Then he said, “This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”
Jesus tells the story of a wealthy farmer who has been blessed with a bumper crop. There is nothing to indicate that he is evil, that he obtained his wealth illegally, nor that he is particularly greedy. Why then is he the “bad example” in this parable?
Jesus makes the point in these two verses. How many times does the farmer say “I” in this passage? He is pretty self-centered, and makes no mention of giving thanks to God for the blessing, and no word of sharing his wealth with others. This focus on himself, rather than his relationship with God and his neighbors is his first failure.
However, the telling statement comes in verse 19: “And I’ll say to myself, You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” Here he goes completely off track by planning to live the good life without regard to the Good News! Not thanking God for everything and not sharing it with our brothers and sisters are what make him the example to be avoided in this story.
Loving Lord, help us to be more concerned for others and our connection to You than about ourselves and material things. May we live as Christ instructed, sharing our blessings and Your love with everyone. Amen.