Luke 12:13-21

New International Version

The Parable of the Rich Fool

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

This parable speaks to a few topics.

1. Earthly possessions

2. Inheritance

Most readers and scholars focus on the former rather than the latter, however it is important to acknowledge both.

What I want to focus on today is LEGACY, but i don’t want to ignore the other part.

Almost everyone in the history of stuff cares too much about stuff!

A man died and went to heaven. He was met at the Pearly Gates by St. Peter who led him down the golden streets. They passed stately homes and beautiful mansions until they came to the end of the street where they stopped in front of a rundown cabin. The man asked St. Peter why he got a hut when there were so many mansions he could live in. St. Peter replied, “I did the best I could with the money you sent us.”

Even the most pious of us have moments of selfishness. However, most of us spend more time and efforts on increasing our possessions than we should. We all have moments when our inner child says, “NO! That’s mine!” Recognizing that is the hard part.

My main focus is inheritance.

What is an inheritance?

To most of us, it is what our children get from our estate when we die.

To people in biblical times it was a little different.

Examples of inheritance to us


A house

A vehicle

Personal items

What was inheritance about in jewish culture?


Contrary to how things are done here, in ancient hebrew society heirs didn’t inherit exclusively after their parent’s death.

Two Businessmen

There were two young men who both went into business and dreamed of leaving great companies to their children. They both became very successful and had flourishing companies. Both businessmen worked tirelessly to continue growing and advancing their companies. Both businessmen had one son. When the sons became older the first businessman did everything he could to give his son everything he never had: he made sure he could do whatever extracurricular activity he was interested in, he had all the nicest clothes, and exclusive education at a private school, nice cars, great birthday parties and vacations. The second businessman handled things a little different. He hired his son as soon as he was old enough to push a broom.

Like the other businessman’s son, he had all the nice things his father had but he had to work for them. The second businessman’s son did a good job under his father’s guidance and would receive promotions and raises as he progressed. Over time, both businessmen grew old and eventually passed on. Both sons took over their fathers’ businesses. One business continued to be successful and is still in operation to this day. The other business went bankrupt in a year. Which one do you think survived?

Leaving a legacy is far more than passing on possessions or wealth. It is teaching the next generation (slide 14) how to handle what one generation built from nothing.

Inheritance to the audience of this parable involved passing on land, especially agricultural land, to your children. The way that was done was by creating a partnership with your sons when they were around 13 years old.

They would work under the supervision of their fathers and learn how to properly maintain and manage the business they had been given.

In a healthy situation, by the time the father died the son was fully trained and had already started making advances on his own.

The father died knowing that his legacy was not in vain.

Proverbs 13:22

New International Version

22 A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children,

but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.

What does this mean for the Church?

Everything we do is for the next generation and not for us.

Malachi 4:5-6

New King James Version

5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet

Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.

6 And he will turn

The hearts of the fathers to the children,

And the hearts of the children to their fathers,

Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”

This was the last text of the old testament. This was God’s closing statement in the old Covenant.

He wants the hearts of fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, turned back to one another!

1 Corinthians 4:14-15

New King James Version

Paul’s Paternal Care

14 I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you. 15 For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

Wait a minute...that means we can either be teachers or spiritual mothers and fathers....What’s the difference?

Fathering a fatherless generation:

Psalm 145:3-4

New King James Version

3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;

And His greatness is unsearchable.

4 One generation shall praise Your works to another,

And shall declare Your mighty acts.

Shabach - this word both means to laud, praise, or commend; and to soothe, to still, or to stroke. (Like comforting a distressed child).

There are tons of young people with a missing spot in their lives.

They may be missing a parent

They are probably missing Godly wisdom

They need love and guidance in Christ and they need someone who has been around the block to ‘shabach’ the goodness of God to them. Not someone who is critical of all of their issues.

Children usually don’t go to or listen to their own parents wisdom, but the often will listen to the wisdom of others.

Let’s imagine for a minute that your children and grandchildren are in the seats beside you, or if they’re somewhere else where they need to be, imagine the other generations beside you that need someone like you. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

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