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The Rich Fool’s Anxiety – Luke 12

August 30, 2006

I was listening to a Dallas Willard sermon (on MP3) on the Cross today and he was saying how the meaning of the cross is that we die. Quite simple. And we find our meaning as we die to this life. He asked the audience, “I mean, what do you really want as your obituary ‘She had great teeth!’?”

It reminded me of this parable in Luke 12

Then Jesus said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a person’s life does not consist in the abundance of their possessions.” And Jesus told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. 17He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no…

It the context of the story the rich man did nothing to merit the abundance. It was purely a gracious gift of the land, unmerited by his farming activities. How do I know this? Well, he was utterly unprepared for it, he had made no preparations for it. This was an unprecedented crop.

Now here’s the thing that intrigues me, and convinces me of Jesus brilliance as a story-teller and his continuing relevance as a teacher. It’s the man’s instinctive gut reaction to abundance.

I have no..!

What brilliant insight into the human heart.

With more than he knew what to do with, he is only aware of what he did not have resulting in deep anxiety about his future. Blessed with more than he ever had before he is made anxious about what he does not have.

Having studied marketing in business school many years ago I know that the retail market wouldn’t exist without that dissonance. The more we get, the more we are aware of what we could have or don’t have. I’m believe that Howard Hughes was once asked a question about his wealth along the lines of ‘How much is enough?’ to which he replied, ‘A little more!’

From → Parables

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