Summary: (The Parable Of The Rich Fool) The Folly of the Fool 1. Could not see beyond Himself 2. Could not see beyond this life The Wisdom of God 1. Sees Beyond Self 2. Sees Beyond This World
• A wise old man put up a sign on a vacant piece of property he owned that read, “I will give this lot to anyone who is really satisfied.”A wealthy man read it as he rode by and said to himself, “Since this old man is going to give this piece of land away, I might as well have it as anyone else. I am rich and have all I need, so I am well able to qualify.” He went up to the old man’s door and, when the man appeared, he explained why he had come.“And are you really satisfied?” asked the owner of the lot.“I surely am,” was the wealthy mans reply. “I have all I need, and I am well satisfied.”“Friend,” said the wise old man, “if you are satisfied, then what do you want with my lot?” The question revealed the pride and covetousness that was hidden in the man’s heart.
• May I ask you, are you satisfied today? What are the things that you long for in life that you perceive will satisfy your soul? Is it a vacation, retirement, pay raise or a larger 401K, savings account, orange account, a new job, a new house, a new boat, a new car, a bigger garage, an RV, ATV, Wide screen TV, … What is it that you seek?
Jesus said “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Vs. 15
Greed, as Jesus defines it, does not only include the rich and powerful but as we will see, it is the common desire of most to accumulate stuff.
Today, I want to take a moment to look at the parable of the “Rich Fool” to test our own hearts, for each of us to catch a glance at what is in our own hearts. If you have your Bibles please open them to Luke 12:13-21.
This may be a difficult message for some of you, it certainly was for me, but remember, Jesus said “. “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”
I. BACKGROUND TO THE PARABLE: (2 Brothers vs. 13-15)
V 13. – THE INTERRUPTION (The request of a hard heart)
Having just finished rebuking the Pharisees (chapter 11:37-53) and with many thousands gathering around Him(12:1), Christ begins to teach the disciples of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees.
It is at this moment that he is interrupted by a “brother” who say’s the following… “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
“tell me” shows the heart of the brothers and the level with which this argument has deteriorated.
• It’s probable that the younger brother did not agree with the traditional giving of a double portion to his older brother. It’s also probably that the older brother did not care about the younger brothers frustration.
V 14a. – THE RESPONSE (Settle This Yourselves)
“Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?”
Jesus sets an example of how to deal with situations where hearts are not in the right place, you give the principle not the answer.
• They were asking Christ to judge between two people with hardened hearts, They were asking Christ to divide up the wealth between two hardened hearts
• Christ did make a judgment, it was to reject both of their selfish hearts and instead give a lesson that if headed will allow them to settle the dispute themselves.
V14b. – THE WARNING (Reject Greed)
“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed”
• Jesus warns the two brothers about all kinds of greed with two separate statements:
o Watch Out! (Vision – To Look For) Be On Your Guard (Isolation – To protect against)
TRANSITION This parable is broken into two parts, the folly of the rich fool and the wisdom of God, let’s begin by looking at the folly of the fool.
II. T HE FOLLY OF THE FOOL – (v. 16-19)
1. The man is already wealthy
2. The man made his wealth off of the ground which produced good crops
3. This was only possible through God’s providential working
4. God poured out His abundant blessings yet…
The Rich Fool Never Saw Beyond Himself –(Do We)
(He thought) to (himself), what shall (I) do
(I) have no place to store (my) crops
This is what (I’ll) do
(I) will tear down my barns
(I) will store my grain and goods
(I’ll) say to myself, “you have plenty of good things laid up…”
(I) will take life easy, (I) will eat, (I) will drink and (I) will be merry (I’s inferred)
The Romans had a proverb which said that money was like sea-water; the more a man drank the thirstier he became. And so long as a man’s attitude is that of the rich fool his desire will always be to get more—and that is the reverse of the Christian way.