THE PARABLE OF THE RICH FOOL

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THE PARABLES OF JESUS:
The Rich Fool
(Luke 12: 13–21)

Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

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.”

Each time I read this parable, what comes to my mind is that, it is not against the will of God to be rich, but the effect this possession has on us is a critical issue to look at. The bible didn’t say that money is the root of all evil, No! The bible says; the love of money… Money is made to be enjoyed and spent, not to be controlled by the forces behind it.

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Now, let’s look at the parable in details…

It is possible for one to contend that the request which actuated this parable was reasonable, as the man sought a division of the inheritance left by his father. Though we do not know what really occurred in the man’s house prior to his statement, it is clear that Jesus Christ saw through him and divinely assessed the state of his heart.

It was for this reason that He first warned against covetousness before using the parable to teach them.

The Heart: What it produces!!

As I studied this passage and pondered on a suitable definition of this word – covetousness, the Holy Spirit gave an answer that fitted my need. Simply put, covetousness is the desire to obtain for one’s self what is more than required, sometimes in a bid to feel important or secure. This inordinate desire can lead an individual to pursue things that are irrelevant and not aligned with God’s will for them.

When the rich man noticed that his land bore plenty crops, he started to make contingency plans as to the storage of the produce. The main problem however was his condition of heart — he built his assurance of many years on the riches of his land and elevated himself in his heart.

The subject of our hearts has been addressed consistently in many books of the Scriptures. Everything we do has its root embedded in our hearts and we must be very careful to filter its contents, lest, it destroys us.

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In Matthew 15:10–20 (NKJV), we see Jesus giving an analysis on how our hearts influence the choices we make.

“But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.”

Reading this parable, we find that the same “heart” issue is evident as the rich man possessed not a lowly state of heart.

The Assumption That There is Time

In his folly, the rich man in the parable assumed that he was going to live for many years. Unfortunately, a large number of us hold a similar perspective today.

You see, a lot of us make plans that span for durations, with a pseudo-backing of a surety of our time on earth. While I do not encourage anyone to live in a carefree and clueless manner, it is imperative we fully understand and accept that our lives are not our own.

From the fall of Adam, man has struggled with many things of which one is Control. We want to be in control of our existence, scheming and planning “what-ifs and what-nots”. Often times, we want things to be done our way. We want to know the end of the journey before we actually get there. We want to rule over everything we can possibly think of.

Interestingly, we were never created by God to be independent of Him. We are created to rely on Him as our only source in everything. We are created to worship Him and not our desires. We exist because He made us. It is only when we enter into a relationship with the Triune God that we can begin to properly navigate our lives as we receive guidance on how to live.

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No matter what we seek in this Age, we must realize that nothing gives us any form of security and guarantee except our lives be placed in our Saviour, Jesus Christ. There is no career, wealth, fame, ambition, popularity or political quest that can fetch us an assurance of a lifetime. Unless we reach a point in our hearts where we humble ourselves and accept that we truly exist for Him, all our earthly hunts merely lead us into eternal ruin.

Conclusion:

In verse 15 of this text, Jesus’ words to us are very clear — He asked us to be wary and guard ourselves against every form of covetousness, for a person’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.

We are enjoined to dutifully search our hearts and ask the Holy Spirit to remove every form of greed and covetousness that may exist in our hearts. For if our true lives consists not of what we own on earth, it is imperative we seek His kingdom and all that is in accordance to what the Lord truly wants for us.

May God help us as we redirect our focus to Him. Amen.