Forming of a Fool – sermon notes – Fools are not born. Fools are fashioned and formed. It may surprise you the King James’ version uses the word fool sixty-six times. God has much to say about the fool. The definition of a fool is a person who acts rashly by making decisions without reflection or thought. However, the fool we look at today reflected long and hard concerning his decision. Then what is a fool? I hope we answer this question in today’s lesson.

By Pastor Delbert Young

The Forming of a Fool

Parables of Jesus

The Forming of a Fool

Scriptures: Luke 12:19-21, Luke 12:14, Luke 12:15, Luke 12:17-18

Luke 12:1, 5, 13-21

Luke 12:19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.

Luke 12:20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?

Luke 12:21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

A. The Context

The chapter begins with an extremely large multitude gathering together to hear Jesus. There were so many people the Bible says they trode one upon another (12:1). Though there was a large crowd present, the Lord was teaching his disciples. There can be a large crowd, but only those who desire to be a disciple (learners) will be taught. The Lord shared several kingdom truths centered around fearing the Pharisees and fearing God.

1. leaven of Pharisees (12:2)

He warned them about the teachings of the Pharisees. Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. What is hypocrisy? It is insincerity by virtue of pretending to have qualities or beliefs the person does not actually possess. Beware ye! But how would they be able to differentiate between the teachings of the Pharisees that were true and the teachings that were not true? They must have something to compare it to. They must know the teachings of Jesus. For you and me, we must know what the word says.

The Lord said anything taught in darkness would be heard in light. Things taught and said in secret would be proclaimed from the housetops. The Lord told them there was nothing spoken in the ear that would not be proclaimed from the housetops. (12:2-3). All teachings, true or false, would be seen exactly for its accuracy. If a person taught the truth, then do not fear those who teach false.

2. Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell (12:4-5)

The Lord said to never fear people who could only kill the body. This is all they can do, Jesus said. It sounds like a lot. However, when compared to being cast into hell, it is little. The point is what we fear determines our eternity. Fearing those who persecute us because of teaching the truth is dangerous. We should only fear him, which after he hath killed hat power to cast into hell. In our society, we may not fear for our lives, but we often fear rejection.

a. five sparrows for two farthings . . . (12:6-7)

Five sparrows were sold for two pennies. The sparrow seemed nearly worthless, but the Lord said not one of them is forgotten before God. If the Lord watches over the sparrows, then certainly he will take care of us. He knows us so well even the hairs of our heads are numbered. If for no other reason, we should not fear because of our great worth to God.

3. confess before the angels (12:8-9)

For those who will teach the truth and confess properly, the Lord promises he will confess them before the angels of God. For those who will not, the Lord will not confess before the angels of God. We have the promise of angels watching over us if we will not fear those who will persecute us because we confess properly.

4. blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost

Another reason not to fear is because we have the Holy Ghost. He will teach us what to say when we need him. Those who blaspheme the Holy Ghost will not have this guarantee.

B. The Interruption

Luke 12:13 And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me.

The Lord was sharing great truths of the kingdom to a great multitude of people when one of the company interrupted the teaching. From somewhere totally not associated with anything Jesus was teaching, one said, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me.

Luke 12:14 And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?

The Lord did not respond especially kindly to the one as he said unto himMan, who made me a judge or a divider over you? Isn’t this interesting? I thought the Lord was “the” judge and “the divider.” I mean, if you or I had a problem with a settlement in our inheritance, would we not go to the Lord and say something similar to what the man said? The Lord is saying, “Who made me a ruler over your financial affairs?” How many of us would possibly ask the Lord to cause our finances to correct? No place does it ever say he will rule our financial situation. In fact, Deuteronomy 8:18 says the Lord giveth thee power to get wealth. The Lord has given us the ability to control our finances. He is not going to dump out of heaven thousands of dollars. He is going to teach us how to get wealth.

C. The Warning

Luke 12:15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

he said unto them

In the previous verse, the Lord said unto him. In this verse he said unto them. Again, though many are present, only the disciples will hear. The Lord takes the question and turns it into a teaching using a parable. Jesus used this man’s life situation as a teaching. Our lives are teachings. Paul said we are epistles written known and read of all men (2Co 3:2). Our lives become teachings.

take heed . . .

