Luke 12:20 – “. . . your life will be taken from you this very night.”
“For what hope has the godless when he is cut off, when God takes away his life?” (Job 27:8 NIV)
Luke 12:20 – “. . . who will get what you stored up for yourself?”
“Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro: he bustles about, but only in vain; he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it.” (Psalm 39:6 NRSV)
Luke 12:19 – “I have many goods . . . for many years . . . so I will . . . eat, drink and be merry.”
“You who are young, make the most of your youth. Relish your youthful vigor. Follow the impulses of your heart. If something looks good to you, pursue it. But know also that not just anything goes; you have to answer to God for every last bit of it. ” (Ecclesiastes 9:11 The Message)
1. The man’s request for Jesus’ judgment on his inheritance and the resolution of a family conflict sounds innocent enough – these things happen, there must be some sort of conclusion reached and a wise, neutral third party can be of real value. But Jesus saw more than what everyone heard – he was able to read the man’s mind and see his heart and true motivation. Jesus is often portrayed as being able to read people’s minds in Luke’s Gospel.
2. How is it we naturally tend to feel much more secure when we are surrounded by a great deal of “stuff?” We know stuff deteriorates just like we do. And be it in small quality or large, there are plenty of forces beyond our control that can take all our stuff away in an instant. This rich fool is not alone; he is many.
3. Notice the abundance of the words “I” and “my” in the rich man’s statements (12:17-19). It’s obvious this man sees his life as being all about himself.
4. Jesus said: “Watch out! Be on guard!” Therefore, neither being at “ease,” feeling “secure” or finding what is “comfortable” should be our goal in life. When these things are in our lives, we would do well to sit up and pay special attention, lest we be taken in by them. There is no perfect, lasting comfort in this world and to try to seek such here is to become a fool.
“This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through.
My treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue.
The angels beckon me to heaven’s open door,
and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.”