October 23 – Luke 12:13-21

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Luke 12:13-21 – The Rich Fool

The next large section in Luke reminds his readers to be prepared for the coming judgment of God. There is no one who will be able to avoid it. The first issue is material wealth.

From the crowd, a man’s brother won’t divide their inheritance between them and asks Jesus to tell the brother to do so.

Jesus has absolute authority to mediate claims of the will of God, but this has to do with our lives … not our possessions. Responsibilities in life do not end simply because we have accumulated wealth. No, Jesus warns his listeners to be on guard against all types of greed. This is some of the worst.

To illustrate this type of greed, Jesus tells a parable of a rich fool, who accumulated many things. When there was too much for the space he had, he built a bigger space to accommodate his possessions. One day he planned to sit back and admire his things, then eat, drink and be merry … take life easy.

The rich farmer had made a grievous error. When Egypt had seven years of bumper crops, Joseph advised the Pharaoh to store up grain for the lean years. They didn't stop planting simply because there was enough to feed people for a year. They continued doing the right thing, the thing that God asked them to do in order to care for the greatest number of people.

Jesus said it earlier in the passage – “a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15b). Life is not about a singular person’s well-being, but about doing the will of God.  This man had accumulated enough for his own life for many years to come, but in reality he only had a few short hours to live. His time would have been better spent living a life in accordance with God’s will, building up a treasure in heaven.