Jesus Christ teaches us about the parable of the rich fool in the Gospel of Luke 12: 13-21 where we can observe that it is useless to treasure material goods in this world, if we do not have God in our life.
Material things are temporary but spiritual things will determine our eternal life.
Therefore we must focus on seeking God and his justice before worrying about money, wealth and earthly things. We are certainly blessed by God in his providence, but he does this for the purpose that we can help our neighbors.
Everything we have should be for Christ, for his glory and honor, and to bless, not to hide, as shown in the following quote:
“The inheritance of a rich man had produced much. And he thought within himself, saying: What shall I do, because I have nowhere to store my fruits? And he said: This I will do: I will tear down my barns, and build larger ones, and there I will store all my fruits and my goods; and I will say to my soul: Soul, you have many goods in store for many years; Sit back, eat, drink, rejoice. But God said to him: Fool, tonight they come to ask for your soul; and what you have provided, whose will it be? So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God ” (Luke 12: 13-21)
Parable of the Rich Fool Meaning
The aforementioned parable of the “Rich Fool” shows us a man who refused to share his inheritance with his brother and Jesus Christ taught him through a parable the importance of making wealth for the kingdom of God and not hoarding goods in this world.
That man was not guilty of being rich, but his mistake was in pretending to keep his wealth. He was haughty and hoped to treasure his assets for “many years.” But the only one who knows our future is God, so how long we will be in this world cannot be specified.
Through this teaching, the Lord showed the folly of that rich man who did not share his blessings with his neighbor, but pretended to live on them so as not to have to work and look for daily bread.
But how can wealth be enjoyed, fulfilling the will of our Lord, because he is the one who provides us with everything we have.
As believers we must be humble in every way and not boast about material things because they are temporary.
We can enjoy all that we have as we live humbly and share our blessings with others.
Sometimes those who have the most give the least, and those who don’t have much give everything, just like the widow who gave everything she had to honor God:
“Jesus was in the temple, and he saw how some rich people put money in the offering boxes. He also saw a widow who threw in two small coins of very little value. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I assure you that this poor widow gave more than all the rich.” Because they all gave what was left over; but she, who is so poor, gave everything she had to live ” (Luke 21: 1-4)
In this way the Christian who truly wants to follow the will of the Lord must have only what he needs to live well. You can enjoy all that God gives you but do it to glorify his name.
You must have what you need, and not buy things just to pretend, to brag about yourself. Being rich is not bad, the bad thing consists in loving money and material goods, clinging to the things of this world and not seeking communion with God. But faith without works is dead as the word expresses it:
“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith and does not have works? Can faith save you? And if a brother or a sister is naked, and they need maintenance every day, and one of you says to them: Go in peace, be warm and be satisfied, but you do not give them the things that are necessary for the body, of what take advantage of? So also faith, if it does not have works, is dead in itself ” (James 2: 14-17)
For this reason it is important to manifest love, serving the Lord, helping others, serving in every need, in scarcity and sickness. Activating the spiritual gifts that God has given us to edify and build a people of Christ according to the principles of love and compassion.
It is better to give than to receive, so as we give, we are blessing and proclaiming that we are true children of God. But when we feed the poor, we help the humble, we must do it from the heart, and not out of obligation because then everything would be in vain, as the word expresses it:
“And if I distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, and have no love, it is of no use to me” (1 Corinthians 13: 3)
In the parable of the rich fool, we can see that he did not intend to give anything to anyone, but wanted to keep them for his personal and individual use for many years. That is to say that in his heart there was no compassion, only selfishness prevailed.
It is not about giving alms, offerings of what you have left over or giving what you no longer need or were going to throw away. It is about giving with love, applying empathy and feeling mercy and love for others.
When we are sealed by the Holy Spirit, this love is activated in our being and we must put it into practice and not allow the enemy to harden our hearts, because if that happens, we could lose the greatest treasure that is salvation.
In this way, as faithful believers in Christ, we must try not to take over our life, because we are called to be servants, not owners. Let us learn to always say “if the Lord wills”, because only his will is good, perfect and pleasant, as the word indicates:
“Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed through the renewal of your mind, so that you may find out what is the good will of God, pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12: 2)
In this sense, we must ask God to help us to be able to do his will and what we have him in the first place in our life, and not make the mistake of the rich fool.
- Parable of the Talents and their True Biblical Meaning
- Parable of the Lost sheep meaning and scripture reference
- Saved by grace through faith full explanation
The Gospel of Luke and his teachings
One of the characteristics that we can find in the Gospel of Luke is the sensitivity towards the poor and their suspicion of wealth. The parable of the rich fool reveals to us the position of Jesus Christ regarding the goods of the earth.
