My legacy will become my son’s inheritance when I die, so what I leave behind is very important to me. The rich fool in Christ’s parable has a legacy that will most likely consume his heirs the way it consumed him. The value of a life is measured in many ways, but I measure mine by what I treasure. Such was the case of the rich fool.
Jesus tried to warn the man of his folly, but I doubt he listened. Few of us do. Greed is a cruel master that cuts off communication with the ones closest to its victim. Riches have a way of getting in the way of relationship, and Jesus is trying to show that to the son asking Him for help with his brother.
Then someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.”
Jesus replied, “Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?” Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”
Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’
“Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” (Luke 12:13-21 NLT)
Riches make a fool of the wisest man, but lust and love go in opposite directions. A heart cannot serve both. Lust disguises itself as love, successfully fooling many. In Christ’s story, God recognizes the trap ensnaring the rich fool and tries to warn him before it is too late. Jesus is hoping to do the same for the two brothers and for us.
Love is the true measure of a rich life. It cannot be stored or counted; but it is the only thing I can count on. The riches of the man in Christ’s parable will most likely go to someone like the arguing brothers, and the legacy of lust will be passed to the next generation.
God’s legacy is love. Christ is His heir, and His precious love allows me to share that inheritance. The value of my inheritance grows if I share it with others, but it dwindles when I keep it for myself. The sons are worried that one will receive more than the other, and many of God’s children have the same fear when it comes to approval and love. God’s love is for all, and it grows as it is shared. That’s the biggest difference between a legacy of lust and a legacy of love is that lust divides while love multiplies.
I hope Christ’s precious love is the legacy I leave for my son and his beautiful family. It’s the only thing I can carry with me into eternity and leave behind in the hearts of those I love.