Today is the beginning of our thirteenth week, reading the Bible through together. Our scriptures this week are:
- Deut 27-31; Luke 12
- Deut 32-34; Luke 13; Psalm 13
- Joshua 1-4; Luke 14; Psalm 143
- Joshua 5-8; Luke 15; Psalm 14
- Joshua 9-13; Luke 16
The Parable of the Rich Fool13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14 But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear 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, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
Jesus was saying that riches play a prank on us. They make us believe that the acquisition of wealth is the most important thing.
The person in the crowd believed that inheritance was something to argue over, and thought that if Jesus would step in and become the arbitrator, certainly things would work out in his favor. I've known families that were split apart because of inheritance squabbles. Believe me--it's not worth it! When the time comes, as the executor of my mother's estate, I'd rather give everything to my brother if that were necessary, instead of having inheritance issues come between us. Jesus identified the man in the crowd as being full of covetousness, believing that his life consisted in the abundance of his possessions.
Then the Master told a parable of a rich fool who (in the words of Dr. Seuss) kept on "biggering and biggering and biggering." But Jesus reminds us that it's our souls that matter--not our fortunes. "The one who lays up treasure for himself is not rich toward God."
Today on the first day of April, Jesus reminds us not to be fools. Don't let money play a prank on you, convincing you that life is all about the accumulation of wealth. Instead, In Matthew 6 (ESV) He says:
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.