Parable of the foolish farmer

The parable of the foolish farmer (Luke 12: 13-21)

This parable teaches about our response towards wealth. Wealth, by itself, is not sinful. It is one of the ways God uses to bless us. The Bible says that it is the love of money, and not money, itself which is the root of all kinds of evil.

1 Tim 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.

This parable tells us that the farmer is foolish because he responded wrongly to wealth. The farmer is foolish because of the following reasons.

1. He does not see the wealth as coming from God. There were no instances where he actually thanked God for his bountiful harvest. We have to be thankful for all good things, wealth included. Thankfulness is so important to God.

Luke 17:11­19 (NIV) Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” 14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. 15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him­­and he was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

2. His preoccupation is with his wealth.

Luke 12:17­18 (NIV) 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 all my grain and my goods.

There is nothing wrong with planning for our material needs. It only becomes wrong when we are preoccupied with it above all else. God says to focus our attention on the more important things in life and leave the worrying about material things to Him.

Matthew 6:31­34 (NIV) So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

3. He relied on his wealth for security

Luke 12:19­20 (NIV) 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.”‘ 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?’

The foolish farmer thought that he could have many years of good life as long as he has wealth. Many people in the world still have this kind of thinking. Our security should be on Jesus. The psalmist say that with the Lord as his God, he shall have no lack in anything. His security is in God.

Psalms 23:1 (NIV) A psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

4. The farmer wanted to use his wealth only for personal enjoyment; he has no regard for others who may be in need.

Luke 12:19 (NIV) 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.”‘

And to this philosophy of life, God says that he will only be rich in this world and not rich towards God.

Luke 12:21 (NIV) “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”

He who has plenty should supply to those in want.

2 Cor 8:13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality,