Summary: Are you concerned with earthly possessions or heavenly treasures, with temporary goods or eternal rewards, with self or with people? Be wise and invest in eternity.
A man has his priorities wrong and Jesus had to tell him this parable to address it.
You can be doing nothing wrong and yet not be right.
• The farmer wasn’t doing anything sinful but he was not doing it right.
• He is hardworking, and probably smart, seeing the way he organises his farm.
• He is rich, and that shows that is capable and doing well with his business.
• The crops are well organised and stored in barns.
• He has the foresight to plan for bigger barns, anticipating better harvest to come.
We have here a model businessman – smart, hardworking, capable and successful.
• Yet the Lord’s verdict of him surprised us. God called him a fool.
• In fact, if the story ends in verse 19: “Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry” we would probably think this is a good example.
• Everything is nice. This is life. This is a very Singaporean life – we work hard, manage our life well, save enough for old age, and everything will be fine.
• We would be considered successful, and can retire in comfort.
But the story did not stop there. Jesus went on with a verdict on the man’s life.
• It kind-of spoilt this fairy-tale story. God spoke in verse 20 and called this rich farmer: “You fool!” and revealed that he will die that very night.
• It comes as a surprise. It is not expected.
• He did not expect that, neither did we.
That is the problem. We did not expect a lot of things.
• We go through life day in and day out, thinking that we have ‘forever’ to live.
• We have many things to do, and we are happily doing them. We did not pause to question them, nor did not consider the significance of what we do.
• Honestly, we do not expect Jesus to come tomorrow. That would really mess up my plans. We are not prepared to leave this world, not at least for the next 10 or 20 years. We do not expect to lose our job, our health, my freedom…
• But that’s not real, and we know that. Time is not in our hands.
We need to PAUSE and let things settle down.
• Only then can you see clearly what are temporary and transient, and what are not.
• Only then can you re-orientate your stuff and do that which is eternally significant.
• If that someone in verse 13 had thought about it, he would not have quarrelled with his brother over the inheritance, putting his possession above his relationship with his brother. What is most important?
Let do a short exercise. Think of all the things you’re doing today.
• What are some things that have lasting, eternal significance? You’ll be surprised!
This farmer has no time for that. He is too busy preparing for his crops.
• He thought he had so much to lose and nothing to gain, but the truth is he did not achieve anything of lasting significance.
o He has only earthly possession but no heavenly treasure.
o He has only temporary goods but no eternal reward.
o He has only concerns for himself but no regard for God.
• He is not rich toward God, in Jesus’ words (in verse 21).
What he has been doing, all his life, has been earthly, temporary and self-centred.
• There is nothing seriously wrong with earthly concerns, but if that is all that you are busy about, something is wrong. God says you are a fool.
• Take the advice from King Solomon.
Eccl 2:18-23 “18I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. 19And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the work into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless. 20So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labour under the sun. 21For a man may do his work with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then he must leave all he owns to someone who has not worked for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. 22What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labours under the sun? 23All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless.”
I came across this interesting but sad story.
A man was dying at home in bed, about to breathe his last. His family was making preparation for the funeral.
This dying man could smell the aroma of his favourite chocolate chip cookies baking downstairs. He wanted one more cookie before he died. He dragged his body out of bed, rolled down the stairs, crawled into the kitchen, and reached out a trembling arm to grab one final cookie.