"Priceless" The Parable of the Rich Fool


As a parent I find myself at times teaching my children the same lessons over and over again. With intentionality I also look for teaching moments when I can drive a point home in a creative and practical way. In these developmental years I want the very best for my kids and have their best interests at heart. At times the lessons I have to teach them are hard for them to learn but nevertheless because of my love for them I have to show tough love. My children know that their Mom and I Love them and no matter what is said or done, that will not change. Jesus challenges the heart with this parable; his teaching was for the Christ Follower as well as all those who would listen. As a parent he wanted all those who listened to truly be sons of God and not servants. We need to understand what God’s perspective of us is and that he truly wants the best for us.

In Luke 12:1-3 Jesus speaks to the disciples about guarding their heart from hypocrisy, he warns them to be aware of their actions, all things will be brought to light in due time. He goes further in this teaching (vs. 4-12) and encourages his listener to put their trust in God. Threats from bullies were evident and they would become more of a reality in the future. Jesus uses as his example the birds of the air pointing out how all creation is cared for and how more important we are as God’s creation created in His image. God knows us better than we know ourselves and he has “our back”, and best interest at heart. Jesus’ word of encouragement and reassurance in the opening of this text is that those devoted Christ followers were not alone. God was with them and that they could put their faith in Him. No matter what would come against them they would be provided and cared for. He even goes so far as to say even if you are brought before those in authority the Holy Spirit would give you the words to say.

An individual in the crowd (vs. 13) asks Jesus a question which leads us into our parable. He asks Jesus to make a judgment between him and his brother that were at odds about their inheritance. Jesus responds with ‘Mister, what makes you think it’s any of my business to be a judge or mediator for you?’, even though Jesus could have easily passed judgment or opinion on the situation; he instead makes a teaching moment out of the question. Speaking to the crowd he says: guard your hearts from greed (defined as always thirsting for more.) or the love of money. Jesus tells the story of a rich farmer who had an exceptional season, who didn’t have room to store the season’s harvest. The farmers took some time and decided to build larger barns to store his harvest. He was so pleased by his plan that he then decided to retire and take it easy. God shows up and asks the farmer if you were to die tonight who would get your barn full of good? Unlike the story of Joseph, where Joseph stored up the harvest to save a nation, this farmer was focused on himself.

We much like the disciples struggle with the same concerns that Jesus was teaching on. We consume our minds with how we are going to make more, buy more, we fuss and complain because we don’t have enough or make enough. How long will it take for us to realize that life is too precious and short and that worry, stress, and complaining will not change our lives? Jesus point is so profound “Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don’t be afraid of missing out. You’re my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself. (Luke 12:31-32 the Message)

Do you consider yourself to be a generous person? Do you find yourself stocking up always for your own benefit and not for others? Have you been a blessing to someone else lately? When we bless others, our motive should not be what am I going to benefit from this but really we serve and give because of our love for God. It is healthy for all believers to allow the Holy Spirit to renew our minds reflect on the questions noted above examine your heart and submit, surrender, and sacrifice it to the Lord. Allow God to shape your way of thinking.

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