Summary: Parable is a short story that illustrates a moral point and Jesus illustrates that in the parable of rich fool.

The parable of the Rich Fool

Luke 12:13-12:21


Please turn to Luke 12:13-21.

This is the parable of the Rich fool.

It is the recorded words of Jesus addressing a conflict between two brothers over an inheritance.

The words of Jesus goes much deeper than two brothers arguing because His answer to them addresses other issues they had and we have even today.

He addresses greed.

He addresses when enough is enough concerning material things.

He even addresses success and how it is measured and who measures it.

Let’s see what Jesus tells the brothers and what He is wanting to tell and say to each one of us.

Luke 12:13-21

The definition of a parable is a short fictional story that illustrates moral attitude or a religious principal.

I believe Jesus gave this parable to accomplish both.

Set up

Someone out of the crowd that came to see Jesus somehow got near the front and asked Jesus to settle a dispute between him and his brother. It is not uncommon for people to come to religious experts in that culture and seek guidance on practical issues.

In this culture, the oldest son is to get a double share of inheritance, and this younger brother has disagreed and wanted Jesus to hear his plea.

Jesus interpreted his actions as greed. “Watch out, be on guard against all kinds of greed.”

Jesus then devalues material possessions- “life does not consist in the abundance of processions. 12:15 NIV

Again, looking at the time and the culture will determine why Jesus said what He said.

Jesus had a concern for the poor

Jesus and His disciples had given up everything and lived on day to day wages and the goodness of those that they came in contact with.

We often hear Jesus the Prophet, Jesus the Miracle-worker, but rarely Jesus the Pauper.

We understand Jesus love for the poor, but can we really grasp his stance for material possessions?

Jesus! – tell my brother to divide the inheritance!

Jesus response- “Beware of all kinds of greed.” (Not the answer he wanted)

That culture had haves and have-nots.

Jesus attacked the Pharisee’s as being filled with greed and losing contact with the poor.

So what was Jesus telling them in the parable? What can we learn for our lives today?

Everyday our lives are pulled in so many directions.

The way we think



Obligation to church and other good things.

Pursuit of happiness.

The passage makes us think about “what is important to me?”

The passage is relevant today because most people think today that the most important thing in life is to attain enough money to live the good life.

We are bombarded on TV, you watch how some live their lives and we want our lives to be like that.

I have seen many people’s lives destroyed arguing over what somebody left behind after they died. I think some would turn over in their grave if that was possible if they saw what people did to other people all in the name of greed.

Jesus response to the younger brother is a Jesus classic! “Who made me a judge or arbiter of you?”

Jesus refused to be sidetracked from His mission.

His mission was to seek and save the lost.

He directs his answers to the moral side of man. Be careful, watch out, Be on guard for greed.


How often have we gone to God asking Him to change our situation rather than asking him to change our heart? I would say most prayers to God are – solve this problem God instead of asking His direction.

Ecclesiastes 5:10

“Whoever loves money never has money enough, whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.”

If only Publishers Clearing House would call me

If only I could be the big lottery winner.

The seeking of the comfort life instead of what God has for you.

Malcom Forbes

“The one who dies with the most toys wins.” He has since died and now knows that is not true.

1. When our hearts are focused on the wrong thing- we forget what God has done for us.

There is nothing wrong with money. He didn’t condemn money.

This farmer was a blessed man with a blessed crop, more than he had anticipated. Instead of looking who he could bless- he looked at how he could hoard it for himself.

2. When our hearts are focused on the wrong thing- we leave God out.

(18) “I will do this, I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store my crops and my goods.”

I am not saying that even building bigger barns was wrong. Maybe that was being smart with his money. The problem was that he only thought of himself and was not willing to share.

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