Luke 12:22-34 – Who or what has your heart?
There is a subtle yet definite shift in the encounter that Luke describes in this passage; Jesus is specifically speaking to his disciples and they are urged to reflect on his words through the lens of intimacy with the Father of the Kingdom. There is no doubt at all that Jesus is addressing his followers and he does so because they need to hear what he has to say because “where your treasure is, there your heart is also” (vs 34). In the sermon yesterday, I mentioned that Jesus is approaching this issue of greed from the real possibility that the sin of greed will be an issue for his disciples. This in turn presents a major challenge to the ongoing relationship between the disciple and ‘their Father’ (that is, God the Father).
Jesus is reinforcing the importance of trusting God the Father and his provision of all they need and this is central to the relationship that they enjoy with the Father. It is with this backdrop that Jesus tells them to consider the way he provides for various creatures in his creation; the Father will provide for you too. “Do not seek… but seek” is a term that is used frequently both in this text and similar New Testament texts about trusting in God’s provision and not trusting in the things of this world. This phrase means, don’t run after greed, rather run after the things of the Kingdom. Similarly, Paul when writing to young Timothy, urges him to flee from the love of money and instead, run (literally ‘pursue’) after godly virtues (1 Tim 6:10-11) We are to run after Jesus, the king of the Kingdom and in the process, give him your heart, you affections, your intentionality and your life. Interestingly, Jesus also tells the disciples – and he tells us in the process – give all to the Father of the Kingdom, because he has given you ‘the Kingdom’.