Teacher Notes

Bible Stories for Adults

The Parable of the Foolish Rich Man

Luke 12:13-34

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - Jesus Heals Ten People with Leprosy (Luke 17:11-19)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. ... Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:15, 32

Opening Prayer

The Wisdom of God (Luke 15:1)
    Besides His powers, what attracted people to Jesus that was evident from His childhood?
      Luke 2:47, 52 = His great wisdom and understanding
    What happened when the Jewish leaders tried to use His reputation for wisdom against Him?
      Luke 20:20, 26, 39-40 = They were unable to trap Him and they gave up
    Why were they unable to trap Him in a bad answer to a difficult question?
      1 Corinthians 1:18-25 = Jesus had God's wisdom which far exceeded that of man
    Besides the Jewish leaders who tried to trap Him, did anyone else come to hear Jesus' wisdom?
      Luke 15:1 = His wisdom was one of the main reasons people came to see Jesus

The Judge (Luke 12:13-14)
    What request of Jesus' wisdom prompted the story in today's lesson?
      Luke 12:13 = Someone asked Jesus to help clear up his inheritance
    How did Jesus wisely respond to this request? = He should go to the courts with trouble
      Luke 12:14 = He rebuked the man for asking Him to take sides in a clear legal issue
    The term man was a severe form of address. Where else do we see this word used?
      Luke 22:58-60 = Peter used it twice to adamantly deny he was associated with Jesus

The Inheritance (Numbers 27:8-11)
    Why was the man wrong in looking for Jesus' wisdom in this question?
      Numbers 27:8-11 = Dividing an inheritance was defined very clearly and plainly
    Should there ever be a question about how an inheritance should be given?
      Deuteronomy 21:15-17 = No, it was clear even in potentially confusing situations
      Note: First-born received a double share of the inheritance

    Using Israel and the land as an example, what did people have to do to get their inheritance?
      Leviticus 20:24 = Just accept it, God gave it to them
    Didn't the Israelites have to fight the Canaanites to get their inheritance? = See Judges, etc
      Deuteronomy 4:37-38 = No, God drove them out and gave the inheritance
    What condition did God have in His covenant for the Israelites to keep their inheritance?
      Deuteronomy 6:13-15 = Fear and serve Him only - or you will lose your inheritance

Our Inheritance (Hebrews 9:15)
    What inheritance do we have as part of God's new covenant through Jesus?
      Hebrews 9:15 = The promised eternal inheritance
    Where will we receive our eternal inheritance?
      1 Peter 1:3-4 = It is kept fresh in heaven for us
    Do we need to be as good as we can to receive this inheritance?
      Galatians 3:17-18 = Inheritance doesn't depend on the law, it is God's promised gift
    How do we know that we will receive this inheritance?
      Ephesians 1:13-14 = We have been marked with the Spirit to guarantee our inheritance
    What great Old Testament prophet understood the importance of the inheritance of the Spirit?
      2 Kings 2:9 = Elisha asked Elijah for double portion of his spirit (first-born inheritance)

Greed (Luke 12:15)
    Why was Jesus so bothered by this man's request?
      Luke 12:15 = He saw strong signs of covetousness and greed
    With all of the other sins displayed around Him, why would Jesus be so upset at seeing greed?
      Colossians 3:5 = Greed is idolatry - greed makes a god out of possessions
    How important is it to God that His people avoid greed, or covetousness?
      Exodus 20:17 = 20% of God's central commands for mankind deal specifically with greed
    Why is the idolatry of greed such a horrible sin to be avoided?
      Ephesians 5:5 = Greedy people will not receive heaven's inheritance

Greed - An Unforgivable Sin? (Luke 18:24-27)
    How could simple greed keep someone from going to heaven?
      Luke 16:13 = Can't serve both God and mammon (Heb for riches)
    Is there any way for a greedy person to be saved? = Repentance - A change of mind and soul
      Acts 3:19 = He can repent and turn from greed to God
    How easy is it for someone to turn from greed?
      Luke 18:24-25 = Very hard, easier for a camel to go through eye of a needle
    Does this mean it is impossible to be rich and go to heaven?
      Luke 18:26-27 = It is not impossible with God - serve God or mammon?

