“Someone from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” “Friend,” He said to him, “who appointed Me a judge or arbitrator over you? ” He then told them, “Watch out and be on guard against all greed because one’s life is not in the abundance of his possessions.” Then He told them a parable: “A rich man’s land was very productive. He thought to himself, ‘What should I do, since I don’t have anywhere to store my crops? I will do this,’ he said. ‘I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones and store all my grain and my goods there. Then I’ll say to myself, “You have many goods stored up for many years. Take it easy; eat, drink, and enjoy yourself.” ’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is demanded of you. And the things you have prepared — whose will they be? ’ “That’s how it is with the one who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
This Parable took place during what we would call the highlight or the Apex of Jesus’ Ministry. So many people that come to hear Him that they were literally stepping on and falling over each other (vs1). So, in the course of the day, one guy asked Jesus to tell his brother to divide his father’s inheritance with him. Jesus replies “who am I to settle your disputes”? But Jesus tells them this story instead: “there was a man who was rich. He planted crops and was very successful that year. His crops yielded more than they ever had before – he had so much grain, in fact, that he had more grain to store that he had barns to store it in!” Giving the grain to those in need or sharing it with others never seemed to have even crossed his mind. Instead, he decides to build a bigger barn. So, he builds his barn and stores his grain and sits back and relaxes and says I’m going to coast for the rest of my days- no worries for me – I have enough to last me for the rest of my life. I believe the point to Jesus’
story is found in all the me’s, mine’s, my and I’s! This rich man was so self-absorbed that he had no consideration at all for anyone around him. So, as the story goes, the man dies that very night! Jesus asks, “who gets his wealth now?”
Though Jesus did not involve himself in these brother’s personal matters, he did make an important point : he said, “Watch out and be on guard against all greed because one’s life is not in the abundance of his possessions.” (vs 15) Basically, what he was saying through this story is that, life is much bigger than what you possess. Though the rich man possessed much, he never got to enjoy it. He simply had it for a little while.
Jesus ends by saying, “That’s how it is with the one who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” I think the key words for this verse lie in the eords “for himself”. Man measures wealth by what they can accumulate – God measures wealth by what can be given away!
Now was Jesus teaching against saving money? No , the Bible teaches that we should save for retirement and for our kids future (Prov 13:22, 21:5, 21), but what we shouldn’t do is allow our wealth to define us.
God does not make people wealthy so that they can brag about what they have-He makes them wealthy so that they can help to sustain those who are in need around them. Wealth is not wrong! Being controlled and defined by our wealth is! Jesus said instead, “be rich towards God” (vs21)– in other words, invest in those things that matter to God!
Think about it!