saying-63; the rich fool



if you want to experience what he meant

saying - 63; the rich fool.


(latest update: 18-12-2018)




Jesus says,


There was a rich man who had much money.

He said, 'I shall put my money to use

so that I may sow, reap, plant,

and fill my storehouse with produce,

with the result that I shall lack nothing.

Such were his intentions, but that same night he died.


Let him who has ears hear.






Gathering plenty of material goods arises from man’s illusion that he can secure a “good life” by it.

And not only that, but in his deluded mind he thinks that he secures his ephemeral life itself.


Besides, wealth is always gained at the expense of our fellow-men; it was in the days of old,

and so it is now. It always has been that way, and always will be. It is man’s greed and passion

that deludes himself, exploits his neighbor, and refrains him from searching Life itself.


Jesus does not turn things upside-down: he does not proclaim that it will ultimately be the

rich who will suffer from Divine punishment instead of the poor; that became something the

gospel writers proclaimed, not Jesus! This story is not an attack on earning money, or

planning one’s business to make a living for oneself or one’s family as a householder. However,

one should be aware of the insecure and ephemeral character of such undertakings, and that

it is better to refrain from making one’s goals into absolutes, into things one cling to at the

expense of one’s fellow-men and with the chance to lose one’s Life. Piper (2000) argues

that “the dominant attitude of Q with regard to the fate of the rich seems to be that their efforts

in this life have been worthless. The paucity of direct threats of punishment for abuses of

wealth is striking”. Thomas breaths a similar message.




Wealth in ancient Hebrew Palestine was justified by taking it as a blessing from God in turn

for one’s righteousness. By that logic the poor obviously had deserved God’s punishment.

Holiness (purity) was an extension of righteousness, so the impure poor were less close to God

than those God had materially blessed. Jesus did not agree! And although “the rejection of

material wealth is found in Jewish apocalyptic”…..and…”not unknown in Jewish wisdom literature”

(Piper, 1989), in my view Jesus overturns again the Jewish piety code: here is a man blessed

by the Deity, so he has to be a virtuous, pious man who undoubtedly considered himself

lucky and secured by the Divine rewards. He reflects on what to do with these Divine gifts in

order to even secure his life over and above what God has given him already. However, God's

insurance does not include the impossibility of unexpected death. The story strongly falsifies

the Hebrew scriptural reiteration of a causal relationship between the degree of one's

virtuous living and its consequent Divine rewards, a theme also dealt with in Ecclesiastes and Job.

One has to realize that such falsification was probably not only taken by Jesus' public to

apply to the Torah rules and regulations, but also to those ( the Temple Cult aristocracy)

who upheld them, and perhaps even to the very One Who issued them in the first place!



Also in:

Luke 12:16.