Suggested further reading: Philippians 4:10-20
The passage we have read now affords a singular instance of
man's readiness to bring the things of this world into the midst of his
religion. One of our Lord's hearers wanted assistance with his
temporal affairs (v. 13). He probably had some vague idea that Jesus
was going to set up a worldly kingdom. He resolved to make an
early application to him about his own pecuniary matters. When
other hearers might be thinking about the world to come, this
man's thoughts evidently ran upon this present life. How many gospel
hearers are just like this man! How many are incessantly planning
about the things of time even under the very sound of the things of
eternity! Even the preaching of Christ did not arrest the attention of
all his hearers. The servant must not expect his sermons to be
more valued than his Master's.
There is a solemn warning given against covetousness
(v. 15). There is no sin to which the heart is more prone than
covetousness. It was the sin which helped to cast down the angels that fell.
They were not content with their first estate (Jude 6). It was this sin
that helped drive Adam and Eve out of paradise and brought death
into the world (Gen. 3:1-6). They coveted and so they fell. Ever since
the Fall this sin has been the fertile cause of misery and unhappiness
on earth. Wars, quarrels, strifes, divisions, envyings, disputes,
jealousies, hatreds of all sorts, both public and private, Maynearly all
be traced up to this fountain-head.
Let the warning that our Lord pronounces sink down into
our hearts and bear fruit in our lives. Let us try to learn the lesson
that St Paul mastered (Phil. 4:11). Let us pray for a thorough
confidence in God's superintending providence over all our worldly affairs
and God's perfect wisdom in all his arrangements concerning us.
Happy is he who is persuaded that whatever is, is best, and has ceased
from vain wishing.
For meditation: The bigger and the better are the gods of
this world. We cannot serve them and the true and living
God (Matt. 6:24).