Summary: Jesus teaches a lesson about covetousness and then illustrates it with the parable of the Rich Fool. How to avoid the destructive effects of covetousness and lay up treasures in Heaven

TITLE: You Can't Take it With You

TEXT: Luke 12:13-21

INTRO: One of Aesop's fables tells about a dog who was carrying a bone. He came to a bridge and as he crossed, he saw his reflection in the water. He thought it was another dog with a bone. He opened his mouth to snap at the other dog and the bone fell into the water. The moral of the fable is : ‘Who all coveteth, oft he loseth all.’

One day, Jesus was surrounded by so many people that they were trampling on each other. He turned to His disciples and began to teach them about the importance of standing for Him and about how God would take care of them. Then, he was interrupted by a man who wanted Him to settle a dispute with his brother about their inheritance. [Read Text]


A. What the Law said About Inheritance

1. OT Law required that the oldest son receive 2/3 of the property. What remained was to be divided between the other heirs.

2. Not as unfair as it seems, because this was land that the family received when Israel conquered the Promised Land.

3. Either the older brother wasn't dividing it properly or the younger brother coveted more.

4. Some of the worst family arguments are over inheritances.

B. Preoccupied with Material Things

1. The younger brother was so concerned about material things that he hadn't paid attention to what Jesus had said. (v.7)

2. Covetousness can be all consuming of our thoughts, ambitions and values

3. If he thought he was being treated unfairly, he could have taken it to the elders, who would rule on his case.

4. Instead, he asked Jesus to settle the dispute

5. Some people claim to be followers of Jesus , but their goal is material gain

C. Jesus' Reply

1. He made it clear that He was not going to get involved in a domestic dispute

2. His purpose for being on earth was entirely different (Luk 19:10 ESV) "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."

3. Then He said, (v.15) "...Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." and illustrated it with a parable.


A. The Parable of the Rich Man

1. This is another of the Parables found only in Luke

2. A man had been blessed by God with a good harvest

3. He built larger barns to hold his wealth

4. So far, so good, nothing wrong with that

# There are lots of timber framed "bank barns" in the Shenandoah Valley, built by Mennonites. They are called bank barns because they are built on an embankment so there are two levels. The upper level was for hay and wheat. The lower level for animals. This was their "savings account" or provisions for the winter. In this case, it was wise stewardship of their blessings.

B. Where He Went Wrong

1. He remembered, (Ecc 8:15 KJV) "Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun."

2. Ecclesiastes is a book written from the viewpoint of "under the sun" which is the vanity of worldly people.

3. He was focused on "I" and "My" without any thought for God or Other people (vs.17-19)

C. The Flaw in His Scheme

1. Tomorrow never came (v.20)

2. God called him a "Fool," i.e. "one without any sense"

3. He had prepared for earthly life but not for eternity


A. Make God the Priority in Your Life

(Mat 6:33 KJV) "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

B. Make Sure Your Heart is Right with God

(Mat 6:19-21 ESV) "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

C. Share Your Blessings with Others

1. Give generously (Luk 6:38 ESV) "Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you."

2. Let God's love be your motivation (1Jn 3:17 ESV) "But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?"

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