One day Jesus was teaching a great crowd of people who had come together to hear Him. After He had finished, a man came up to Him and said, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide with me the property which our father left us.”
But Jesus refused to be drawn into their selfish quarrel. “I am not a judge or a divider of property,” He said.
After the man had gone his way, Jesus turned to His disciples who had heard the conversation and said: “Watch yourselves and stay away from selfishness; for life is not measured by how much a man has.”
Then to illustrate His meaning, He told them this story:
The land of a certain wealthy man was very rich and brought forth such a large harvest that the man said, “What will I do, for I do not have enough room to store my crops?”
It did not occur to him to give some to the poor, nor did he thank God for his good fortune. Instead he said to himself, “This I will do—I will tear down my old barns and build bigger ones, and then I will have room for my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have plenty of goods stored up for many years; take it easy, eat, drink, and have a good time.’ ”
But God was much displeased because the man was thinking only of himself. And God said to him, “You are a very foolish man. Tonight your life comes to its end. After you are gone, whose will these things be that you call yours?”
By this story Jesus was teaching that in the sight of God true wealth consists not in what a man gets, but in what he gives.
This story found in Luke 12:13–21.
Parables from Nature, by J. Calvin Reid, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1954, p. 13–15.