Fourteen times the Lord says, “take heed.” Take heed that ye do not your alms before men (Mat 6:1). Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees (Mat 16:6). Take heed that no man deceive you (Mat 24:4). Take heed what ye hear (Mar 4:24). Take heed therefore how ye hear (Luk 8:18). Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness (Luk 11:35; see also Mat 18:10; Mar 8:15; 13:5; 13:9; Luk 12:15; 17:3; 21:8; 21:34). When the Lord says, take heed, we need to perk up and pay attention. It is vital what is about to be said.

and beware of covetousness

We are to beware of covetousness. The Greek word translated covetousness is pleonexia (Strong’s 4124 pronounced pleh-on-ex-ee’-ah). It simply means a greedy desire to have more. The Lord says,Take heed and beware of a greedy desire to have more. There is nothing wrong with a desire to have more. It’s when there is a greedy desire to have more a problem is spotted and this is exactly what this parable is about. The Lord introduced this parable by saying, Take heed and beware of a greedy desire to have more.

The Lord said a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. My net worth is not in my checking accounts, saving accounts, portfolio, money markets, houses, automobiles, boats, and things. How do I measure my net worth? Let’s find the true way as Jesus began telling the parable to the crowd.

D. The Parable

Luke 12:16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:

Luke 12:17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?

Luke 12:18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.

The parable is simple. Remember the Lord’s emphasis was teaching proper fear. A certain rich man was very successful. He had brought forth plentifully. In fact, he had so much all the man’s barns were full. After pondering his dilemma, he determined he would dismantle his present barns and build greater barns in their place. By doing this he would have enough space to save sufficient goods to take care of him for the rest of his life. It doesn’t sound as if anything is amiss yet. He simply wanted the good life. He simply wanted to make more money and be more successful. Right? Is anything wrong with this? No, except when those things become covetousness. How do we know when this has happened? It is when we rest our souls in what we have coveted.

Luke 12:19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.

The problem with covetousness is along with it we begin to direct our souls according to what we have coveted. Instead of trusting the Lord to direct our souls, we direct according to our successfulness in possessions. Let’s define the soul. The soul is the psuche (Strong’s 5590; pronounced psoo-khay). We are told in the scriptures we have three parts to the being (1Th5:23). Those are the spirit, the soul, and the body. The soul dimension is the psyche dimension. It is the area of thought. A better way to say this would be the soul is where we assimilate information. From this information decisions are made affecting and determining our eternity. The problem with this man was his soul was trusting in greater barns and not trusting the Lord.

Jesus had taught it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God (Mat 19:24). Why? The answer is the rich man of Matthew19:24 hadcovetousness and was directing his soul. He was directed by the Lord to sell all and follow Jesus. Instead the young rich man went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions (Mat19:22).

Luke 12:20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?

But God said . . . The man spoke to his soulBut God said . . . ! We need to notice it was immediately after the man began directing his soul according to his barns God said unto him, Thou fool. What is a fool? The Greek word is aphron (Strong’s #0878; pronounced af’-rone) and means a person who acts rashly by making decisions without reflection. This surely is true, but I see a person here who obviously reflected. He obviously thought through the process. In this context, the fool is the person who gives directions to his soul to take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry because of barns (covetousness). It is not only coveting something. It is resting in that coveted.

God said, This night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? The parable is simple. The man was foolish because he trusted in his possessions he coveted rather than trusting in the Lord.

Luke 12:21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

One of the saddest thoughts is the deathbed salvation. It’s better than nothing, I hope, but there is a better way. The man was laying up treasure for himself. He was rich according to his barns (portfolio). However, he was not rich toward God. This fashioned the man a fool. So many people have convinced themselves how at the last moment they will “cut a deal with God.” First they will build them a few barns and, if possible, build some bigger barns, and then they will serve the Lord. The Lord says “You fool.” What if your soul is required? What then? What good will those barns do you then? Obviously the man had no suspicions he was about to die. A drunk driver, an airplane crash, a heart attack, an idiot with a gun could take any of us out in a moment. What then?

We may say, “Well I am doing it for my children.” What good is it to leave your children big barns, but you remain separated from them for eternity. We may say, “Well, I went to school and studied all these years so I could have my big barns.” This is wonderful, and the Lord desires you have abundance. However, if you are resting your soul in your barns and not becoming rich toward God, I am sorry, but you are a fool. The person would say, “I’m no fool. I am greatly educated. I plan everything through.” This is not what matters. The question is where does your soul receive its ease?

We must realize the Lord has no problem with us having possessions. The problem here is the man was resting his soul in his possessions. The Lord desires we have an abundant life (Joh 10:10). However, the abundance comes through laying up treasures in heaven (Mat 6:22). By our seeking first the kingdom of God and doing it right (righteousness), things will be added (Mat 6:33).

Where is our ease? What if the Lord said to sell all and follow him? Could we? Could you? If the answer is no, you may have a problem with covetousness. If you find yourself sometimes struggling, beware, something is attempting to fashion you into a fool.

Other Related Sermons:

Leaven – sermon video audio notes