Faced with the family dispute that arises over the acquisition of an inheritance, Jesus Christ clearly expresses his warning about being ambitious, haughty and selfish, since the goods that have been obtained cannot ensure the life of a person, since that the only one in control of life and death is God.
The parable gives us the example of an owner who, faced with a large harvest obtained, only thinks about the well-being that he will achieve during the next few months. Jesus Christ considers this a great mistake, since this life passes and is not final.
The Lord knows that the definitive life is not that of this world, but the life with God in which we are called to serve and share. From this point of view, work in this world only makes sense when it comes to preparing for eternal life.
In this sense, in life we need material things, such as a house, clothes, cars, among others. They allow us to have a future for our family and for society. However, everything deteriorates when we put these realities in the depths of our hearts and change them in the sense of our own existence.
From the point of view of unbelievers, it may seem normal, and even sensible, but from the perspective of Jesus Christ and what he teaches in the gospels, it represents an error and a foolishness, since we put our hope in things that take or early they are finished and do not remain.
In this sense, true wealth is that which is forged before the eyes of God, and which the evangelist Luke has shown us, where compassion for those in need, the teachings of Jesus, and prayer stand out.
Reflections on the parable “The rich fool” – What Jesus Christ wants to tell us
If we see the context of the parable of the rich fool we can realize that Jesus Christ was not interested in solving problems or legal conflicts.
It only leaves us with the teaching that we must guard against all feelings of ambition and love of money because these are temporary things.
In this way, Jesus Christ emphasizes that the lust for power will not leave us anything productive, and if we do not put God first, we may be closing the doors to the kingdom of heaven.
In this sense, Jesus Christ does not play the role of mediator, but rather emphasizes the spiritual and ethical principles on which our behavior should be based. It shows us that we should not put our trust in the things of this world, but in God.
We must first seek the kingdom of God and in this way he will provide us with everything we need, without having to worry about what we need. This can be seen in the following quote: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33)
As believers we must focus first on God, because everything else will come in addition, we just have to trust that he will provide us with everything we need to have a full and happy life.
The material is temporary and necessary to live in this world, and God blesses his children in a great way and provides them with everything so that they have dignified, prosperous and happy lives. However, it gives us tests in which we must be firm so as not to fall.
Perhaps believers turn to prayer to solve specific problems. However, the gospel will not solve everything by itself, we must be willing to draw closer to God.
The word of the Lord and its impact on the community can undoubtedly illuminate discernment and help us make decisions about our life, projects, regarding the church and what we want to achieve.
On the other hand, material goods can easily tempt us and puff up our hearts. But true wealth, according to Jesus, is to be generous with our brothers, with our neighbors, just as God did when he gave his only son to save us.
So putting trust in wealth shows a lack of sanity and wisdom. Whoever loves money has no regard for humanity and that is totally displeasing to God.
In this sense, the parable of the rich fool is an invitation to contemplate what Jesus really means in our lives. If we are putting him in the first place and if we are doing his perfect will.
Jesus Christ being God, became a humble man to bear our sin, suffer, receive insults and blows. He died and rose again to free us from all sin and have access to the kingdom of heaven.
The Lord is an invitation for us to be filled with joy, for us to have a life in harmony and united in the same love and feeling, the same purpose, the same feeling. As shown in the word: “Complete my joy, feeling the same, having the same love, with one accord, feeling the same thing” (Philippians 2: 2)
In this quote, God exhorts us about the importance of being united as brothers in Christ, feeling the same joy and love for him. So when we shed our carnal desires, we will be more willing to share God’s blessings, without selfishness and self-centeredness.
Today, people talk about their plans individually and in isolation. But nobody or almost nobody uses the phrase “God willing”, so many people think that they achieve things on their own and that they are the ones who decide about their life, their purposes and future.
But as Jesus Christ points out in the parable, the achievements obtained on earth, material things, riches, are temporary. The best thing is to accumulate wealth for the kingdom of God, maintaining a close relationship with our Father and focusing first on fulfilling his will.
The Lord provides us with material goods, waiting for gratitude and disinterested use for his interests, but before the blessings received we are. Sometimes good things come into our life, but we do not react in the correct or spiritual way. This can be seen in the word: “If riches increase, do not put your heart into them” (Psalm 62:10)
In this way, it is not about the riches we receive because they are blessings that God gives us, it is about our hearts and the way we behave when we are prosperous, since the parable of the rich fool teaches us not to treasure wealth in this world, but we seek to treasure them for the kingdom of God, living a humble, simple life and with love to give and help others.