Summary: The parable of the Rich Fool reminds us what it is to live a "Fool’s Life."
* There is a mineral named “Iron Pyrite” which, chemically speaking is an iron sulfide which possesses a pale to normal, brass yellow appearance which has earned its name as “Fool’s Gold.” This name was earned as in the days of homesteading (as I understand it), people would find this pyrite and mistake it for gold. Sometimes they would spend their last dollar for what they THOUGHT was the real thing, but was only a facsimile of the real thing. I suggest that this principle holds true about life in the 21st century. Many times we find ourselves focusing on the wrong things & miss the important aspects of this life.
* Turn with me to Luke 12 and let’s continue learning from the parables of Jesus. Commentators call this parable “The Parable of the Rich Fool”, so tonight we will term our thoughts, “Fool’s Life” in honor of “Fool’s Gold.”
* Let’s read. It is interesting to me that in every story, parable, or teaching of Jesus we can find multiple principles and points to embrace. For the sake of time, let me simply divide our thinking into two major categories.
1. The Situation of the Story – From what we can discern, Jesus is teaching the crowd (which was quite normal for Jesus). Luke 12 records that He had just finished teaching about hypocrisy, fearing God and Acknowledging Christ when a man present his own story to Jesus.
a. The Request to Jesus – It is obvious that the man has lost (probably) his dad and now the brothers were tied up in an argument about Dad’s possessions. When I read this verbiage it reminds me of a second grader asking the teaching to intercede and make things “right.” Because Jesus was considered a Rabbi, this would be an appropriate request, if it were on the “up and up,” but Jesus sees through the issue.
b. The Resistance from Jesus – Jesus resists getting involved for several reasons which I can see. He knows this public part of the problem was, in all likelihood, not the main problem these brothers had. Jesus is not nearly as interested in giving help as he is changing the heart. He is not so much interested in what we possess on earth as what we have in heaven. This may explain why Jesus doesn’t get as involved in some of our personal issues everyday as we would like Him to.
c. The Recommendation of Jesus – Seeing through the problem to the real issue, Jesus offered a warning for the brothers, the people, and us.
Fool’s life – Pg 2
* The HCSB says, “Watch out”, the KJV says, “Take heed”, and the NAS says, “Beware.” When I see the word beware, I think of the skull and crossbones and the sign which says danger.” Jesus says, “Beware and be on guard.” It’s kind of like in “fencing” (sword fighting), the call is “On guard!” It means, “Prepare to defend you” which is Jesus’ call. Why?
d. The Revelation by Jesus – This is the moral, principle, or teaching point of this story. “Life is not found in the abundance of one’s possessions.” Let us simply consider how contrary this principle runs to our culture and maybe our own personal beliefs. While we may “say” we agree with Jesus’ teaching, what does our life say?
* Now that we understand the situation, the circumstances, the environment in which Jesus finds Himself, let’s look at the parable;
2. The Substance of the Story – We are told of a rich man whose business booms which results in what the world would call GREAT & God calls greed. Instead of living a FULL life this man is living a FOOL’S life. Watch.
a. He is living an unrestricted life. Most of us do not know anything about living a life with no restrictions. I don’t. My parents were and are not wealthy. We have never possessed a “boat load” of money. Most of us are restricted by our lack of resources, but not the man Jesus spoke of. He was both rich and productive. Years ago I heard someone jokingly say that “money cannot buy happiness--- but it can take you a lot of places looking for it.” Candidly, one of the reasons it is so difficult for the rich to enter the Kingdom is that an abundance of money makes way to fulfill selfish and self-centered desires which the poor cannot achieve. Thus, life seems to have few restrictions. Notice I said “seems” to have.
b. He is also living an Undisciplined life – This type of undisciplined life can be summed up in one word, “ME”. As your Pastor, I have called us to take our commitment to a new level this year by making this year the “Year of Joy.” (Jesus first , Others second, & Yourself last) For this Rich fool, he lived for no one but himself. Let’s re-read. In his “thinking”, he used a personal pronoun over a dozen times. It makes me wonder if he was a Baptist. His life was arguably undisciplined because all he focused on was self. When we take on his spirit, we lose focus like he did.