Parable of the Rich Fool

Jesus responds to someone in the crowd with a quick response: “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” then tells the parable of the rich fool to warn us about all kinds of greed.

…life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.

We are not judged for having wealth, we are judged when such blessings take priority over our love of God.

Luke 12:13-21

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One Reply to “Parable of the Rich Fool”

  1. The precursor to this parable is interesting. Here we have someone in the crowd who is advancing his own selfish desire for a better deal on his inheritance. He respects Jesus enough to call him “teacher,” but I wonder if he was actually listening to what Jesus was preaching. Perhaps he was listening with the desire to find the right words to convict his brother and thus gain more of the inheritance.

    How many times do we listen to the words of the preacher through filters of our own making?

    When we have the privilege of public worship, we should be praying for the pastors, for the worship leaders–praying for the Holy Spirit to open our eyes and ears to what we should be hearing at that particular time and place. Whatever “stuff” we need to deal with should be set aside.

    In this particular case, I think the man would have heard the answer to his question in the wisdom of Jesus’ teaching, but he had his particular concern as the most urgent, most important problem, so he filtered out what Jesus was preaching. In essence he was say, “Great preaching Jesus, but here’s MY problem…” How many times do we do this?

    Don’t be mistaken, Jesus clearly wants us to cast all our cares upon him, but that doesn’t give us the right to make all our cares the most important kingdom concern.

    Greed, all kinds of greed drive the marketing system of this present society. Probably not the world, but in this country, greed and envy are the hallmark of advertising. In this parable we read about someone who has an abundant harvest (Aside: this is not about winning the lottery), one who likely worked really hard in tilling the soil and tending to the fields. His labor was rewarded by an unusually abundant crop, so much so that his barns weren’t adequate for storing the yield.

    But here’s the problem: my crops, my barns, my surplus grain. Mine, mine, mine! How quick and easy do we often forget that we are but stewards of all we possess. We are eternal beings and none of this stuff we have on earth will transfer to eternity. That doesn’t mean we should disregard that which is given to us, but it does mean we have a responsibility far greater. The first response to having an abundance should be to honor God with all our heart, to seek his desire for the overwhelming blessing.

    Helps us to be “rich toward God” in all we say and do, to honor Christ when he choses to give us an abundant harvest. Keep us humble.

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