Luke 12:13-21 – The Parable of the Rich Fool


Read: Luke 12:13-21

Relevant Passages:

  • See Luke 18:18-30 for an account of Jesus’ interaction with a rich man.

Extra Info:

  • v. 13  Teacher In that time, Jewish rabbis (and Jesus was probably considered by some to be a rabbi) would often mediate disputes.  But this man is not asking for Jesus to mediate, he is asking Jesus to take his side in the dispute with his brother.
  • v. 15 greed Speaking to the entire crowd, Jesus points out the root cause of the problem: greed (or covetousness).  Greed is wanting to have more than what one needs to make one’s self more secure with the excess.  Greed results in a blatant disregard for the people around us and for God.
  • v. 16  The ground of a certain rich man  Note that is was the ground, and not the rich man, that produced the abundant harvest.  God is the one who provides all that we need for life and he does it through our farm, employment or business.
  • v.17 I have no place to store my crops  The rich man faces a genuine challenge.  The issue in this story is not the challenge he faces, but the solution that he develops to address that challenge.
  • vv.17-19 Note how many times in these three verses the rich man uses the pronoun “I.”

Observation:

  1. What did the person in the crowd want Jesus to do?
  2. In Jesus’ story, what did the rich man plan to do after he had harvested a very big crop?
  3. At the end of the story, what happened to the rich man ?

Interpretation:

  1. How did the person in the crowd reveal by what he said that greed was an issue in his life?
  2. What is the danger of basing your life in the abundance of your possessions?
  3. Who will end up with the rich man’s possessions?
  4. How is storing up for yourself different from being rich towards God?

Application:

  1. What are some examples of ways that you might be like the rich man?
  2. How has God been rich towards you?
  3. What are some ways that you could respond to God’s generosity by being rich towards him?
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About James Paulgaard

Living in the in between, becoming, but not quite there yet, old and new mixed together, hanging on with all my might to the One who is holding onto me.
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