Saturday 30 July 2022


LUKE 12 Verses 13/21


Parable of the rich fool

The passage for this week’s gospel is sometimes termed the Parable of the rich fool

Jesus was preaching to a group of people, when a man called from the crowed, asking Jesus to be on his side against his brother in a family dispute. In Jewish life an inheritance was a major issue, and it was the accepted practice that father would leave one part to the younger brother, and two parts to the elder.  We saw this played out in the  Parable of the Prodigal Son recently.

In the time of Jesus, land was a precious possession and the subject of inheritance.  There was obviously  a dispute in which the younger brother felt a loser, and he wanted Jesus to settle in his favour.  Whilst Jesus was in charge of the whole universe, He did not want to get involved in matters which did not pertain to His Ministry, and expected people to sort their own issues out.   The young man was displaying a sense of greed, and the answer of Jesus was in fact a mild rebuke as Jesus referred to greed, pointing out that life was not a question of how rich or poor you were.

It was however a common practise for Jews to take personal issues to the Rabbis, but Jesus refused to get involved in money matters.  He took the opportunity to speak out about what His followers attitudes should be, regarding material things.  God wants the values of heaven and His priorities, to his world.

Jesus custom is to illustrate His message and make it clearly understood.  He told a parable about a man who thought only for himself.  The man had an excess of goods, but instead of giving to the poor, and there was much poverty, he was more concerned and intent on amassing all he could, even to the extent of building in order to be able to store more. God warned him he would die that night and all would be lost.  We came into this world with nothing, and will leave in the same condition.  Jesus told the man he was a fool to store up riches, but have no relationship with God.

Now having looked at the story we need to consider how it relates to us, and what we can learn from it. 

The man in the crowd was using this spiritual teaching of Jesus to try and influence his business. There are of course, people still using religion and attending services with the intention of influencing their business. Being seen in Church and appearing holy, goes down well with locals and customers.  Such a practice is wrong and unworthy.

Some years ago there was a very senior Police Commander who attended a Methodist Church on a regular basis. It became noticed within the Force, and it was amazing how many policemen suddenly found they were Methodists

There is an awful lot of people in these hectic days suffering with anxiety and worry.  Inflation is striking almost worldwide, leaving people with bigger bills to pay, and it is becoming hard to meet the requirements.  There are families for whom life has become very hard, and when cars are a vital part in a person’s life/business. It is exasperating for them to see the cost of petrol rising constantly, and then hear how oil companies have made billions of pounds in profit.  It is nothing less than evil the way businesses are adding their own (unnecessary) costs on top of the food costs

In other ways. greed has taken its place as people have many personal items. They see others with more than they have, and by virtue of credit cards go for that they cannot afford, forgetting it has to be paid for with real money.

Jesus told the man in the crowd to guard against greed and getting more, life is not measured by how much you own. Gone are the days when men and women had the necessities of life, and when wanting to add, saved up until they could comfortably buy.  We may have advanced widely as a society with so many technological additions. But how much worry and health problems has it cost.  There is so much competition with other people, with ambition, and with covertness, things are not coming really that easy.

People have nice homes in good areas, where there are not the social problems poorer people have, often with a Church nearby to make it look ‘olde English ‘, but haven’t the gratitude to thank God for their good fortune.   

The message Jesus is passing, is to be content with the necessities of life, and attend to your spiritual responsibilities, praising and thanking God for His care of you.  Jesus wanted to help people avoid worry and anxiety, and He did not want people to live in poor conditions, and called them to pray to God, for Him to take care of them.

I appreciate the Church is not performing in the way God laid down, nor is it following the commands of Jesus to preach the gospel and make disciples. Consequently the teachings of Jesus do not impact on Church members as He wanted.  Paul the Apostle stated, ‘I have learned in whatever state I am in therewith, to be content’ Jesus spoke against worldliness, and the character of which Jesus speaks is very common today

We see in these verses, the wisdom of being rich towards God, providing for a time to come of treasure in heaven. Be rich in faith, in grace, and try to be helpful to others

May God bless you.  Attend a Church on Sunday (if it is a bible based Church)

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