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Luke 12:13-21 – Fool’s Paradise
by Gary Sims
07/28/04
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The Gospels
Luke 12:13-21 – Fool’s Paradise

Key Verses:
(NRSV)
  • 13-14: “Someone in the crowd said to Him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.’ 14But He said to him, ‘Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?’” – Even though Jesus rebukes this person it is important to remember that we should bring all of our problems before God. The rebuke is more about the heart of the individual than it is about asking God for help.

  • 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.’” – We do not always receive the answers we seek, especially when we are seeking self-satisfaction and self-righteousness.

  • 16: “Then He told a parable: ‘The land of a rich man produced abundantly.’” – With a teaching opportunity before Him, Jesus moves the crowd towards further enlightenment and understanding.

  • 18: “Then he said, ‘I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.” – With an abundance of wealth in hand, the farmer takes steps to secure his wealth and future, relying on the fortitude of self-made structures.

  • 19: “I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’” – Happiness and security founded in earthly treasures.

  • 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?’” – The best laid plans, when focused on earthly treasures and selfish reward, go for naught.
Points to Contemplate:
  • Do you take all issues you face in life to God? Is there any struggle or conflict you encounter that you feel is outside God’s realm or jurisdiction? Do you tend to try and fix things yourself before turning to God? When you do, do you tell God how the situation should be handled? In today’s story the person in the crowd asked Jesus for help but instead of seeking answers, he told Jesus what needed to be done. For this attitude he was rebuked and the following lesson focused on the wrong in his heart instead of addressing the question he presented. Do you ever get different answers and lessons from God then you expected? Have you ever sought reaffirmation of your righteousness only to have God hold a mirror before you that reveals your broken ways?

  • Are you “on your guard?” Is greed always at your doorstep waiting an opportunity to capture your heart? What motivates your actions? When you get excited and up in arms over an issue, are you focused on God or your self-interests? Are you building barns and walls to protect your interests? Are you grasping tightly to things the way you think they should be? Is it difficult to “let go and let God?” Are you worried about your future and do you find your self fighting ceaseless battles attempting to preserve what you think is right? Has your stress built and are your fingers strained from grasping too tightly to the sand that seems to be forever slipping between your fingers? Are you on guard?

  • Are you ready? When you consider that your life could end at any second, are you doing the things in life that really matter? Or, are you building an earthly kingdom that will waste away in your absence? Are your treasures piled high? Jesus teaches that, if this is the case, then you are a fool. What steps can you make, today, that shows you are ready for the kingdom of God? What changes in your life can you make that will bring proper perspective to the things that truly matter? Do you love as though it is your last chance to love? Do you build for God’s kingdom? Do you tell everyone you meet of Christ’s love for you? If not, when will you do this, tomorrow?
Promises of the Gospel:

God wants us to bring all issues we face in life to Him in prayer but as we do so we need to be sure that our hearts are in the right place. If our focus is on earthly treasures, if we have greed for self-righteousness and control, and if we seek confirmation instead of transformation, then we are lost. With our treasures and our feelings of self-righteousness at the center of our lives, there is no room for God’s love and His redemption for our sins is lost in a sea of good intentions and best-laid plans.

FUMC Devotionals



If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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