Some Things to Consider About Luke 12: 13-21—Source, The New Interpreter’s Bible
• This parable focuses on preoccupation with possessions, security in self-sufficiency and greed as the moral antithesis of generosity.
• We may declare, “Whoever has the most toys when he dies wins,” but the parable exposes the emptiness of such a materialistic lifestyle.


The Parable of the Rich Fool
13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” 14 But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15 And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” 16 Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. 17 And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ 18 Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ 20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”


Luke 12:13-21
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Parable of the Rich Fool
13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” 14 But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15 And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” 16 Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. 17 And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ 18 Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ 20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”


Some Thoughts on Today’s Reading—Pastor Pam
How much is enough? Why do some people have so much and others so little? Is there a basic place of comfort where possessions do not rule us and poverty does not imprison? How do these questions impact how we live our lives in connection with one another and God?

The Parable of the Rich Fool is an illustration of what really matters in life.

Earlier in Luke, Jesus gave us an outline for this in teaching us how to pray. We are to pray for enough to eat each day, to live our lives understanding all life comes from God who holds us for all eternity in grace and holiness. We are to seek lives of forgiveness and not to be tempted by evil and greed. The prayer is simple, communal and does not seek God’s giving or blessing of material possessions. The “Our Father” beginning focuses on connection with God and one another…not stuff but people living connected lives and grateful.

Jesus tells us the story of the Rich Fool who spends so much time storing up his stuff that he forgets living today. His focus is on himself and not the needs of others. It takes modern culture’s obsession with being the “rugged individualist” to new heights. In the end, obsession with things and position distract rather than fill. This is a lesson on boundaries and what it takes to fill us and complete us.

This teaching makes me think about what we ask God for. While it centers on the now, it also makes us think about the end of our lives.
When we look back, what will we say mattered most? What gives our lives meaning? What would we say? What does God want for us? What is Christian responsibility to those who are hungry and suffering? If you knew tonight was your last night on earth and you were about to meet God, how would you live today?

Peace and Grace,
Pastor Pam