James G4by James Gensberg

Part 3 of the series on Luke 12 is about a foolish Man. I’d like to start by noting that this doesn’t imply that all ‘rich’ people are fools, any more than it implies that all fools are rich.

Then he told them this story: “The farm of a certain rich man produced a terrific crop. He talked to himself: ‘What can I do? My barn isn’t big enough for this harvest.’ Then he said, ‘Here’s what I’ll do: I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll gather in all my grain and goods, and I’ll say to myself, Self, you’ve done well! You’ve got it made and can now retire. Take it easy and have the time of your life! “Just then God showed up and said, ‘Fool! Tonight you die. And your barnful of goods—who gets it?’ “That’s what happens when you fill your barn with Self and not with God.”
Luke 12:16-21 MSG

Seems like good business sense to me. The Farmer has done well, and the weather has been good and he has more than he can store. So he increases his storage. Jesus doesn’t seem to think so. So what is the point he’s making? It’s in response to a question:

Someone out of the crowd said, “Teacher, order my brother to give me a fair share of the family inheritance.” He replied, “Mister, what makes you think it’s any of my business to be a judge or mediator for you?” Speaking to the people, he went on, “Take care! Protect yourself against the least bit of greed. Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot.”
Luke? ?12?:?13-15? MSG


I think the point is that the Farmer had enough. Year on year he’d had an average crop and he’d had enough for his needs. THIS year he has more than enough. He has what he needs and then some more. Possibly a lot more.so what does he do? He invests it. Why does he invest it? So he can stop working and ‘have the time of his life’.It’s a bit harsh isn’t it?

If the Man had stolen or extorted or hustled and got enough to retire we would call him a criminal. We would call him selfish.

This man however has worked hard all his life and has had a lucky break, yet Jesus still calls him selfish. Why is this? It doesn’t explicitly say, but here’s my opinion. There must have been a few people who’s harvest hadn’t quite produced enough in that place where that (suddenly) rich man lived.

Also, people who owned no land who relied on whatever work they could get on the farms to earn money to buy some of the crops their own hard work had produced. Also some homeless and starving people or some sick and penniless people without a hope. This Man could have made a difference in every one of those lives and still had more than he needed, but instead he built up his barns, maybe hired another couple of security guards and turned his back on them all.

In that case I guess he was a bit selfish after all.