Summary: Narrative retelling of the rich fool parable.
Narrative Hybrid Outline
A. Story about putting your foot in your mouth.
B. Linking Statement
I. Retelling the Biblical Story
A. So we are met with literally a mob of people. There were thousands of people who were trampling over each other to get close to Jesus to hear him speak. Then Jesus goes into a lengthy speech on the love of God, fear of Satan, dangers of blaspheme, and the Holy Spirit giving knowledge. Jesus was essentially giving a sermon. I can just imagine thousands of people all sitting there with their eyes fixed on Him. They are listening to the very words of God. It must have been an awesome sight.
All of a sudden a man stands up and says, “Hey! Teacher! Tell my brother to give me what is rightfully mine of the inheritance.” Now have you ever asked a dumb question? Now I know that you are probably thinking, “Well Nic, the only dumb question is one that doesn’t go asked.” That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about bringing up a question in the most inappropriate time. Every eye just turns toward you in a room, you feel your face start to flush, and you wish desperately that you could go back in time about 30 seconds. I think that is what is happening right now. This guy just stands up in a crowd of we are told thousands of people and sticks his foot right in his mouth. Now Jesus stops what he is talking about and takes time to answer the man. First he scorns the man, “Who do I look like an Estate Lawyer? You need to look inside yourself and be on the lookout for greed. Your life is not about how much stuff you have. Come on! Haven’t you been listening to anything I have been saying?” See this is the point where the man’s face started to get red and he smiled sheepishly and slowly started to sit down to avoid the gaze of Jesus. Can’t you just feel it? I feel embarrassed for the man even over 2000 years later. Jesus then jumps straight into a parable.
“There was once a day trader. Each and every day he sat at his computer and watched the trends of stocks go up and down. He was finally catching on to the trends of the market. He began to build quite a portfolio and he was constantly gaining more traction in the market. One fateful day he noticed that every single one of his investments had quadrupled overnight. He quickly sold off everything that he had and cashed out. He had made more money than he knew what to do with. He tossed and turned all night. He could not sleep. He didn’t know what he was going to do. That morning he called up a friend of his who was a financial advisor, and they set up a meeting that day. They discussed strategy in more stocks, bonds, and cash equivalents. With this diversified strategy the day trader had enough security to retire at the age of 30. He made plans to head for Tahiti. He was going to spend the next few weeks sitting on a beach drinking fruity drinks with little umbrellas, learning to surf, and watching every single sunset without a care in the world. Then he was going to move to the suburbs, 2 story brick house, 5 bedrooms 4 baths, marble imported from Italy for the floors, lush green lawn, and a golden retriever. He was so excited about his plans. He went home that night and slept more soundly than he ever had in his life.
“The next morning his financial advisor had forms for him to sign. He came up to the day trader’s apartment and knocked loudly on the door. No answer. He called him on the phone, nothing. The flight to Tahiti was in 2 hours he had to be getting ready to go. The financial advisor lifted up the door mat and found a spare key. He opened the door and walked into the bedroom. There in the bed was the day trader dead still with a smile on his face.
Silence came over the crowd. Jesus stood there and then said to them, “That’s what will happen to anyone who does not first seek God.”
B. Complications- So I have quite a problem with this parable. I have been wrestling with this issue for what seems like forever. It seems like God killed the man because he was selfish. I think, “Wait, he didn’t even have a chance to really do anything with his wealth. God you can’t be that cruel. You really aren’t going to just kill people off if they don’t ‘tithe’ right?” Then I look at myself, and I see so much selfishness. We all can. If you are sitting there thinking “I’m never selfish.” Then we need to have a separate talk. If you can afford a Big Mac then you are already more wealthy than 75% of the world’s population. To a certain extent we are all selfish with our resources.