In fact, any gospel that is not good news to the poor is not the gospel of Jesus. An eye that envisions the character of God and at the same time sees the needs of the poor is the secret to true riches. May each of us find real wealth.

Lord Jesus, save us from the sin of materialism and move us by your Spirit to be rich toward God and wealthy in compassion. Amen.

About the author — Dean Deppe

Dean Deppe has been a pastor in inner-city, suburban, and rural ­churches. Currently he teaches New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. His courses include one on the parables of Jesus. He and his wife have four grown children.

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