Day 55 | Consider the Lilies
May 21, 2015 - WEEK EIGHT
James Tissot, The Man who Hoards, Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription.
CONSIDER AS YOU READ
- Are you rich toward God?
- Who knows when Jesus’ Second Coming will be?
- How can we confess Christ before men, without driving them away?
There is no indication in this parable that the rich man was dishonest or lazy. He may have worked hard for that which he had attained. Yet nowhere in his success did he acknowledge the goodness of God toward him. It was the ground that brought forth plentifully; soil that had been freely given to him by God. And the seed, the water, the sun—all these likewise are obviously necessary for success in farming; if we lack any one of these four ingredients, we will fail if we hope to grow crops. And all these come from God.
Yes, we must be industrious. We need to prepare the ground, plant the seed, irrigate with the water, keep weeds and animals and grasshoppers out, and harvest the crop. But many seeds will grow and bear fruit without any involvement of man—while no seeds will grow without the involvement and contribution of God.
Thus, when the man’s farm “brought forth plentifully,” he may have done his part to help it do so. But he utterly failed to acknowledge how absolutely essential God’s part in the process was.
So it was that when he looked at his success, he was very much focused on himself: “What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? …” In that short passage, we find a first-person singular pronoun repeated eleven times! In other words, the man was saying, “[I will make] provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof” (Romans 13:14).
[The man] … was solely laying in store for the future, instead of acknowledging two truths: (1) We have no control over the future, despite our best efforts; and (2) there are many in the world who need our help now. We are not here only to care for ourselves and watch out for our own needs … we also have a responsibility to look after the poor who are around every one of us (Donald W. Parry and Jay A. Parry, Understanding the Parables of Jesus Christ, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2006).
FOR YOUNGER DISCIPLES
QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER DISCIPLES
- At times, are we all the lost sheep?
- Do you think the shepherd was also happy with the 99 sheep who were not lost?