Jesus Christ Heir of All Things
Inheritance is a pleasant word. It is a rather prodigious word in the Bible. In the types and shadows of the Old Testament, material inheritance was passed from one generation to subsequent ones, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, and the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous (Prv 13:22).”
The Levites, who served the temple in Jerusalem, were not included in the distribution of lands granted to the tribes of Israel (Jos 13), following Joshua’s conquest of Canaan (Jos 6–12). Their inheritance was to be the Lord Himself (Num 18:8–32). As the landowning tribes prospered, there was provision made in the Law, for the financial care of Aaron’s family of priests and the tribe of Levi, to which they belonged. Today, the church is the kingdom of believer priests (1 Pet 2:9), who offer up spiritual sacrifices (Rom 12:1; 1 Pet 2:5). Christ Himself is our inheritance (Eph 1:3; 5:5; Col 3:24).
A Hebrew child raised in the nation was a member of the family that came from Jacob’s loins. As the tribes prospered, wealth was created and managed. At times, trouble would come in the form of drought, famine, pestilence, and war. The uncertainty of riches has been a problem from the fall of Adam (Gen 3; 1 Tim 6:17).
In looking at economies from a biblical perspective, one must always consider God’s providence. This is God, willing and doing His good pleasure (Phil 2:13), to fulfill His eternal decree. He sits in the heavens and does as He pleases (Ps 115:3; 135:6).
The economic promises of God are comforting for those who are in Christ Jesus (2 Cor 8–9; Heb 13:5). The Old Testament imagery of prosperity, in a material sense, foreshadows the glorious, albeit, spiritual riches afforded us in Christ (Eph 1:3). Our eternal lot has both material and spiritual wealth that will have no uncertainty attached to it (Rev 21–22).
Jesus Christ, being the Son of God, is therefore the heir of God (Rom 8:17). Whatever belongs to the Father belongs to the Son, as inheritance (Jn 17:7). Because God the Father is the Creator and owner of all things, the Son is the rightful heir of all of heaven and earth. For this reason, Jesus, also holds the title “Prince” (Is 9:6; Acts 3:15; 5:31).
It is quite significant that the Son of God and royal heir would come into the world incognito. His humble beginnings and meager material existence, during His earthly stay, informs our own economic understanding, as co-heirs with Christ (Rom 8:17).
Christians, transferred into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son (Col 1:13), have an inheritance reserved in heaven for them (1 Pet 1:4). As heirs of salvation, heirs of righteousness (Heb 11:7), this reality gives great hope to the believers, who often are the ones struggling financially in this world (1 Cor 4:11–13). The quest for riches, in this world, is simply not Christian (Mt 19:21; Lk 16:9; Acts 2:45; 1 Jn 3:16–17). In fact, the economist/Apostle Paul considered material gain (among other things) to be part of the weight of dung set against the believer’s knowledge and experience with Christ (Phil 3:7–8).
So, one may inquire, “Why did Jesus come into the world and live in such economic simplicity?” Undoubtedly, there is an economic lesson for us to learn by His incarnation (Jn 1:14). It begins with the fact that everyone comes into the world with nothing (1 Tim 6:7a). It is complemented by the fact that everyone leaves the world with nothing (1 Tim 6:7b). Therefore, accumulation is vanity (Mt 6:19–20).
Jesus warned against storing up treasures on earth because of the management required to maintain or increase wealth. This serves, as a distraction away from the focus on heaven (Mt 16:23; Rom 8:5–7; Phil 3:19; Col 3:2). After all, everyone’s life is but a vapor (Jas 4:14). We are here, today, and gone tomorrow.
It serves our Christian witness to live in such a way that points others to His glory (Mt 6:24; Mk 10:21). Paul said, “With food and clothing, be content (1 Tim 6:8).” Even then, we should always be in the charitable mindset (1 Jn 3:16–17). If we have two coats and see another with none, our Lord directs us to share from a heart of love and gratitude (1 Cor 13:3).
Temptations in this material world threaten to misplace our values. Heirs of God have the special witness of boasting in Jesus Christ (Gal 6:14), as the precious possession. If the believer has such privileged information, knowing that his lot is secure in Christ (1 Jn 5:13), he is free to serve the King of kings and the kingdom of God (Rom 14:17–18; Col 3:24). Simply put, he values Christ above all.
It is the Spirit sent from heaven (1 Pet 1:12), who ever keeps the Word of promise in front of the child of God (Acts 2:42; Heb 10:25). In this, Jesus Christ is magnified because more people are made aware of His Person and works. With the Spirit, we have a token of our full inheritance (2 Cor 5:5).
In sum, all things belong to God (Col 3:22–23). We are temporary stewards of that which is entrusted to us, and for which we will give an account. Our task is to use the mammon of unrighteousness to make friends for everlasting habitations (Lk 16:9). Our investment in others’ spiritual welfare, that is, eternal welfare, has its return in glory. By then, we will recognize all our good works were Him at work!
In conclusion, Jesus Christ is the heir of God, and we are co-heirs with Him. Our inheritance is Him and what belongs to Him. All things are from Him, flow through Him, and return to Him (Rom 11:36). He is the Alpha and the Omega and Lord of everything in between (Rev 1:8; 21:6; 22:13).
The rich fool and rich young ruler made grave errors in not being rich toward God (Lk 12:13–21; Mt 19:16–26). Zacchaeus and others fared better, for they understood how to value this world (Lk 19:1–10), in contrast with the next. They put their hope in Him (Mt 12:21; 1 Tim 1:1), who does not disappoint, and who has promised to never leave us nor forsake us here (Heb 13:5), while He promises mansions of glory, on the day He comes for His beloved bride (Jn 14:2), to take her home, to an eternal paradise that belongs to the heirs of God, Jesus and His church.
Spokane Valley, Washington
December 15, 2022