Summary: This parable contains several characteristics that are common to those who leave God out of their lives.


Luke 12:16-23

Introduction: Have you ever felt foolish? That you did something to make a fool of yourself? Did you ever look at someone and say, "That person is a fool.." We simple Bible believing Christians are seen by the unbelieving world as fools. They scorn and ridicule us in their media. The even sometimes make fun of us to our face. But I am sure they more often do so behind our backs.

That’s as the scriptures predict. We were named Christians by the world because they thought it foolish that we should to be imitators of Christ. "Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.’ (Acts 11:25-26) Paul, in the first chapter of his first letter to the Corinthians made it clear that the gospel and those who believed it and witnessed and preached it were seen as fools by the philosophers and intelligentsia of the world. Since most men in the street imagine themselves to be in that category; this means we also are seen as fools by most everyone. "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." (I Cor. 1:18) But Paul said he was pleased to be a fool for Christ’s sake. "We [are] fools for Christ’s sake . ." (I Cor. 4:10)

Historically, the word fool has had different connotations in different cultures. You may recall that the word fool was synonymous with court jesters and clowns of yesteryear. Even in our day the world is thrown around loosely and even sometimes used as a term of endearment. But a casual examination of the Word of God will confirm that God used the word seriously. Our Savior strongly cautioned about the dire consequences that could await those who may casually call others fools. "whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.. ." (Matt. 5:22a)

Since God considers the word so seriously, we can be sure that when God defines and condemns a fool His Words are not to be taken lightly. When one finds himself fitting God’s description of a fool, it is no small matter. God went to considerable lengths to define general categories of fools throughout His Word. He twice called all God-denying, Christ rejecters fools, "The fool hath said in his heart, [There is] no God...." (Psalm 14:1, 53:1) He consistently called liars and slanderers fools. "He that hideth hatred [with] lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, [is] a fool." (Prov. 10:18) He pointed to egotistical, conceited and proud people and called them fools. "The way of a fool [is] right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel [is] wise." (Prov. 12:15) He identified ragers (perhaps road ragers?) as fools. "A wise [man] feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident." (Prov. 14:16) He said that those who will not heed parental instruction and will not be accountable to reproof are fools. "A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent." (Prov. 15:5) He said that many fools seem prone to repeat their foolishness over and over again. "As a dog returneth to his vomit, [so] a fool returneth to his folly." (Prov. 26:11)

Yes, God and His Son, Jesus Christ, considered foolishness a most serious affliction. So much so, that Jesus shared this parable with us to illustrate the foolishness of those who are the greatest fools of all. Those who deny God. Those who leave Him out of their lives and plans for the future, both here and in eternity.

But let’s make sure we understand the fool described here had some good and commendable qualities. He perhaps could have been seen as paragon of virtue and a good neighbor and friend by those around him.

I’m sure God did not call him a fool because He was a farmer. Although in today’s economic climate some farmers may see themselves in that light at times. It is clear in the Word of God that God has always seemed to have a special affection for those who till the earth and sow the seed to bring fourth bountiful harvests. Rather than being characterized as fools, the men on the land could more clearly be characterized as being the salt of the earth.

It should also be clear God did not call him a fool because he was a hard worker who worked from sun to sun. It is only in our leisure oriented society that a glorification of indolence and slackness has occurred. Those who are now advocating shorter and shorter work weeks should remember that God initiated a six day work week. God said that he who refuses to work shouldn’t be given a free lunch. He also said the person who would not work and take care of his own household is worse than an infidel.

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