Luke 12:14
And he said to him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) Man, who made me a judge . . .?—This is the only instance of our Lord’s so addressing one who had come to Him as a questioner. As in Romans 2:1; Romans 2:3, the form, “O man,” was one which expressed grave censure and indignation. Was it for this that men came to Him instead of seeking for the kingdom of God? He accordingly distinctly repudiates any but the purely spiritual aspect of a scribe’s work, and will neither act publicly as judge nor privately as arbitrator. (Comp. John 8:11.)

12:13-21 Christ's kingdom is spiritual, and not of this world. Christianity does not meddle with politics; it obliges all to do justly, but wordly dominion is not founded in grace. It does not encourage expectations of worldly advantages by religion. The rewards of Christ's disciples are of another nature. Covetousness is a sin we need constantly to be warned against; for happiness and comfort do not depend on the wealth of this world. The things of the world will not satisfy the desires of a soul. Here is a parable, which shows the folly of carnal worldling while they live, and their misery when they die. The character drawn is exactly that of a prudent, worldly man, who has no grateful regard to the providence of God, nor any right thought of the uncertainty of human affairs, the worth of his soul, or the importance of eternity. How many, even among professed Christians, point out similar characters as models for imitation, and proper persons to form connexions with! We mistake if we think that thoughts are hid, and thoughts are free. When he saw a great crop upon his ground, instead of thanking God for it, or rejoicing to be able to do more good, he afflicts himself. What shall I do now? The poorest beggar in the country could not have said a more anxious word. The more men have, the more perplexity they have with it. It was folly for him to think of making no other use of his plenty, than to indulge the flesh and gratify the sensual appetites, without any thought of doing good to others. Carnal worldlings are fools; and the day is coming when God will call them by their own name, and they will call themselves so. The death of such persons is miserable in itself, and terrible to them. Thy soul shall be required. He is loth to part with it; but God shall require it, shall require an account of it, require it as a guilty soul to be punished without delay. It is the folly of most men, to mind and pursue that which is for the body and for time only, more than that for the soul and eternity.Who made me a judge? - It is not my business to settle controversies of this kind. They are to be settled by the magistrate. Jesus came for another purpose - to preach the gospel, and so to bring people to "a willingness to do" right. Civil affairs are to be left to the magistrate. There is no doubt that Jesus "could" have told him what was right in this case, but then it would have been interfering with the proper office of the magistrates; it might have led him into controversy with the Jews; and it was, besides, evidently apart from the proper business of his life. We may remark, also, that the appropriate business of ministers of the gospel is to attend to spiritual concerns. They should have little to do with the temporal matters of the people. If they can "persuade men" who are at variance to be reconciled, it is right; but they have no power to take the place of a magistrate, and to settle contentions in a legal way. 14. Man, &c.—Contrast this style of address with "my friends," (Lu 12:4).

who, &c.—a question literally repudiating the office which Moses assumed (Ex 2:14). The influence of religious teachers in the external relations of life has ever been immense, when only the INDIRECT effect of their teaching; but whenever they intermeddle DIRECTLY with secular and political matters, the spell of that influence is broken.

See Poole on "Luke 12:13" And he said unto him, man,.... Or "friend", as the Ethiopic version renders it; that is, Jesus said to him, as the Syriac, Persic, and Ethiopic versions express it:

who made me a judge, or a divider over you? referring to the words of one of the Hebrews to Moses, when he interposed in a difference, Exodus 2:14 suggesting, that the same might be retorted on him, should he engage in such an affair: the reason why Christ avoided meddling with it, was not because it is unlawful for Christians to concern themselves in arbitrations about civil affairs, and in making up family differences, which is very commendable; but lest by such a step, he should give occasion to them, to conclude he was a temporal king: whereas his kingdom was not of this world, and his business lay not in civil affairs, and the management of them; but in spiritual concerns, in preaching the Gospel, and doing good to the souls of men; wherefore this was out of his province: and besides, it was a matter of covetousness, either in this person, or his brother, or both; which Christ takes an occasion from hence to expose, agreeably to his office; to which may be added, that this man seems to have disturbed Christ in his public work, and was of such a worldly spirit, as to prefer the care of his secular affairs, to the hearing of the word, and the welfare of his immortal soul.

And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 12:14. ἄνθρωπε, man! discouraging, no sympathy with the object (cf. Romans 2:1; Romans 9:20).—κριτὴν, a judge, deciding the right or equity of the case; μεριστὴν, an arbiter carrying out the judgment (here only in N.T.). The application was the less blameworthy that appeals to Rabbis for such purposes seem to have been not infrequent (Schanz).14. Man] The word is sternly repressive. Comp. Romans 2:1.

who made me a judge] “My kingdom is not of this world,” John 18:36.

or a divider] i.e. umpire, arbitrator. There is an evident allusion to Exodus 2:14.Luke 12:14. Ἄνθρωπε, man) He addresses him as a stranger (one alien to Him).—δικαστὴν, a judge) to give (pronounce) sentence of law.—μεριστὴν, a divider) to divide goods [between parties at issue].Made (κατέστησεν)

Appointed or constituted.

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