Thursday, June 03, 2010

What if Luke chapter 12:13-21, the man Jesus called a fool, is about the father of the two brothers?

So, I’ve spent the day looking at the final 8 sermons I’ll be preaching… because if I’ve learned nothing else on internship it is to be intentional and to prepare things in advance.
I was reading the gospel readings for August 1st and hit upon an imaginative question: What if the man Jesus calls a fool is in fact the “father” of the two men squabbling about inheritance rights?
Let me set the scene, Jesus is chilling out telling a crowd about faithful fearlessness and a dude in the crowd switches up the conversation, asking Jesus to intervene and get his brother to split his inheritance.
Jesus responds, “that’s not on me… but be careful about this possessions thing—that’s not what life’s about. It can lead to greed… in fact, let me tell you about a man, who was very rich. He decided to build bigger warehouses because he had a LOT of stuff.
In fact he saw having all that stuff secure in an even bigger building to be a sign to his soul that he would be protected for years to come.
And then he died. He was a fool.”
So, what if the man Jesus calls a fool is, either spiritually, or even physically, the father of this man who is after his inheritance. That, to me, would add an even deeper barb to this story. The ending becomes, “he died. He was a fool. Look now, those mighty barns he built up are being torn into two by you! That foolishness is being spread even as it is being torn up! You too are a fool!”