Monday, November 1, 2010


I came back to my room, confused and frightened. Staring at the still photo of my best friend near my bed brought chills down my spine. How could such a successful man die so suddenly? When he had everything going his way? My mind that day wouldn’t let me doze off as quickly as I usually could.

Memories after memories of Peter came rushing back like an overflowing river about to burst its bank. Peter had flooded me with so many nuggets of wisdom about being rich and successful yet one statement always hollered louder than the rest. “Grab everything NOW while opportunities are in front of you!” Even at the funeral that evening, scores of friends and colleagues spoke of him as a self-made man. One even said jokingly of Peter as “The Grabber".

But no one knew that he spoke to me privately about how he wanted to settle down and enjoy his spoils. He told me how he wanted to live like the conqueror, like the king who had just won a battle, savouring victory. All his life, Peter worked tirelessly to get hold of everything that life and opportunities granted him. Before he died of sudden heart attack, he already acquired a mansion with 10 rooms, huge swimming pool, few fountains leading to the vast garden, fourteen cars of all kinds, plenty of properties all over the city. Wine and women were his constant companions. He was the envy of the city!

I stared at the clock and it was 3AM. Then something like a feeling of depression wormed its way into me. I am rich but why am I still depressed? Death took everything away from Peter! I didn’t think he anticipated that ‘thing’ to hit like that! Far from sight and far from mind.

On second thought, I felt death could be knocking on my own door soon. I began to wander about the rightful place of money and material things I acquired. Never one time had I heard my late best friend said, “Let’s use this money for charity!” or “Let’s give some money away to the underprivileged people!” In fact, we had these people all around us. We didn’t even stop for them, let alone give.

Peter’s sudden death changed my life forever. In the wee hour of that morning, I knelt at my bedside and prayed a tear-filled heavenward-goal prayer. “Lord, all my money comes from YOU and I do not deserve a single cent. Please forgive my sin of greed and indifference. Lord, from now on, let YOUR will be done!”

Strangely, when I finished this prayer, my eyes felt heavier. When I woke up the next day, I felt so fresh as though I got a shower from heaven. Immediately, my mind whipped up an idea, “I will shower my world with all the blessings from heaven!”

The parable of the Rich Fool is only found in the Gospel of Luke 12:16-20.

In Luke’s world, the rich are the elite Romans who lust after all kinds of material gains. God is of course concerned about the Jewish populace and later churches being influenced by them. Already, they are some Jews colluding with the greedy Romans just to enrich themselves.

Jesus tells the hearers to watch out for all kinds of greed (v 15). It is not only the greed for money that concerned the Son of God but also lust for fame, sex, power. But to love money is the root of all evil. Greed of money will eventually lead a person to lust for all other worldly pleasures that go against the will of God.

It is therefore both appropriate and timely that Jesus shares the death of the rich man who thinks he has it all. The man calls himself a success but God calls him a fool! Death is not the opposite of life but a part of life. No one escapes death even when one chooses not to talk or think about it.

At the end, Jesus wants His hearers to see the temporal state of life on earth. It is not that God wants everyone to refrain from enjoying life or trudging through life like a pauper, rather, He wants them to focus on heavenly riches.

In God’s spiritual law, it is more blessed to give than to receive. Greed does the opposite. Greed always says what’s in it for me. It doesn’t care who is hurt as long as I get it. God and greed don’t mix. You will love one and despise the other. The man in the parable chose the latter and lost everything when death knocked on his door. He not only lost what he hoarded but also opportunities to use what he had to serve God.

What about you? What will you choose?

"But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?' "This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God." (Luke 12:20-21)

Next Parable - The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree

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