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The Parable of the Rich Fool

KJV Luke 12:16-21
(16) And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
(17) And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
(18) And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
(19) And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
(20) But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
(21) So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
Rich Fool Comments with Replies
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steven john bain
Posted: Wednesday, August 14 2002 8:54 am
Post subject: daniel chapter 8
User Location: dundee
Reply to Post

after careful and thoughtful study of the old testament prophets I can`t help believing that the ram with two horns that daniel see`s in his vision is symbolic of the ram being america who does seem to do as it pleases in regards to the world today and the horns being the symbology of the twin towers I really believe the end times are being played out in the world today as described by the prophets who recieved their wisdom from god as a gift. I just feel so helpless in regards to what is going on but I also believe nothing happens in this world without god willing it.
Posted: Tuesday, March 11 2003 6:47 am
Post subject: MEAN MANY THINGS
User Location: CARMEL
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THis could mean many different things because i had to tak a test on parables and i got this one wrong. We had to match the parable with a real life situation!~!~
Posted: Sunday, April 27 2003 6:05 pm
Post subject: The rich fool
User Location: Camden
Reply to Post

I believe that the rich fool is meaning that anyone who is blessed with goods that he/she needs to thank God and his workings that he made before we just think we can sit back and be lazy. I also believe that this passage means that sometimes we take things that we have for granted and we always expect these things but we never kno when we will lose these things and/or waste these things.
Dr Peter Kalve
Posted: Friday, July 18 2003 5:40 am
Post subject: The Parable of the Rich Fool
User Location: Northamptonshire, United Kingdom
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This short parable contains a significant and salutary warning to us all not to lose sight of God in a world of rampant materialism. For our purposes, the parable can be seen in two contexts: the context in which it was first applied, and the context in which we find ourselves today.

The first context is the Graeco-Roman world in which both the historical Jesus and the Gospel writers existed. It was a world in which the major power of the age (Rome) dominated the region. Palestine was subject to Roman rule, and subject too to the trade and economic practices which had brought great wealth to a very few, and deep poverty and suffering to a great many. Given the Roman control of the economic and fiscal life of the region, it became the goal of some individuals who aspired to wealth, to work within that political and economic system, to achieve this. But, as is so often the case, this form of materialism could so easily become a self-destructive process, in which the rights and dignity of the poor was trampled upon, and the pursuit of gain became the only goal.

These individuals propped up the totalitarian Roman political system by failing to recognise the basic human dignity of their fellow human beings, and recognising instead only the need for more and more individualist material gain. And in doing this, God became forgotten. Love of God became replaced by love of individual gain and materialism.

Now this materialism could take many forms. In the parable, the easiest form to understand is employed - a wealthy man stores up more wealth, hoarding from his successful produce a great store of goods and materials with which he sought to enrich himself. But he loses sight of the point of life in this pursuit of gain. He thinks only of himself. He does not of share his good fortune with the poor and the downtrodden. Above all, he refuses to think of the only individual relationship that matters ultimately. He forgets about God. So when he faces a sudden, unprepared death (which is implied by verse 20), the emptiness of his relationship with God is revealed in all its bleakness.

And the context for today? It is interesting that this parable seems to have attracted the fewest comments so far. Is this because we are uncomfortable to condemn materialism as much as we were prepared (rightly) to condemn the Communism of the previous decades? I think so. I think the Western world especially is guilty of an individualist materialism which sees the pursuit of individual gain and wealth as the only "worthwhile" thing to do, and which deliberately forgets God.

Today's materialism takes many forms - financial, sexual, political, and emotional, to name a few. What this parable teaches us is that we should think about sharing our wealth and striving for a common good, and, above all, to remember God, who is the source of all goodness, and who will call us to account at a time not of our own choosing. Have we lived in a way that puts God first, or have we ignored that relationship, choosing our own individual materialism instead?
Ricardo D. Diņo
Posted: Saturday, August 2 2003 6:26 am
Post subject: comment on the parable of the rich fool
User Location: Philippines
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My personal view on the parable is that our Lord Jesus would like to warn us of guarding ourselves against all kinds of greediness. This, i think is a one simple truth God wants us to consider. In addition, God calls for an immediate response of anybody that's warned as said in verse 20 which tells for the urgency of time.
Posted: Thursday, February 5 2004 11:27 pm
Post subject: about the parable of the rich fool
User Location: toronto
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Since, this parable of the rich fool,My understanding is that we should not be very materialistic, since this things are not ours, forever and
we never ever have these things without God's guidance and help. We can not be that greedy, what We have, it is best to share, and be kind to everyone, because as the saying goes, you can not reach where you want to go without looking it back, and always, say "Thank you" to the Lord with all the blessing he gave us in this world, you born naked I mean nothing, and we go with out anything. The best lesson we learn here is
whatever God given us, make sure we thank him for everything,

Put in mind and in our soul He is the One, Whom we owe everything.
Don't sit back and forget him, and we think we have everything. NAH!
Posted: Tuesday, April 4 2006 2:43 pm
Post subject: dont hate us
User Location: syria
Reply to Post

im not here to reply i just want to tell you that the morals of islam agree completley with the teachings of jesus , you only have to study it careful by yourslef and dont believe what your media tells you .
Posted: Sunday, June 25 2006 3:54 am
Post subject: The parable for the capitalist world?
User Location: UK
Reply to Post

Peter Kalve rightly asks the question as to why fewer people have responded to this parable. Is it because this parable directly opposes the lifestyle of so many of us, where we are told by the economic system, advertising - and our own selfishness - that getting is good, and the more we get the better we shall be? So we gather around ourselves a mound of 'things' and build ever bigger barns.

