Summary: THIS SERMON DEALS WITH THE PARABLE OF THE RICH MAN WHO LOST IT ALL.
NOV. 8, 2009
LUKE 12; 13-21
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 A MAN WHO FIGURED OUT THAT HE COULD MAKE ENOUGH MONEY TO RETIRE IF ONLY HE COULD KNOW WHAT THE STOCK MARKET WOULD DO 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 GET THE MORNING PAPER, AND WHEN HE PICKED IT UP, IT WAS DATED 30 DAYS IN THE FUTURE. HIS DREAM WAS ABOUT TO BE ANSWERED. HE IMMEDIATELY TURNS TO THE FINANCIAL SECTION, HE IS GETTING EXCITED. HE COULD COUNT THE MONEY. THEN OUT OF CURIOSITY, HE THUMBS THRU MORE OF THE PAPER, FINALLY, HE BEGINS TO READ THE OBITS, AND AS HE READS, HE FINDS HIS NAME WRITTEN THERE.
JESUS SPOKE MORE ABOUT MONEY AND OUR ATTITUDE ABOUT IT, THAN ALMOST ANY OTHER SUBJECT. MOST OFTEN, HE WOULD SPEAK ABOUT THIS SUBJECT BY USING PARABLES.
A PARABLE IS AN EARTHLY STORY WITH A HEAVENLY MEANING. THE MEANING IS HIDDEN, AND THIS WAS BY DESIGN. JESUS WOULD TELL THE PARABLE, AND PEOPLE WOULD LISTEN AND WONDER ABOUT THE MEANING. THEN LATER JESUS WOULD EXPLAIN THE PARABLE TO THE DISCIPLES. THIS WAS DONE TO KEEP THE PHARISEES OFF GUARD.
WE WANT TO TURN OUR ATTENTION TO THE PARABLE OF THE RICH FOOL. THIS, BTW, IS NOT THE STORY OF FOREST GUMP. GUMP WAS NOT INTELLIGENT, WITH A HIGH IQ, BUT HE WAS NOT A FOOL. AS WE EXAMINE THIS PARABLE TOGETHER, YOU CAN EASILY SEE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO.
THIS PARABLE IS GIVEN IN RESPONSE TO A DEMAND MADE BY AN UN-NAMED MAN IN THE CROWD. “TEACHER, TELL MY BROTHER TO DIVIDE THE INHERITANCE WITH ME.” THE COMMON LAW OF THAT DAY WAS; THE OLDER BROTHER GOT 2/3 AND THE YOUNGER BROTHER GOT 1/3. THE YOUNGER BROTHER WANTS MORE, “IT’S NOT FAIR”, IT MAY NOT HAVE BEEN FAIR, BUT IT WAS THE CUSTOM OF THE DAY.
JESUS RESPONDS TO HIS DEMAND, “I AM NOT THE JUDGE OVER THIS MATTER.” THEN BOTH TO 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 THE SAME CHAPTER, JESUS SAID, BE ON YOUR GUARD AGAINST HYPOCRISY. CONSTANTLY KEEP 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 INTO THE DOCKS, WHILE THE AMERICAN WATCHED. ONLY ONE MAN ON BOARD. THE AMERICAN LOOKED AT THE FISH. “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 COULD HELP YOU. YOU COULD SPEND MORE TIME FISHING, CATCH MORE FISH, MAKE MORE MONEY, BUY MORE BOATS, CATCH MORE FISH, MAKE MORE MONEY. WHEN YOU GOT REALLY GOOD, YOU WOULD HAVE TO MOVE TO MEXICO CITY, OR LA, TO RUN YOUR BUSINESS.” AND HOW LONG WOULD THIS TAKE? “15 OR 20 YEARS”, THEN WHAT? “THIS IS WHERE IT GETS REALLY 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.”
HERE IS THE PARABLE JESUS TOLD. THERE WAS A CERTAIN RICH MAN. HE WAS A GREAT SUCCESS, VERY GOOD BUSINESSMAN. HE WAS NOT SMALL POTATOES. HE WAS OWNER OF A LARGE FARM, VAST ESTATE. HE MADE MONEY THE OLD FASHIONED WAY HE EARNED IT. HE WAS A FARMER, A TILLER OF THE SOIL. HE WAS BOTH EFFICIENT AND CAPABLE.