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Choose Generosity

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St. Timothy’s Children’s Chapel

May 22, 2007

Luke 12:13-21

13A man in the crowd said to him, ‘Master, tell my brother to give me a share of our inheritance.’14He said to him, ‘My friend, who appointed me your judge, or the arbitrator of your claims?’15Then he said to them, ‘Watch, and be on your guard against avarice of any kind, for life does not consist in possessions, even when someone has more than he needs.’16Then he told them a parable, ‘There was once a rich man who, having had a good harvest from his land,17thought to himself, “What am I to do? I have not enough room to store my crops.”18Then he said, “This is what I will do: I will pull down my barns and build bigger ones, and store all my grain and my goods in them,19and I will say to my soul: My soul, you have plenty of good things laid by for many years to come; take things easy, eat, drink, have a good time.”20But God said to him, “Fool! This very night the demand will be made for your soul; and this hoard of yours, whose will it be then?”21So it is when someone stores up treasure for himself instead of becoming rich in the sight of God.’


Luke 12:13-21, The Parable of the Rich Fool.

This parable, found only in Luke, is prompted by a dispute between brothers over an inheritance. Apparently the regulations for such cases (Num. 27:1-11; Deut. 21:15-17) were not being followed, in the opinion of the younger brother who must wait on the older. Rather than act as judge, Jesus states a proverbial truth (Luke 12:15b) and elaborates with a parable (vv. 16-20), v. 21 being commentary on it. The parable is clear: a man is blessed with abundance and he responds with self-congratulations and conversations with himself. Family, neighbors, God: all are absent from his plans.


“We can choose greed or generosity.  And there are consequences.  We can choose avarice or charity.  We can choose to be selfish or to share.  We often must make these choices daily with family, friends, neighbors, and enemies.  Jesus is pleading with us to choose generosity, charity, and to assume a posture of sharing.  He wants us to reject a life of greed, avarice, and selfishness.”  Vicar Phil

From a Sermon by Scott Jordon, Pastor (Bismarck Evangelical Church)

Signs of Greed

1) Living above our means

2) Compromising our values

3) Preoccupied with money

Principles of Generosity

1) It’s an attitude

2) Requires a work of God in our hearts

3) Grows when we are totally surrendered to God


[1]The New Jerusalem Bible. 1995, c1985. Includes indexes. (Lk 12:13). Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday.

vv. verses

v. verse

[2]Mays, J. L., Harper & Row, P., & Society of Biblical Literature. (1996, c1988). Harper's Bible commentary (Lk 12:13). San Francisco: Harper & Row.

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