Translations: Chinese GB Big5

The Parable of 
The Rich Fool

Luke 12:16-21 He spoke a parable to them, saying, "The ground of a certain rich man brought forth abundantly. He reasoned within himself, saying, ‘What will I do, because I don’t have room to store my crops?’ He said, ‘This is what I will do. I will pull down my barns, and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. I will tell my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years. Take your ease, eat, drink, be merry."‘ "But God said to him, ‘You foolish one, tonight your soul is required of you. The things which you have prepared—whose will they be?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."  (web)

Discussion Questions

What was wrong about the rich man's attitude?
When you have extra time, money, or resources, what do you tend to spend them on?
What would you do if you were rich? Are you rich?
Have you thought about retirement?
What should our ideal purpose in life be?
What does it mean to be rich toward God?


Notice Jesus attributes the good crop not directly to the rich man but to the ground. The rich man did not produce the good crop, the ground did. When people are successful they are quick to congratulate themselves and attribute their success solely to themselves. But they are much more subject to circumstances and "luck" then they may admit. The rich man did not view himself as a servant of God, nor his resources as responsibilities entrusted to him by God. Rather he viewed himself as the one being served, and his resources as toys to play with. This is an attitude of greedy covetousness, which is quite common among the rich, who make it their goal to retire and take it easy, or to do whatever satisfies their passions. But the more we have, the more we will be held responsible for. To be rich toward God is not to be poor in material things, but rather to use what resources God has entrusted to us to the furtherance of His Kingdom.

Although I don't know the statistics on the matter, I've also heard that it is quite typical for people to die soon after retirement if they lose a sense of purpose and usefulness in life. For we were made to be servants - as Christ was in his human form. And when we depart from that purpose, we lose our life.

"And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again." 2Co 5:15


A rich man's field produced a big gain
But what would he do with all that grain?
"I have no place to store my crops."
I filled my barns all the way to their tops.
I'll tear them down and build ones bigger
And then retire while I still have vigor
I'll take life easy and bask by the pool
But God said to him, "You are a fool! 
Tonight you'll die, you'll go on the shelf
Then who will get what you prepared for yourself?"
So it will be for those who hoard 
Things for themselves but not for the Lord

The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources

Jul 29,2015