We even make this a moral issue, so that wealth=good, respectable, and poverty=bad, despicable.

Jesus directly confronts this comfortable greedy attitude: 'You fool (Gk.= 'ignorant'): this very night your life is being demanded of you'.

This speaks to those of us who are retired (like me) and are tempted by a decent pension to say 'relax, eat, drink, be merry'....but 'are not rich towards God'.

This parable challenges not only individuals but our whole unsustainable way of being where constant growth is the only thing which keeps our economic system going. It is frightening in its implications.

Can we obey the Father's command, 'This is my beloved Son: listen to him'?

Darren Wilson
Posted: Monday, March 3 2008 3:04 pm
Post subject: Parable of the Rich Fool
User Location: England - At the moment
Reply to Post

There are many opinions and debates on the true meaning the the collective parables. What do they really mean? This parable is definitely one of the most cryptic parables and can't be truly understood, unless we ask Jesus himself, if these are infact his exact words (translation errors, etc)
Maybe these stories are things that he had witnessed upon his travels and experiences throughout his life? Maybe he is actually some of the characters in the parables he tells? One thing we do know is that he had a message for humanity that somehow has travelled through the ages to answer some of the questions in life we could not ask ourselves. I find it wierd how most people today don't appreciate the words of the wise, choosing to trust science or nothing at all because it feels safer.
But perhaps this is what the parable means:
The ground could represent anything from society, down to the your own family or employees that you rely on. Jesus does not mention anything else about the 'rich man' (who could represent the ignorant and distrusting members of society, etc) other than the fact that he is concerned about his goods. This shows the error of his ways, because the rich man doesn not appreciate how he got the land, who worked to make it the way it was, who harvested his 'goods', which in the end are truly irrelevant to true happiness in life. The joy in life, the meaning and the way God wishes us to truly live our lives is to share with others and ultimately to share out time and effort with god e.g. prayer and ceremonial offerings, etc. In this way, the goods could possibly represent all the tings in life that distract us and hinder us from recieving God's word. The 'rich man' is the embodiment of greed and self indulgience. He represents those in society who only think for themselvesl.
Looking into the words of the parable, although we are being encouraged to be truly kind to each other and most importantly show self respect, God at the end of the parable could represent the government of those times and because of this, could also represent temptation in some small way for who truly benefits in life when others feed off of our greed? By following christ and trying our best to be free of greed and helping those in need we have recognised a few of the important steps towards entering the Kingdom of God.
In the parable there is a part where the rich man talks to his 'soul'. What does the soul represent? God and his will? Or perhaps human compassion and the will to be servants to society and God himself? Who knows? All i know is that it is saying that when we slack off and deviate from God's will, when our time of death comes ("this night thy soul shall be required of thee") or when the times comes to prove our worth and commit an act of kindness(this night thy 'compassion' shall be required of thee), we will not be ready and we will not enter the Kingdom of God. The rich man desperately sought for a place to store his fruits and did not think of those who he might be able to help by giving his fruits, so they might survive. He took down his barns and built a big barn solely for the fruits. Maybe this implies that maybe in his greed he cast out those that initially lived in those barns? In his greed, he completely neglected those who needed and deserved his kindness.
If these are in fact stories from Jesus' life, then what happened to these people he speaks of? We can never be sure of where we will end up in the afterlife, but if one thing is for sure, it is our duty as humans to respect the lives of others and to assist humanity in making this world a better place, because with God, we are never alone.
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Investigation & Research on
All the Parables of Jesus Christ

More Links of the Great Words of Our Lord and Savior
Parable Commentary at Message of Hope
Jesus's Parable Forum
Jesus Christ told numerous parables as recorded in the New Testament of the Holy Bible.
According to the dictionary a parable is a story designed to teach a moral.
Ah, but they are so much more.
Depending upon the level of understanding a parable can be just a simple story
or an elaborate display of God's love for us.
As our understanding of God deepens so do new levels of understanding of his parables occur.
The following parables are beautiful expressions of God's love for each and every one of us.
Many of the parables in the book of Matthew are
repeated in slightly different versions and recorded by other disciples - in Mark, Luke or John.

Please feel free to add your knowledge to the parables listed here at Web-Ministry!

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