The Rich Fool (Luke 12:16-21)
    What story did Jesus then tell to make sure the people understood His point?
      Luke 12:16-20 = The Parable of the Rich Fool
    How does this story fit with Jesus' message on greed? (Reread with emphasis on I and my)
      Luke 12:16-19 = Twelve I's & my's in only 3 verses
    How does God show this rich farmer that his wealth is a foolish god?
      Luke 12:20 = He takes his life before he can enjoy his god of wealth
    Is Jesus here saying that it is wrong to be wealthy and to prepare for the future?
      Luke 12:21 = No, it is foolish to be rich in anything but poor in God

Stored Treasures (Matthew 6:19-21)
    How does this rich farmer fit a description David gave of an evil man?
      Psalm 52:7 = He trusted in his wealth instead of God
    Do only rich or cut-throat people need to hear this lesson?
      Matthew 10:37-38 = No, there are many things besides wealth that one could covet
    What treasures should the rich farmer have stored?
      Matthew 6:19-20 = Treasures in heaven that would be secure
    Why would treasures in heaven be so secure?
      Matthew 6:21 = Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also

Getting Rich (1 Timothy 6:7-8; Luke 12:22-32)
    What should we remember when we are tempted to store treasures on earth?
      1 Timothy 6:7 = We brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it
      There are no pockets in a shroud. You don't see a U-Haul behind a hearse.
    How much earthly treasures should it take to make us content?
      1 Timothy 6:8 = Just our earthly needs - food and clothing
    What did Jesus say after the parable that tells how much we should worry about these needs?
      Luke 12:22-31 = God knows we need these things so He will take care of us
    Besides giving us these things, what more valuable thing has God given us?
      Luke 12:32 = The kingdom of heaven

Getting Rich (1 Timothy 6:9-10)
    What about all of the people who aren't content with food and clothing and want to get rich?
      1 Timothy 6:9 = They fall into a trap that leads to ruin and destruction
    Will going to church every week keep up out of this trap?
      Matthew 13:22 = The deceitfulness of wealth can choke the seed of the gospel
    Is this because money is so evil?
      1 Timothy 6:10 = Money isn't evil, the love of money (greed) is the root of all evil

Being Rich (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
    What if we have more than basic needs? Do we need to get rid of our material wealth?
      1 Timothy 6:17 = No, just don't put your hope in wealth - put it in God
    What should we remember about our wealth? = Reread also last part of 1 Tim 6:17
      Acts 17:24-25 = God gave us everything we have

    Why might God bless us with material blessings and wealth?
      Genesis 12:2 = We are blessed to be a blessing
    How does Paul describe this to Timothy?
      1 Timothy 6:18 = Be rich in good deeds, be generous & share with others
    What does this do to the treasures we are storing up?
      1 Timothy 6:19 = It results in us storing treasures in heaven rather than on earth

Rich or Poor (Proverbs 30:7-9)
    Did Jesus agree that giving from what God gives us can store treasures in heaven
      Luke 12:33 = Yes
    Does this mean that we can get to heaven by giving money to others?
      Luke 12:34 = No, it can be a visible result of trusting God instead of money

    In conclusion, should we ask to be rich to bless others or to be poor to keep from temptation?
      Proverbs 30:7-9 = Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread
    What was the one material request Jesus included in His example of how to pray?
      Matthew 6:11 = Give us today our daily bread - take care of our needs (not desires)

Closing Prayer

For Further Study (Luke 12:22-30)
    What six reasons does Jesus give why we should not worry about material things?
      Luke 12:22-23 = A person is more than a physical body; Food & clothes are not top needs
      Luke 12:24 = God loves and cares for you more than you know
      Luke 12:25-26 = Worrying doesn't accomplish anything
      Luke 12:27 = The best that we can do on our own doesn't come close to what God can do
      Luke 12:28 = If God takes great care of the valueless, He'll care more for you than you do
      Luke 12:29-30 = God knows what you need and will provide it

Copyright © 1998 by Kurt Rosenhagen

Use of this material is provided free of charge for use in personal or group Bible Study, no permission needed.
The author reserves all rights for use in published material or in uses where fees are involved.
For permission, or to provide your comments, insights and feedback, contact the author at:


Return to Bible Stories for Adults Home Page