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Summary: Lessons from a fool

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The Failure Of A Success

Luke 12:13-21

It would be interesting and revealing some day to do an exit poll to find out all the things that people had thought about during the sermon. Some young men would no doubt be thinking, “I wonder who that beautiful is sitting three rows over? I wonder if she has a boyfriend? How could I meet her?” Some of the young women would be thinking similar thoughts about some cute guy.

Some of the older men were thinking, “I hope he gets through in time so I can catch the game on TV.” Some may have been thinking about their work and an important meeting coming up this week. Some of the women were thinking about what they would fix for

dinner after church. Others were thinking about problems with their kids. Studies show that we can listen four times faster than people talk, so there’s a lot of time for other thoughts while you’re listening to a sermon!

I would probably take it personally that people are thinking about other things while I preach, except for the fact that people did the same thing when Jesus preached. Who am I to think that I can do better than the Lord? Jesus had just been preaching on the most solemn and weighty matters imaginable, that we need to fear God who can cast us into hell more than we fear men who can

only harm our bodies. You would think that everyone in the audience would be following with Him on these eternally vital matters!

But with a break in the message a man in the crowd spoke up and revealed that he hadn’t been listening to Jesus’ sermon at all! He said, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” If I had been Jesus, I probably would have thought, “Where was this guy during my sermon?” The man was consumed with his problem, and he had come to try to get Jesus to solve his problem. He wasn’t there to have Jesus change his heart. He wanted his problem fixed without confronting some deeper issues of sin in his life. LIKE MANY TODAY WE WANT JESUS TO SERVE THEM BUT NOT TO SAVE THEM.

In his mind, his problem was his greedy brother who wasn’t giving him his fair share of the inheritance. Surely, Jesus would see the injustice of this situation and right the wrong!

But instead, the man got something he hadn’t bargained for! Jesus saw that his words revealed his heart. The man’s heart problem was not his brother’s greed but his own greed. Yes, the brother may have also been greedy’ therefore, Jesus’ parable was not just directed to the man, but to “them,” which probably included the brother along with the whole crowd. But this man had his focus on getting what he wanted in this world, but Jesus shows him that his true need was to be ready for the next world.

People would have looked at this man in this parable that the Lord used and said that here is a man of success. Men would point him out to their sons. Many would be impressed with what he had accomplished.

Anything he wanted was no doubt at his fingertips, and if not he could buy it ! He had climbed to the pinnacle of success, yet God calls him a " fool," one without sense, or understanding.


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