Then [Jesus] said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
There are all sorts of things that we get warned about in this life. When I get into my car, I am warned if I don’t put my seat belt on. My phone warns me if it thinks I have spent too much time on it. The medicine I take has warnings on it about the dangers of abusing it or taking it incorrectly.
Jesus has a big warning for us as he says, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed…”
I can’t help but find myself doing some online shopping and thinking, “If I just had this new thing, my life would be so much better.” I spend my hard-earned money on a new possession only to realize it can’t fix my problems.
I buy tickets for trips and vacations and think that if I can accumulate enough experiences, I can give my life meaning. However, even after having all these experiences, my life still doesn’t seem any closer to finding real purpose.
I work hard to accumulate a home, cars, and a retirement account, hoping that these things will provide me some safety. In the end, I am just as worried about tomorrow as those who have little.
Jesus warns us that these things are all temporary and cannot satisfy. My life is not contained in any of these things. Greed may call out to me and tell me to accumulate more possessions and to find my joy and purpose in all that money can buy. Jesus calls to us and tells us to “watch out” as our life does not subsist in any earthly things but only in what Jesus can give. Only Jesus provides real hope to our problems, purpose in this life, and peace for tomorrow.
Merciful Lord, keep me from the trap of believing my life is valued by the things I have in this world and teach me to always find my value and purpose in you. Amen.