‘Investing Wisely’ is a sermon that aims to ask: where is our treasure and what is our perspective? It’s based on Jeremiah 32:1-15 and Luke 16:19-31 (Pentecost 18)
It’s 587BC and Jeremiah is in a tight spot
- He’s been falsely arrested for Treason because he prophesied against the King.
- He’s imprisoned in the Guardhouse of the Royal Palace.
- Jerusalem is under siege, surrounded by Babylonian troops.
- Then Hanamel his Nephew appears and asks him to buy a field – three miles behind enemy lines!
- Jeremiah could have pointed out the absurdity of what Hanamel was asking, but:
- The Word of God has told Jeremiah that this would happen.
- It is the law that he should buy the field and keep it in
Luke 16:19-31. Now we have a very different picture
- Jesus tells a parable, perhaps reusing a familiar folk story. Note that:
- It isn’t orthodox in the Christian sense – it doesn’t say salvation is by faith!
- Jesus uses current belief – the focus is on right living rather than right belief.
- Lazarus is the only named character in a parable of Jesus.
- The rich man shows no interest in Lazarus, although he lives
under his nose.
- He has food to spare and Lazarus would gladly eat it – but no luck.
- He doesn’t even think of others until he is in Hell (and then it’s his brothers).
- In v31 Jesus ironically refers to Lazarus, raised from the dead, and perhaps himself.
Message for Today
- The obvious message from the parable in Luke is a warning to us
in the rich West.
- Here we are indulging ourselves to death, while others die for lack of clean water.
- The faithless might use such (tabloid) stories to say “there ain’t no justice” (or God).
- I am fearful of what God will allow to happen to our society. (How angry is God?)
- That’s perhaps what you would expect me to say – and it’s true!
- However, when put next to the Jeremiah passage another view
- Jeremiah could have needed that silver to keep him alive (bribes for the guard).
- His far-sighted actions would enable his heirs to claim their land after the exile.
- The message for today is what are we investing in? Where is our treasure and our hearts?
- Jeremiah was in prison in a city under siege; he knew the enemy would win.
- We are imprisoned in physical bodies, in a materialistic society in a physical universe.
- We are not going to win this fight (a thought typical of
- We will not live forever.
- The church will not win over society and save society from itself.
- Occasional miracles aside, God will not intervene to save our planet from us.
- People without faith expect God to act in a timescale to suit
them – they’re dead wrong!
- God will act when and where and how He deems best for His purposes.
- We are called to invest our hearts and treasure in God’s purposes and his timescale.
- Our privileged relationship with God allows us to see things from His perspective.
- “Your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven, Amen.”