Our readings today in Ezekiel (16) and Luke (12) are full of parables. God, through Ezekiel, and our Lord Jesus, are trying to make people think about the motives of God in causing events between nations. Such events, of course, affected all individuals in those nations. We especially noted the short and powerful personal messages given in the telling of those stories.
Jesus knew that many of his hearers would face an increasing time of crisis as the time of the destruction of the nation grew closer. Remember how he wept over Jerusalem and later told them to ”weep for yourselves and your children”[Luke 23 v.28]. Would Jesus weep over the world today? He knows what lies ahead; the angels must be getting ready to “gather his elect” [Mark 13 v.27].
Jesus also gave messages of encouragement to help them face up to the coming crisis. Those who really believed would remember his words. But some of his words foreshadow an even greater time of crisis for the whole world – our time.
There is a parable about a rich man who plans for a long and relaxing retirement. He thinks to himself, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry” [v.19] He refuses to consider the role of God in his life, so many are like that today.
Our Govt. in Australia is proud of its compulsory superannuation scheme established over 20 years ago. The mass of money now created has been significant in the present stability in the economy here. But how do you “store” money these days? What is “money” today – it is no longer gold and silver! Jesus says, “all the nations of the world seek after these things … instead seek his (God’s) kingdom and all these things will be added to you … where your treasure is there will your heart be also” [v.34]
Those who listen and act having their “treasure” with God (18 v.22) know that it will be, said Jesus, “your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” [v.32] Then come the most important (for us) words of all– “be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” [v.40] therefore “stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men (and women) who are waiting for their Master to come” [v.35,36]
Our daily Bible reading and prayers are essential to provide adequate oil for those lamps.