It is with those
Who store up treasures
But are not rich
οὕτως ὁ θησαυρίζων αὑτῷ καὶ μὴ εἰς Θεὸν πλουτῶν
Luke uniquely brought this little parable of Jesus to an end. Jesus said this was the problem with those who store up treasures for themselves (οὕτως ὁ θησαυρίζων αὑτῷ), but are not rich towards God (καὶ μὴ εἰς Θεὸν πλουτῶν) in divine treasures. Thus, this parable of the rich foolish man comes to an end. He had stored up treasures here on earth, instead of heavenly treasures with God. He had misplaced priorities. His plans did not include death. Do you have misplaced priorities?
“But God said to him.
This very night
Is being demanded
You have prepared,
Whose will they be?’”
εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ Θεός Ἄφρων, ταύτῃ τῇ νυκτὶ τὴν ψυχήν σου ἀπαιτοῦσιν ἀπὸ σοῦ· ἃ δὲ ἡτοίμασας, τίνι ἔσται;
Luke uniquely continued with this story as Jesus indicated that God said to this rich land owner (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ Θεός) that he was a fool, calling him that (Ἄφρων). A fool was a harsh title, meaning that someone who had no concern for God. That very night (ταύτῃ τῇ νυκτὶ), God would demand or require the soul or the life of this rich fool (τὴν ψυχήν σου ἀπαιτοῦσιν ἀπὸ σοῦ). Who would get all the things that he had prepared (ἃ δὲ ἡτοίμασας, τίνι ἔσται)? The best laid plans of men and mice often go astray. Instead of enjoying his long indulgent luxurious life, this rich man was about to die. Then the question remained, who would enjoy all the riches that he had attained? Death is the only certainty in life. The only question is when? Work as if you were going to live forever, but live your life and pray as if you are going to die tonight. Time’s up! When do you anticipate your death?
“I will say
To my soul!
You have ample goods
Laid up for many years.
καὶ ἐρῶ τῇ ψυχῇ μου Ψυχή, ἔχεις πολλὰ ἀγαθὰ κείμενα εἰς ἔτη πολλά· ἀναπαύου, φάγε, πίε, εὐφραίνου.
Luke uniquely continued with this story as Jesus indicated that this rich fool said to his soul (καὶ ἐρῶ τῇ ψυχῇ μου). He spoke to his soul (Ψυχή) to say that he had ample goods laid up for many years (ἔχεις πολλὰ ἀγαθὰ κείμενα εἰς ἔτη πολλά). Therefore, he would relax (ἀναπαύου), eat (φάγε), drink (πίε), and be merry (εὐφραίνου), the classical saying for indulging yourself with the pleasures of this world. Thus, this foolish greedy man thought that his abundant resources meant that he no longer had to work hard. Now he could enjoy an easygoing permissive lifestyle. He could retire in luxury. Do you have enough resources to retire to the good life?
“Then he said.
‘I will do this!
I will pull down
I will build
There I will store
All my grain
And my goods.’”
καὶ εἶπεν Τοῦτο ποιήσω· καθελῶ μου τὰς ἀποθήκας καὶ μείζονας οἰκοδομήσω, καὶ συνάξω ἐκεῖ πάντα τὸν σῖτον καὶ τὰ ἀγαθά μου,
Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus said that this rich farmer made a decision. He said to himself that he knew what he was going to do (καὶ εἶπεν Τοῦτο ποιήσω). He would tear down his barns (καθελῶ μου τὰς ἀποθήκας). Then he would build larger ones (καὶ μείζονας οἰκοδομήσω). Thus, he would be able to store all his grain and goods there (καὶ συνάξω ἐκεῖ πάντα τὸν σῖτον καὶ τὰ ἀγαθά μου). This rich man made a decision to build a bigger barn, but also tear down his old barn and buildings. He would remodel all his farm buildings. Then he would have a good place to store his grain and all his possessions. Have you thought about building a bigger house?
“He thought to himself.
‘What shall I do?
I have no place
To store my crops.’”
καὶ διελογίζετο ἐν ἑαυτῷ λέγων Τί ποιήσω, ὅτι οὐκ ἔχω ποῦ συνάξω τοὺς καρπούς μου;
Luke uniquely continued this parable about the rich man. Jesus said that this rich man thought or was reasoning to himself (καὶ διελογίζετο ἐν ἑαυτῷ λέγων) what should I do (Τί ποιήσω)? He had no place to store his crops (ὅτι οὐκ ἔχω ποῦ συνάξω τοὺς καρπούς μου). This seems like a legitimate concern. His harvest had been so abundant that he no place to put all his harvested crops. Do you worry about a place to put all your stuff?
