The Rich Fool

Jesus spoke about many different aspects of worldly things and how those need to change in order to get back to God. In the Parable of the Rich Fool, Jesus speaks of a materialist who hoarded things that made himself lazy, paying more attention to the world and less of God. He has no concern for the ramifications of his eternal soul.

And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:16-21 (ESV)

A Prosperous Man

Jesus begins by introducing us to an unnamed materially rich person who had so much that he had nowhere to put his earthly belongings. Back then, wealth was measured by monetary means, crops, and livestock. Though money was still not a high priority it was there and was only for the super-rich and those in positions of power. We can think of this man in terms of a wealthy landowner with a very large plantation. While it is good to prosper and live comfortably it is bad to have too much and keep it all to oneself.

A Progressive Man

He has so much, but his barns are too small. What to do?? Build bigger so he can store more stuff. How much does one person need? Rich people build sky high structures so that their material storehouses are filled with all their personal amassed wealth and show their greatness. The wealth is not just material but how many people they have control over.    

A Self-Seeking Man

This man had the idea that if he stores everything and only gets things out as needed then he can live without worry. He has so much stuff and just the right amount of servants to appease his every need. This man never desires to lift a finger ever again and has become self-serving, lazy, a man of his own design.

A God-forgetting Man

This laziness causes the man to forget who provided for him the ability to gain such wealth. He turns to enjoy his sinful nature and is not worshiping nor praising God. He is not giving thanks to the Creator who gave him the knowledge to gain the provisions. This person becomes delusional because the temptations of the material world have taken him so far as to complete forgetfulness of God and his heart is filled with greed and selfishness, which clouds his mind to believe that he is his own success and denies God. 

Called by God a Fool

John explains the worldly fool in his first letter saying, “Do not love the world or the things of the world. If someone loves the world, then love for the Father is not in him; because all the things of the world — the desires of the old nature, the desires of the eyes, and the pretensions of life — are not from the Father but from the world. And the world is passing away, along with its desires. But whoever does God’s will remains forever.” 1 John 2:15-17

In this parable, the worldliness of the man cost him his life because he no longer cared for matters of the spirit. He was concerned with his pitiful temporary existence on the sand, dirt, and water. His life was sinking in the sand because his spiritual foundation had left him. This man apparently had no heir so it was all meaningless and would end up going to support people he does not know until it runs out. That very night, the man died and he was not prepared.

Entered Eternity Unprepared

The man entered into the next life without the knowledge of God. His disobedience to the simplest of God’s Laws left him in a place that he was not prepared to go.

“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.” Matthew 6:19-21

His heart was in the wrong place and filled with torment that gave him false hope. No mortal man lives forever no matter who you think you may be. Yes we have ways now of prolonging life but God still has the final say. One can live a long happy life in Christ and reap the heavenly reward or live a long life with false hope using all the manmade medical advances, cheating death but those too will fail and lead to condemnation. It is better to live for God and die happily knowing that you will be in the loving embrace of God than to live a life for yourself and die without truly knowing God. 


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