How many times have you sat quietly with a friend as they have ranted nonsense? I’m sure that after a time or two, you probably didn’t take it too seriously, but instead let them ‘get it all out.’ Reasoning that if it is important enough, it can be discussed when the emotions have subsided.
Knowing when to speak up and when to be quiet on any given occasion, calls for wisdom. Wisdom only mastered through sound instruction and sometimes bitter experience. Jesus’ face was set towards the cross. So, when a man yelled out from the crowd, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me,” he answered accordingly. He said to him, “Man, who appointed Me a judge or arbitrator over you?” (see Lk.12:13-14).It would have been easy for the crowd to conclude that Jesus was merely batting the man’s request away. But the opposite was the case. Jesus was speaking up for the right thing at the right time. His teachings ever pointed toward the joy of being in the Kingdom. The last thing that he was going to add his Messianic voice to was instructions on how to get the most out of a family feud over money. Covetousness is the sin of entitlement. Salvation is the fruit of sacrifice. They cannot co-exist!
Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does the life consist of his possessions” (Lk.12:15).
If the man in the crowd went home believing Jesus to be indifferent to his righteous request, he missed the point. Jesus was speaking up for true life. Which meant speaking against that which kills it. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy. (Pro.27:6).