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The Parable about
the Rich Fool


Luke 12:13-21

Rsources
Service Notes
"Economics by the Book" #8

LUKE 12:13-21
    13.  One man in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, tell my brother to give-me my part of our father's inheritance."
    14.  Jesus asked, "Man, who chose me to become your judge and decide for you?
    15.  Be-careful!  Guard against every kind of selfishness.  Your life doesn't depend on all the many things you have."
    16.  Then Jesus told a story:
    17.  "A rich man had a good growth on his land.  The man said to himself, 'What will I do?  I have no place for keeping all my food.'
    18.  Finally the man decided, 'I know what I will do.  I will tear-down my BARNS and build larger houses for all my food.
    19.  Then I will say, "See, I have enough saved for many the years.  Now I will begin an easy life -- eat, drink and enjoy myself."'
    20.  But God said, 'You fool [stupid!].  Tonight you will die.  And all that you prepared, who will get it?'
    21.  That is how it happens if you save earthly things for yourself, and you prepared nothing for heaven with God."
 



Sermon

Notice how this story begins.
One man in the crowd said to Jesus,
"Teacher, tell my brother to give-me my part
    of our father's inheritance."

Jewish law said that when a man dies,
    his sons inherit his land and his things evenly...
        except one.
His oldest son inherits double.

That means, if a man has four sons,
    they divide his land in five parts.
And they also divide his money in five parts.
    Not four.  Five.

The oldest son gets two parts,
    and the other three sons each get one part.

Why?
The oldest son has greater responsibility for the family.

Now, in our story today,
    we see an argument between two brothers.

The oldest son didn't follow Jewish rules.
He kept for himself more than he should.
Maybe he kept everything for himself,
    and one brother got a small part.
        Or the young brother got nothing.

"Not fair!
Jesus, Please help me!
Tell my brother to give me my part."

We expect that Jesus will support the second brother.
We expect that Jesus will scold the oldest brother --
    "You must share..."

No. That didn't happen.

Jesus answered strangely.
 "Man, who chose me to become your judge and decide for you?"

Meaning:  "Man, that's none of my business!"

Then Jesus spoke to His Disciples,
    warning them: Don't copy that man's attitude.

Jesus said,
"Be-careful!  Guard against every kind of selfishness. 
Your life doesn't depend on all the many things you have."

What!!?
That man didn't do anything wrong.   ...Right?
    His brother did wrong.
    His brother cheated him.

Why did Jesus criticize him?

Because: What made that man worried, upset, and mad?
    STUFF!  That's all -- STUFF!
    Things that you have today,
        but tomorrow it's gone -- "POOF!"

And the life that God has for us is more important than stuff.

Then Jesus told a story about a foolish man
    who lived focusing on having a lot of stuff.

"A rich man had a good growth on his land. 
The man said to himself, 'What will I do?
     I have no place for keeping all my food.' 
Finally the man decided, 'I know what I will do.
    I will tear-down my BARNS
        and build larger houses for all my food.
Then I will say, "See, I have enough saved for many the years.
    Now I will begin an easy life -- eat, drink and enjoy myself."'

But God said, 'You fool [stupid!].  Tonight you will die. 
    And all that you prepared, who will get it?' "

In the Old Testament,
    a man named JOB loved God very much.
God blessed him and God made JOB very rich.

But in one day JOB lost everything.  Poof!  Gone!

Did Job cry about losing money and losing things?

No.  Job said:
    "When I was born, I was naked -- I had nothing.
    When I will die, I will become naked again --
        I will have nothing.
    Praise the Lord!" (Job 1:21)  

What Job experienced, the same will happen to all of us.
In one day we will lose everything that we have in this world.

One time, long ago, when a rich man died,
    a newspaper reporter asked his financial accountant,
        "How much did he leave?"

The accountant answered: "Everything."

All that stuff we have now,
    we can't take ANY of that to heaven with us.  Nothing!

The second brother in our story today had a wrong idea.
He thought that money will make him happy.
And if he can't have his father's money, he will not be happy.

Jesus wanted him to learn that idea is wrong.

And if money can make that young man happy, that is worse!
Why?  Because the world's riches are false.

When we know Jesus Christ,
when our lives are in His hands,
    that is true riches that can never "Poof!"

The Bible says:
Don't love the worldly things.
Don't love things in the world.
If you love the worldly things,
    you don't love God the Father... 
The world and everything that people want in the world,
    they will all "poof."
But the person who does what God wants,
    that person lives forever.  (1 John 2:15-17)

If we watch TV preachers, we don't see that message.
TV preachers tell us,
    "If you really trust God,
        you will always have good health,
        you will have a big house,
        you will fancy cars,
        you will have many nice things."

Then they say,
    "If you are sick, and if you are poor,
        that proves that you don't trust God enough."

Is that what the Bible says?  No!
The Bible warns us about preachers
    who use religion for becoming rich.

God's Word says:
Anyone who has a different teaching,
they don't agree with the true teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ that shows the true way to serve God.
That false teacher is full of pride and understands nothing.
He is sick!
He loves arguing and fighting about words...
They think that serving God is a way to get rich. (1 Timothy 6:1-5)

...the same as our TV preachers!

Continuing our reading in the Bible:
If we serve God, that really makes us rich [in spirit],
    if we are satisfied with what we have. 
We brought nothing into the world,
    and we can take nothing out. 
But if we have food and clothes, that is enough.
    We are satisfied.  (1 Timothy 6:6-8)

That's the point!
That's what we need!
    Not more stuff.
    Not more money.
We need to learn how to become satisfied
    with what we have.
And if we lose our stuff,
    we are still satisfied,
because our hope doesn't depend on "stuff."

Continuing our reading in the Bible, we see a strong warning:
People who want to become rich,
    they invite temptation to themselves.
They become caught in a TRAP.
They want many foolish things that ruin and destroy people.

Love for money causes all kinds of evil.
Some people have left the faith,
    because they want to get more money.
They cause themselves much grief.  (1 Timothy 6:9-10)

That is really true!
Maybe you know people who dream about becoming rich,
    and they swallowed an Email SCAM,
    or they became addicted to GAMBLING,
        and they lost everything.

Only Jesus can give us true riches.
    Not the world's things.
What are true riches that Jesus gives us?  [invite answers]
    God's love
    Salvation for our souls
    Joy and peace, no matter what happens
   
Those riches cost how much?
They cost Jesus His life.
And He gives us His riches -- free!

The Bible says:
You know the love of our Lord Jesus Christ - He was rich...

That's true!  He is true God -- He made everything.

But no-matter. 
HE became poor for you.

All His glory, He left it in heaven,
    and He came to earth as a man.
And now, because He became poor,
    you become rich.  (2 Corinthians 8:9)

A long time ago, one wise man prayed to God:

Lord, I ask two things from You.
Don’t "thumbs-down" to me before I die.
First, don't let me become a liar and not honest.
And second, don’t make me rich
    and don't make me poor.
Please give-me enough food for every day.
If I have too much, maybe I will reject You
and say, "I don’t know the Lord."
If I am poor, maybe I will steal
and shame the name of my God. (Proverbs 30:7-9)

And we can add:
"Lord, help me live satisfied with Your gifts to me."
Amen

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