The section we read this week from Luke dealt with possessions in a few different ways. Jesus asks his twelve to go out to proclaim the kingdom of God and tells them to leave behind your possessions–no staff, no bag, no money. When later in chapter ten Jesus sends out seventy-two, his instructions are very similar. He sends them out carrying no stuff.
Chapter twelve has the parable of the rich fool, who puts so much stock in what he has today, but forgets that he has no guarantee of his future. The fool puts his present day in order neglecting the eternal and is called out as God says, “Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?”
This goes along with the sentiment, “you can’t take it with you.” Why invest so much in what cannot last? Why worry yourselves about things that will perish, while all the while neglecting what will last forever?
The warning is against those who lay up treasure for themselves and are not rich toward God. Being rich toward God matters far more than any other so-called riches, for as it says earlier in the chapter, “one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Instead we have life and abundance in Jesus Christ. He says in John 10, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
If abundant life is what we seek, we are better to look beyond our stuff. We should look to Christ and set our minds on things that are above, where Christ is, and not to things on earth (Col 3:1-2). Only in that relationship will we be satisfied. That relationship is what lasts and is of eternal value.