The Parable of The Rich Fool

Jesus had been teaching on some very important matters such as being aware of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, being afraid of those who can kill you rather than fearing God who can destroy in hell, being ashamed of Jesus Christ and refusing to confess Him and the sin of blasphemy. In fact, Coffman, in his commentary suggests that Jesus gives a series of nine warnings in this chapter.  However, everyone was not following Jesus regarding these matters. 


A man in this great crowd was in deep thought about his controversy with his brother and requested that Jesus settle a matter of inheritance: "Master, speak to my brother, that he divides the inheritance with me."   Jesus refused to get involved in this matter possibly because this was not His mission because Jesus said, "Man, who made me a judge to or arbitrator over you"?  (Luke 12:14) And he said to them, "take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses". (Luke 12:15)



"The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully."  This man was considered a successful man in the eyes of the world. From the moral point of view there is no hint of slothfulness or immorality or dishonesty.  He was successful in the area of farming and had a bumper crop.  He tore down his barns and built larger barns.  Yet he was a failure from the Lord's standpoint.  He said, "Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry."' (Luke 12:19)  He apparently had no thoughts about God or his fellowman.  In just three verses he said, "I" six times and "my" five times pointing to selfishness.  This is the danger of greed.  It makes one self-centered, insensible to others and creates a distortion about what life is.  Life is not about things, but relationships with God, His people, our families and our neighbors.


"But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?' (Luke 12:20) There is an old adage, "He who has the most toys wins."  Regardless of how many toys we may accumulate we will still die, and then who will possess them?  It is no wonder that we have so many warnings against riches: "though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them".  (Psalms 62:10); "Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf".(Proverbs  11:28).  Martin Luther, the great reformer, put it this way, "I have held many things in my hands and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands -- that, I still possess." 


The Lord called this man a fool, why? 


1.    He should have realized that his wealth had come from God (James 1:17).


2.    He failed to realize that he should have thought about others and their needs as well as  his own (Galatians 6:10). 


3.    He believed that his purpose was to eat, drink and be merry instead of working for the glory of God (John 9:4). 


4.    He failed to realize that he had no control regarding how long he would live (James 4:14). 


5.     He failed to prepare for eternal salvation (John 14:1-3).




"Daily Devotions by Guy Roberson"

Walnut Street Church of Christ


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