Luke 12:13-33 (NLT)
Parable of the Rich Fool
13Then someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.”14 Jesus replied, “Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?” 15 Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”
(Asking for a share of his father’s physical estate seems a normal request. The man seems to have merely asked for his entitlement. However, Jesus rebukes him of greed! The Jews traditionally practice sharing of estates according to their strict laws and ordinances. So the man would have received his share already. However, the eldest son normally inherits a double portion according to their law. So this man is probably asking for some of his elder brother’s share as well. Jesus calls this greed. He warns two things: 1. Every kind of Greed. 2. Wrong measurement of Life using physical carnal standards and not the spiritual plumb-line of God.)
16 Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. 17 He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ 18 Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. 19 And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’
21 “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”
(Jesus points out that real wealth is in the spiritual realm, a rich relationship with the only One who gives wealth, God Himself! Physical wealth comes and goes. Everyone, rich and poor, have experienced this fact on earth. ‘Change’ is the only constant word in the realm of men. The watchman was led to read Solomon’s Ecclesiastes two days ago and this theme is again singled out. Under the sun, in the physical world, the wise and the foolish both die. The wisest and possibly richest man himself, King Solomon, died.)
Teaching about Money and Possessions22 Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. 23 For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. 24 Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! 25 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 26And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things? 27 “Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 28 And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
29 “And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. 30 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. 31 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.
32 “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.
33 “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it.
(Jesus assures the disciples two things: 1. God is our Father in heaven and He knows our physical needs. He will provide all our needs super-abundantly according to the riches of His glory. 2. God is our real wealth and treasure. He will be our security. What more can we ever ask? God, unlike men, never changes and He keeps all His promises.)
In summary, for security in this life and next, watchmen must take heed of these: 1. Be spiritual and know the spiritual God through His word. 2. Know and believe that God is our real security. 3. Do not be fooled by the world and its mechanism of ‘prosperity’ making. Beware of the spiritual power behind that system.
Additional reading: 1 Timothy 6; 2 timothy 3