Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: GREED (avarice, particularly for wealth and things) (01/22/15)
- TITLE: Parable of the Rich Fool
By Patricia Coldiron
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Suddenly a man in the crowd yells out,” “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” In ancient times, the firstborn was guaranteed a double inheritance and this man in the crowd was obviously not the firstborn. He was hoping a good word from Jesus might soften his brother’s heart, and each would inherit an equal amount.
Jesus refuses to get involved and replies, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
To further drive his point home, Jesus tells the parable of the Rich Fool. This man was showered by God with an overflowing yield of crops, which grew so large that he had no place to store them. After careful consideration he decides to tear down his barns and build bigger ones. Once the bigger barns were built and the crops stored, the abundance would tide him over for many years and he could kick back, eat, drink, and be merry.
Jesus has no tolerance for the Rich Fool’s greed and issues this warning: ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
There is nothing wrong with working hard, and reaping the benefits of God’s blessings. The Rich Fool was greedy and wanted to keep the crops to himself, but never once did he offer to share with those who might be down on their luck and in need of a helping hand. Jesus commands us to be a blessing in the lives of others, and build up the kingdom of God. If we honor God with the blessings he bestows upon us, He will bless us with more, so that we can give back in a greater way.
Paul sums it up nicely in 2 Corinthians 9:6-15: "And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that having all contentment in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” We are blessed by God, so we can in turn “abound in every good work” and be a blessing in the lives of others. So, if God has blessed you with material wealth “set not your heart on it” and “be rich toward God.”
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