Over the Easter weekend there was a major heist in the Hatton Garden safety deposit located in London. It is estimated that 2 million pounds worth of items were taken from this secure location and it has affected many people who’s business and lives were built upon these resources. Yet in an instant all that they had worked for, everything which they had achieved disappeared. Life is a very fragile thing and situations like this can happen at any time, to any one of us. We strive with all that we are to provide safety and security for ourselves, yet who can ever say that they are truly safe?
For this reason Jesus confronts this innate longing of the human heart. He understands that we desire security and stability and he does not condemn that. In Luke 12:13-21 Jesus addresses this issue in a parable and helps us to work through what real security actually is.
We see that he is approached by a man who is having a family dispute concerning his inheritance, an issue which Jesus wisely does not enter into (12:13-14). That being said this does not mean that he avoids the underlying mistake which has caused the dispute in the first place, namely covetousness. There is an incredibly liberating truth found in the good news of Jesus that “one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (12:15), especially in such a materialistic and status driven culture. It means that our simple and ordinary lives have purpose and meaning.
Yet too often we fall for the deceitful concoction of materialism like the rich fool of the story which Jesus shares (12:16-20). All this man wanted was safety and security. But in chasing that he missed the real way in which he could experience the very things which he desired. Bigger barns and ample goods will suffice only for a short while as the reality of our mortality catches up with us.
You see Jesus does not condemn the longing of our hearts for safety and security. What he asks is where do you go to satisfy this longing. He states that we need to be rich towards God and in that we find the fullness of security which lasts for eternity. Let me be clear here, this is not to say that there are things which in this life are sources of joyful security such as marriage and family etc…. But they too will pass. Jesus invites us to think through this longing of our hearts and see that he only he can fully satisfy and provide eternal security.