Summary: First in series on Foolish Living, based on fools found in the Bible. Examines qualities of a person God calls a fool.
This week we celebrated April Fools Day. No one knows for certain, when or where this special day began, but it is celebrated in one form or another, often by other names, in many countries around the world.
I still remember the first April Fool’s joke pulled on me. I was in Kindergarten, in Palatka, Florida, when a boy in my class told me was snowing outside, and I went to check.
There have been many practical jokes pulled on folks in recognition of this day. In 2005, the media reported that NASA had discovered water on Mars, and had actual pictures on the official NASA website. Those who went to the NASA website to check it out, found a picture of a glass of water sitting on a Mars candy bar.
On April Fools Day in 1996, Taco Bell announced that they had purchased the Liberty Bell, and that they would be renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell. Man, people were calling the national parks department, all in an uproar. Later in the Day, the press secretary for the white house announced that they would also be selling the Lincoln Memorial and renaming it the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial.
The April 1985 edition of Sports Illustrated reported that there was a new rookie signed up to play for the Mets. This rookie, named Sidd Finch, supposedly trained by Buddhist monks, was said to have a 168 MPH fastball that he delivered with pinpoint accuracy. Mets fans rejoiced until they found out it was an April Fools joke.
Probably the best April Fools joke ever reported was when the BBC news program “Panorama” reported in 1957 that due to a very mild winter and the virtual elimination of the dreaded spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop. Many people called in wanting to know how to grow their own spaghetti tree.
It is amazing the foolish things people will believe and do. Perhaps none is sadder, or more common, than one we find discussed in the 12th chapter of Luke.
This is an account that many of you are familiar with. I believe, however, the thing that sticks out the most about this story, at least in my mind, is the fact that God calls this man a fool.
Listen, God doesn’t play around with that word. The word “fool” means a person without reason, without common sense, or devoid of sense. Jesus said in,
> Matthew 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Jesus doesn’t take the word “Fool” lightly, and yet in this passage God calls the man a fool. He doesn’t call him that because he’s a crook. He doesn’t call him that because he’s dishonest. There’s nothing in this passage to suggest that this man accumulated his wealth by swindling people. He doesn’t call him that because he fails to plan ahead. Honestly, in our society, this man would probably be considered a success. Businesses would probably try to get him on their boards. Clubs would love to be able to list him as a member. But God calls him a fool because he lives as though life is all about him.
> Psalm 14:1 The fool says in his heart, “God does not exist.”….
The fool is a person who lives as though God does not exist. He may not actually say it, but in his actions, in his lifestyle, in his priorities, in the way he spends his time, in the things he does, he lives as though God does not exist. We see this very evident in this parable Jesus told.
Notice the characteristics we find evident in a foolish person. First, a foolish person is a thankless person.
I. A FOOLISH PERSON IS A THANKLESS PERSON
- vvs 16-19 12 times in these few verses, this man says “I” or “Me” or “My” or the like. 12 times in four verses he thinks or talks about himself, his stuff, what he has accomplished, and what he will do. 12 times! Not once in this whole parable does he ever think, mention, or say, “Thank you”. Not one time.
He could plant and till. He could harvest and collect. He could tear down and build, but he could not cause it to rain. He did not cause the sun to shine. It was not him who kept the bugs and disease away. It was not he that caused the seed to grow, and yet he thought he had accomplished all that he saw and was grateful to no one.