Posts tagged ‘Parable of the Rich Fool’

Sermon Extra – Jesus, Priceless Treasure

The foot bone’s connected to the leg-bone; The leg bone’s connected to the knee bone; The knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone; The thigh bone’s connected to the back bone; The back bone’s connected to the neck bone; The neck bone’s connected to the head bone; Oh hear the word of the Lord!

I can remember singing the above words as a child, learning about the prophet Ezekiel and his encounter with God in the valley of dry bones in Sunday School (cf. Ezekiel 37:1-14).  Besides being a fun way to learn a Bible story, this song also had the added benefit of teaching me some anatomy, no matter how rudimentary it may have been.  At least I knew what was connected to what.

In our text from this past weekend in worship and ABC, we wrapped up our two week min-series on stewardship titled, “Give & Take” with a look at what we, as Christians, are called to take.  In Jesus’ parable of the rich fool, we encountered a negative example of someone who tries to take all the wrong things:

The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, “What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.” Then he said, “This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, ‘You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.’ 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?” (Luke 12:16-20)

This man tries to take barnfuls of grain only to learn that he can’t take them where it counts – into eternity.

Tragically, the reason this man obsesses over his barnfuls of grain has to do with what they are “connected to,” to use the words of my old Sunday school song.  Two words in this text highlight especially well what this man’s windfall of grain is “connected to.”  In verse 18, when this man determines that he will build bigger barns to “store” his grain and his goods, the Greek word for “store” is synago, from which we get our word “synagogue.”  This man is building a synagogue, or a place of worship, for his stuff!  For this man, his grain is an object of worship.   Then, in verse 19, when this man says, “And I’ll say to myself, ‘You have plenty of good things laid up for many years,’” the Greek word for “self” is psyche, meaning, “soul.”  This man is not only talking in his head, he is talking to his soul.  This rich man’s grain has now taken up residence in his soul.  Thus, this man is indeed deeply “connected to” his riches.  It is the object of his worship and the resident of his soul.

Jesus says, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).  “Your heart will always follow your treasure,” Jesus says.  And so, if your treasure is grain, your heart will follow barnfuls of bran.  If your treasure is fame, your heart will lust after accolades and acclaim.  If your treasure is cash, your heart will yearn after portfolios and scratch.  Your heart follows your treasure.  So what is your treasure?

Just as a song from my Sunday School years taught me the fundamentals of anatomy, an old hymn reminds me of my true treasure:

Jesus, priceless treasure,
Fount of purest pleasure,
Truest friend to me.
Ah, how long in anguish
Shall my spirit languish,
Yearning, Lord, for Thee?
Thou art mine, O Lamb divine!
I will suffer naught to hide Thee,
Naught I ask beside Thee.

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October 25, 2010 at 5:15 am Leave a comment

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