Summary: The parable of the rich fool.
A FOOL AND HIS MONEY
13Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me."
14Jesus replied, "Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?" 15Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."
16And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. 17He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
18"Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I’ll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry."’
20"But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
21"This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."
INTRO; THE STORY IS TOLD OF THE MAN, WHO DECIDED THAT HE COULD MAKE
ENOUGH MONEY TO RETIRE, IF ONLY HE COULD DETERMINE THE STOCK MARKET 30 DAYS IN ADVANCE. HE OBSESSED ABOUT THIS, HE KNEW HE COULD CLEAN UP, IF ONLY HE KNEW. ONE MORNING, HE WENT TO HIS FRONT PORCH TO PICK UP THE NEWSPAPER, AND WHEN HE PICKED IT UP, IT WAS DATED 30 DAYS IN THE FUTURE. HIS DREAM WAS ABOUT TO BE ANSWERED. FIRST HE OPENS THE FINANCIAL SECTION, HE IS GETTING EXCITED. THEN, OUT OF CURIOSITY, HE DECIDES TO OPEN THE OBITUARIES, AS HE BEGINS TO READ, HE FINDS HIS NAME IS THERE.
AS WE OPEN THE WORD TOGETHER TODAY, I WANT YOU TO REALIZE THAT JESUS SPOKE MORE ABOUT, MONEY, AND OUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS IT, THAN ALMOST ANY OTHER SUBJECT.
THIS IS THE FIRST OF SEVERAL PARABLES THAT JESUS WOULD TELL. A PARABLE IS, AN EARTHLY STORY WITH A HEAVENLY MEANING. OFTEN, IN THE PARABLES, THE MEANING IS HIDDEN, THIS WAS BY DESIGN. JESUS, WOULD TELL THEM, THE PEOPLE WOULD LISTEN AND WONDER, AND THEN HE WOULD EXPLAIN THE MEANING TO THE DISCIPLES. THIS WAS DONE IN PART TO KEEP THE PHARISEES OFF GUARD. TODAY, WE WANT TO TURN OUR ATTENTION TO THE PARABLE OF THE RICH FOOL. THIS IS NOT THE STORY OF FOREST GUMP, BTW. FOREST GUMP WAS NOT INTELLIGENT, WITH A HIGH IQ, BUT HE WAS NOT A FOOL. AS WE EXAMINE THIS PARABLE, YOU CAN EASILY SEE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO.
THIS PARABLE IS GIVEN IN RESPONSE TO A DEMAND MADE BY AN UN-NAMED MAN WHO WAS IN THE CROWD. "TEACHER, TELL MY BROTHER TO DIVIDE THE INHERITANCE WITH ME." THE COMMON LAW OF THAT DAY WAS, THE OLDER BROTHER WOULD GET 2/3 , THE YOUNGER BROTHER GETS 1/3. THE YOUNGER BROTHER WANTED MORE, "IT’S NOT FAIR." IT MAY NOT HAVE BEEN FAIR, BUT IT WAS THE CUSTOM OF THAT DAY.
JESUS RESPONDS TO HIS DEMAND, "I AM NOT THE JUDGE OVER THIS MATTER." THEN TO BOTH THE YOUNGER BROTHER, AND THE CROWD, JESUS GETS TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER, BE ON YOUR GUARD AGAINST GREED. LIFE IS MUCH MORE THAN POSSESSIONS. THIS STORY ILLUSTRATES THE POINT.
EARLIER IN THIS SAME CHAPTER, JESUS SAID, BE ON YOUR GUARD AGAINST HYPOCRISY. CONSTANTLY WATCH, KEEP CHECKING. HE GIVES THIS SAME ADMONITION NOW ABOUT GREED.
AN AMERICAN WENT TO THE COAST OF MEXICO ON VACATION. ONE DAY, A LOCAL FISHERMAN PULLED BACK IN TO DOCK WHILE HE WATCHED. ONLY ONE MAN ON BOARD. THE AMERICAN LOOKED AT THE FISH, AND COMPLIMENTED THE LOCAL. "NICE FISH, BUT WHY SO FEW?" I CAUGHT ENOUGH TO TAKE CARE OF MY FAMILIES NEEDS. "WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THE REST OF YOUR TIME?" WELL, I PLAY WITH MY CHILDREN, I TAKE A NAP WITH MY WIFE, IN THE EVENING I GO DOWNTOWN AND PLAY GUITAR WITH MY FRIENDS. THE AMERICAN SAYS, " I HAVE MY MBA FROM HARVARD AND I COULD HELP YOU. YOU COULD SPEND MORE TIME FISHING, CATCH MORE FISH, MAKE MONEY, BUY MORE BOATS, CATCH MORE FISH, MAKE MORE MONEY. WHEN YOU GOT REALLY GOOD, YOU WOULD HAVE TO MOVE TO MEXICO CITY, OR NY, TO RUN YOUR BUSINESS." AND HOW LONG WOULD THIS TAKE? "15 20 YEARS" THEN WHAT? "THIS IS WHERE IT GETS GOOD, THEN YOU SELL THE COMPANY FOR MILLIONS OF DOLLARS" MILLIONS? THEN WHAT? "THEN YOU RETIRE, AND MOVE TO A COASTAL FISHING VILLAGE, WHERE YOU PLAY WITH YOUR KIDS, TAKE A NAP WITH YOUR WIFE, AND IN THE EVENING GO INTO TOWN AND PLAY GUITAR WITH YOUR FRIENDS."