"And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me." Luke 12:13
Our family's been reading the gospel of Luke lately, moving kind of slowly because we stop a lot to draw attention to things we think our kids might be in a position to benefit from grappling with.
Like: tonight we got to the verse above, where someone asks Jesus to get involved in an inheritance dispute (which, at the time, would have been covered under religious law and therefore a reasonable thing to ask Jesus about). This felt like the kind of passage that would probably go over the kids' heads if we just read it, but that they might be able to relate to if we slowed down.
"What's an inheritance?" I asked.
They had no idea, so I explained that they'll get our stuff when we die. Simple enough.
I turned to Kira to get it to the next step of relatability. "Let's say that after Mama and I die," I said, "Elijah tells you he gets the upstairs of this house--because his room used to be there--and you get the downstairs, because your room used to be there. What do you think of that?"
This would mean, Nicole pointed out, that Kira would get the laundry room while Elijah would get the kitchen.
Kira grasped the significance of this. "That's not fair!" she said.
I figured that would be enough to help Kira sympathize with the man in the story. She'd see why he wanted Jesus to intervene on his behalf. "So let's say you went to Jesus and told him about the problem," I said. "What would he tell you to do?"
Kira didn't even hesitate. "He would tell us to work it out," she said.
Those of you who know this story know that is, in essence, what Jesus said. He refused to get involved, and taught about the underlying dangers of envy instead of offering a ruling. Kira was right--I had just hoped to surprise her with Jesus' teachings the same way the people at the time were so often surprised by him. The same way that I, as an adult who has heard stories of Jesus countless times, continue to be surprised by him.
But a ruined lesson plan isn't a ruined lesson. Maybe I could learn something from Kira and something about Kira from the exchange. "How did you know that?" I asked.
"Because I know Jesus," she said.