Rich Fool

Luke 12:13-21
Then someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” But Jesus said to him, “Mister, who appointed me to be a judge or arbitrator over you people?”

Then he said to them, “Be careful to guard yourselves against every kind of greed, for a person’s life doesn’t consist of the amount of possessions he has.”

Then he told them a parable. He said, “The land of a certain rich man produced good crops. So he began to think to himself, ‘What should I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and I’ll store all my grain and goods in them.

Then I’ll say to my soul, “Soul, you’ve stored up plenty of good things for many years. Take it easy, eat, drink, and enjoy yourself.”‘

But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Now who will get the things you’ve accumulated?’ That’s how it is with the person who stores up treasures for himself and isn’t rich toward God.”

 

Possible Points of Jesus
  1. THE PARABLE OF THE RICH FOOL
    1. THE PARABLE SUMMARIZED…
      1. A rich man is richly blessed with large crops – Lk 12:16
      2. As he considers his situation, he makes plans for the future
        1. To build greater barns to store his crops – Lk 12:17-18
        2. To retire and enjoy the fruits of his labors for many years – Lk 12:19
      3. Yet God tells him he is a fool! – Lk 12:20
        1. Because that very night he is to die, and his soul will be required of him
        2. And the things he had provided, whose will they be?
    2. THE PARABLE ANALYZED…
      1. The man assumes that his life consists in the abundance of things he possesses
        1. The crops are his
        2. They will provide for his soul for many years to come
      2. The foolishness and selfishness of the rich man is seen in that…
        1. He does not know himself
          1. He fails to realize that his “body” is mortal, and will not necessarily live on for many years
          2. He does not consider that his riches really can’t satisfy his “soul”!
        2. He does not consider the needs of others
          1. The needs of the poor are not even taken into consideration
          2. He thinks only of self (note the “I’s” and “my’s”)
        3. Nor does he thank and glorify God
          1. For all practical purposes, he is an atheist
          2. One who truly believes in God would respond like the Psalmist in Ps 116:12
    3. THE PARABLE APPLIED…
      1. Jesus makes the application in Lk 12:21
      2. Those who lay up treasure for themselves, and are not rich toward God, are like this rich fool!
      3. If your plans for the future focus on self, and not on God and others, you are no different than the rich fool
        — This ought to encourage serious reflection in those planning their retirement!
    4. BEING RICH TOWARD GOD
      1. BEING IN CHRIST IS CERTAINLY REQUIRED…
        1. For all spiritual blessings come through Him – Ep 1:3
        2. The exceeding riches of God’s grace will be shown only through Christ – Ep 2:4-7
      2. BUT PROPER USE OF MATERIAL RICHES CAN HELP…
        1. Notice the words of Jesus, spoken soon after this parable – Lk 12:33-34
          1. He tells them to sell what they have and give alms
          2. To provide a treasure in heaven that does not fail
        2. Helping the poor is often connected with “laying up treasure in heaven”
          1. As Jesus counseled the rich young ruler – Mt 19:21
          2. As Paul told Timothy to command those rich in this present age – 1Ti 6:17-19
        3. Not that one can “buy their way into heaven”…
          1. But to ensure that their heart is in the right place
          2. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart will be also.” – cf. Mt 6:19-21
            — As we use material wealth to help the less fortunate, we become rich toward God!
      3. NOTICE HOW JESUS ENCOURAGED HIS DISCIPLES IN THIS MATTER…
        1. He followed the parable with a reminder of God’s loving care – Lk 12:22-30
        2. The key is to make the kingdom (or rule) of God the focus of our life – Lk 12:31
        3. For then God will do two things:
          1. Provide “all these things” (i.e., things necessary for life and body) – Lk 12:31
          2. Give you “the kingdom” (i.e., things necessary for the soul) – Lk 12:32
        4. So they are exhorted to give alms and provide for treasure in heaven! – Lk 12:33
  2. CONCLUSION
    1. From the parable of “The Rich Fool”, we learn that we can:
      1. Lay up treasure for oneself
      2. Yet not be rich toward God
    2. To do the first without the second ignores the soul, and has no guarantee for the body
    3. To focus on being rich toward God saves the soul, while providing for the body!

Where is YOUR treasure? Are you storing up for yourself a good foundation for the time to come? – cf. 1Ti 6:6-10,17-19


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