Rich Fool showed folly of misplaced faith

Ministers Mullins, Robles say faith in God should be paramount

This is Dutch artist Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn’s depiction of the rich fool who valued his wealth more than his relationship with God. Rembrandt lived from 1606-69. (Courtesy Photo)

Jesus told the Parable of the Rich Fool in Matthew 6:19-24 and Luke 12:13-21 to show the emptiness and futility of gauging one’s worth by material possessions.

That’s according to Ministers Dudley Mullins and Taylor Robles, who say the rich man’s reliance on his wealth to give him a sense of security was dashed when God told him he would die that night, “Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?

“It is a remarkable thing that God calls this man a fool because most would call him a success,” said the Rev. Mullins, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Kermit. “A fool in biblical language was not a description of mental ability but of spiritual discernment.

“Perhaps an even more sobering thought is, what are you and I in God’s eyes?”

Jesus is teaching when he is suddenly interrupted by a man who considers the division of his father’s estate between himself and his brother to be unfair.

Apparently this young man is the younger of two brothers.

“In Jewish law, his older brother would have been the executor of the estate, would have received the larger portion of the inheritance and usually would have tried to maintain the estate intact.”

The Rev. Mullins said the young man did not ask Jesus’ opinion but rather demanded action.

“Jesus refused to be sidetracked from his mission of seeking and saving the lost and he used ‘you’ in the plural, indicating perhaps that both brothers had a problem with greed and no settlement would be satisfactory,” he said.

“When Jesus said, ‘Take heed and beware,’ he was saying ‘Be on guard against all kinds of greed.’ The area of danger for this young man was greed or covetousness, which means the lust to have more than one’s fair share, a grasping for more that is never satisfied.”

Mullins said the prime motivation behind every casino is greed.

“All their advertising feeds and further magnifies that greed,” he said. “Gambling is based on the age-old hope of getting something for nothing.

“Jesus says in Verse 15, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions,’” he said. “Greed tries to convince us of just the opposite, that life does consist in what we own.”

Robles, minister of Sherwood Church of Christ, said Jesus was telling people to be careful about where they put their faith.

“This guy put his faith in the materialistic crops when in reality he should have been placing his faith and trust in God, the one who would take care of him and hold his future,” Robles said. “Sometimes we put our faith and trust in things outside of God and what the parable is calling us to do is make wise decisions.

“Following that parable Jesus makes a statement about worry. He says, ‘Do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens. They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds them.’”

Robles said it is not wrong to have material possessions, but it should be recognized that those things are expendable.

“Our faith in God is invaluable,” he said. “If we put all our value in ourselves, our faith in God goes away.

“The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:12-13 that he knew what it was to be in need and what it was to have plenty, that he had learned the secret of being content in any situation.

“He said, ‘I can do everything through him who gives me strength.’ He had put his faith in Christ to get him through those times.”