Austen C. Ukachi. Photo: HEISALIVEBLOG
Those of us who believe and teach about prosperity hardly strike a balance between riches and greed, which is what the parable of the rich fool warns about. We live in a physical world where material things attract our attention very easily than intangible things, especially if the tangible things are glamorous. We often lose sight of the fact that many earthly things have no eternal value. At the end of the day, the Bible says every earthly thing is temporary and will be consumed by fire.
Therefore, Jesus warned, “Do not labour for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him” (John 6:27).
Men give more attention to what is temporary and fleeting because of greed and ignorance. Like Jonah said, “All who worship worthless idols turn from the God who offers them mercy” (Jonah 2:8 – CEV).
Jesus, in the parable of the rich fool, teaches why our main preoccupation should be on being rich towards God than toward material things (Luke 12:13-21). In this parable, Jesus was reacting to a request for him to arbitrate between two brothers who were having problems coming to an amicable agreement over their inheritance. Jesus declines, saying that life should not be based on having many possessions. He used this occasion to teach His disciples that a godly life is more important than material things.
Arland J. Hultgren comments that the parable “provides an example of what one ought not to be like. The person whose identity is tied up with his or her possessions, status, and/or achievements—and is driven by acquiring them—can so easily end up unaware of the call of God and the need of the neighbour.”
The parable warns us not to devote our lives to the accumulation of wealth. Jesus says to the man in the story, “And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” We see this scenario playing out all the time in people who are singularly devoted to the accumulation of wealth. What happens to all that wealth when they die? It is left behind for others who didn’t work for it and won’t appreciate it.
We are not blessed by God to hoard our wealth for ourselves. We are blessed to be a blessing to others, and we are blessed to build the kingdom of God. The Bible says if our riches increase, we are not to set our hearts upon them (Psalm 62:10). The Bible also says that there is one who gives freely and grows all the richer (Prov.11:24). Finally, the Bible says we are to honour God with the first fruits of our increase (Prov.3:9-10).
The farmer’s conversation with himself is self-centred; he speaks in the first-person pronoun a minimum of six times. In this parable, we see how insatiable the human heart could be and how material things could blind the heart of man toward God. The farmer’s heart was on an endless chase after material goods and did not have time to be rich toward God. “And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry” (Luke 12:19 – NKJV). Unfortunately, he died at the height of his success. That is the fate of every man.
We must all take heed of the warning that nothing in this world is of greater value than our soul. Contact:firstname.lastname@example.org