“Then he told them
Of a rich man
Εἶπεν δὲ παραβολὴν πρὸς αὐτοὺς λέγων Ἀνθρώπου τινὸς πλουσίου εὐφόρησεν ἡ χώρα
Next Luke uniquely had Jesus say that he was going to tell them a parable (Εἶπεν δὲ παραβολὴν πρὸς αὐτοὺς λέγων) about a certain rich man (Ἀνθρώπου τινὸς πλουσίου) who had land that produced abundantly (εὐφόρησεν ἡ χώρα). Luke was the strongest synoptic against wealth and reliance on it. Here the story is about a rich land owner with a fertile farm. What do you know about farms?
“But Jesus said to him.
Who appointed me
To be a judge
ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ἄνθρωπε, τίς με κατέστησεν κριτὴν ἢ μεριστὴν ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς;
Luke uniquely continued this episode with a response from Jesus. Luke indicated that Jesus responded by calling him “man” (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ἄνθρωπε). Jesus said. “Who appointed me to be a judge or arbitrator over you (τίς με κατέστησεν κριτὴν ἢ μεριστὴν ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς)?” This is the only time that the word μεριστὴν was used in the biblical literature, meaning someone who divided, partitioned, or arbitrated things. Luke indicated that Jesus did not want to get involved in these family disputes, as he did not want to judge this family. However, this did become an occasion for Jesus to talk about wealth. Is it good to have wealthy parents?
To trap him
He might say.”
ἐνεδρεύοντες αὐτὸν θηρεῦσαί τι ἐκ τοῦ στόματος αὐτοῦ.
Luke uniquely said that these Scribes, Pharisees, and lawyers were watching Jesus (ἐνεδρεύοντες αὐτὸν) to trap him (θηρεῦσαί) in something that that he might say or might come out of his mouth (τι ἐκ τοῦ στόματος αὐτοῦ). Once again, Luke used a word that only appears here in all the Greek biblical literature, θηρεῦσαί, that means to hunt, seek, catch, entrap, or lay hold of. This section ended with greater hostility between Jesus and the Jewish religious leaders. They were going to be aware of Jesus and try to catch him saying something in public. Are you careful about what you say?
“When Jesus went outside,
And the Pharisees
Began to be
To cross examine him
About many things,”
Κἀκεῖθεν ἐξελθόντος αὐτοῦ ἤρξαντο οἱ γραμματεῖς καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι δεινῶς ἐνέχειν καὶ ἀποστοματίζειν αὐτὸν περὶ πλειόνων,
Luke uniquely indicated that when this dinner party with the Pharisees was over, Jesus and the others went outside (Κἀκεῖθεν ἐξελθόντος αὐτοῦ). Then the Scribes (οἱ γραμματεῖς) and the Pharisees (καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι) began (ἤρξαντο) to be very hostile or urgently press Jesus (δεινῶς ἐνέχειν). They wanted to cross examine him (καὶ ἀποστοματίζειν αὐτὸν) about many things (περὶ πλειόνων). This is the only time that the word ἀποστοματίζειν is used in all the Scripture literature, meaning something like drawing out by questioning. This was the first mention of the Scribes in this section. You can see that after all these diatribes against the Pharisees and the Mosaic lawyers, they may have had some questions for Jesus. He would have to do some explaining to them about what he meant. This was not a happy ending to a dinner party. Have you ever been to a dinner party that ended badly?
“Give for alms
That are within!
Everything will be clean
πλὴν τὰ ἐνόντα δότε ἐλεημοσύνην, καὶ ἰδοὺ πάντα καθαρὰ ὑμῖν ἐστιν.
Luke uniquely had Jesus turn to alms. The Lord Jesus told the Pharisee that they should give alms (δότε ἐλεημοσύνην) with things that are from within them (λὴν τὰ ἐνόντα), so that everything would be clean for them (καὶ ἰδοὺ πάντα καθαρὰ ὑμῖν ἐστιν). Giving alms would help them, since this was already part of the Mosaic and Pharisaic law, but it had to be interior and and not exterior. It is hard to figure out what an interior almsgiving would be. Are you generous in your gift giving to others?