“Worried about the future? Buy gold and silver from Rosland Capital. Protect yourself from chaos &defend your assets.” Ever heard that commercial from the expensively groomed silver haired actor? (By the way, he is an actor, not a financial advisor). Were those same questions bouncing around in the mind of the rich man in the parable of Luke 12:13-21? Rosland Capital didn’t exist in the time of Jesus, so the rich man resorted to taking care of his abundance in another way. Richie (what better name to give him) had a dilemma. “‘What can I do? My barn isn’t big enough for this harvest.’ Then Richie 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, Richie, you’ve done well! You’ve got it made and can now retire. Take it easy and have the time of your life!’” Richie wanted to rest easy, take care of what was his and his alone, and not to have a worry in the world.
Little did Richie know that there would be an accounting that night from the Eternal CPA, God Himself. In verse 20, “Just then God showed up and said, ‘Fool! Tonight, you die. And your barnful of goods—who gets it?’ 21 “That’s what happens when you fill your barn with self and not with God.” (From The Message paraphrase). Was Richie wrong in being a diligent businessman, a good farmer, a good provider? No, God had gifted him in all of those things. The problem was that Richie thought that the world centered around him. Personal pronouns such as “he, I, & my” pepper this parable. Richie’s thoughts were entirely about defending his personal assets.
Why did Jesus drop a parable like this in the middle of Luke 12? Two brothers came to Jesus with a problem; they were quarreling about their inheritance. Jesus says in verse 15: “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one is affluent does his life consist of his possessions.” Merriam-Webster defines greed as, “a selfish or excessive desire for more than is needed or deserved, especially of money, wealth, food, or other possessions.” How much did Richie think he needed? Enough so that his future would be worry free and remain grasped tightly under his control.
Isn’t it interesting that when we were poor and needy, Christ died for us? When God gave Jesus as our Savior, “His love bankrupted heaven for you. His love doesn’t consider Himself first. His love isn’t selfish or self-serving.” (Cory Asbury) James 2:14-17 “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also, faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” Richie’s faith was dead, dead, dead. He could build all the barns in the world, but it would never protect his riches from becoming dust in the wind.
Who owns your wealth and everything and everyone you love? Is it all held tightly in your fists, protecting you from worry about the future? Or have you instead handed the keys over to God to use at His discretion? Richie was concerned with taking it easy and having the time of his life. He had no clue that the secret to living without worry is to trust in the God Who controls and takes care of the Universe. God can even take care of your nest egg. In comparison, Rosland Capital wouldn’t and doesn’t stand a chance.
Read: Mark 10: 17-31 Reflect: “Sandy Cove, Camp I love”. I sang these lyrics every summer growing...