By John Ulrich, Senior Pastor
June 29, 2014
In the Rich Fool Parable, Jesus taught about a man obsessed by possessions. What are my obsessions? What do I spend time in my life accumulating?
1. The setting of this parable is important: an argument between two brothers over their inheritance where the older brother got more than the younger, and the younger brother wants it to be equal.
2. Jesus’ harsh response is surprising:
a. Jesus rebukes the man for dragging him into his financial debt issue (Luke 12:14).
b. He directly warns the crowd against all kinds of greed (Luke 12:15).
c. He tells the parable of the rich fool (Luke 12:16-21).
3. The parable is unsettling in its harshness: “Watch out!”(Luke 12:15) and “You fool” (Luke 12:20). What did this fellow do wrong? After all, Abraham, David, and Job were all rich!
4. The interpretation of the parable is given directly in Luke 12:15 where Jesus warned the crowd to “Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Life is not found in how much stuff we own.
On a practical level, money can actually provide a type of love, power, security, even safety. Money matters, but it does not give life! What do we worry about and fight over, often causing divisions in marriage, and strife in jobs? Money.
Life is relationship – with God and others, where we share true love, peace, and even resources. Possession obsession keeps us from both God and man.
5. We need to reflect on what matters most. What am I leaving in my wake? Wounded people, broken family, money for my kids to fight over? Or will I leave something else behind in my life: healed people who have found the love of God?
What matters most is our relationship to God and with others.