Parable of the Rich Fool: Verse, Meaning & Lesson

The Parable of the Rich Fool is in Luke 12:16–21. Jesus told this parable to illustrate the folly of placing one’s security in material wealth instead of in a rich relationship with God.

This guide gives you a complete summary of the Parable of the Rich Fool, including the verses in Scripture, the meaning, and lessons that can be applied to the Christian life.

Parable of the Rich Fool In Scripture

Luke 12:16–21 – Parable of the Rich Fool

16 He spoke a parable to them, saying, “The ground of a certain rich man produced abundantly. 17  He reasoned within himself, saying, ‘What will I do, because I don’t have room to store my crops?’ 18  He said, ‘This is what I will do. I will pull down my barns, build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19  I will tell my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years. Take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry.” ’

20  “But God said to him, ‘You foolish one, tonight your soul is required of you. The things which you have prepared—whose will they be?’ 21  So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich towards God.”

Read Luke 12

Parable of the Rich Fool Meaning

This parable means that placing your security in wealth and material possessions, rather than in a rich relationship with God, is foolish. Jesus uses this metaphor to warn against greed and the false belief that one can secure a prosperous life through material abundance.

The parable teaches that true life is not measured by possessions but by one’s spiritual richness towards God. As it states, God can take a life (soul) at any moment, and all the material things a person has prepared on earth to secure a comfortable future will be whisked away. That is why it is more important to work on building up a rich relationship with God that lasts for eternity rather than focusing on material treasures that become worthless over time.

New book now available - Profound Parables - Get your copy

Parable of the Rich Fool Lessons

Value Spiritual Riches

The main lesson Christians are taught in this parable is to prioritize spiritual wealth over material wealth, focusing on their relationship with God rather than earthly treasures. As the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 6:7: “For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.”

Beware of Covetousness

The parable warns against the desire to accumulate wealth for its own sake, reminding believers that life’s true value is not found in possessions.

Be Grateful

It also encourages gratitude for God’s blessings, recognizing that all we have is a gift from Him. As Christians, we should be grateful for what we have been blessed with instead of always craving for more material possessions.

Live Selflessly

Another key lesson is that the rich fool’s mistake was living solely for himself. Essentially, he was storing up an excess of wealth at the expense of generosity so he could live out the rest of his days comfortably alone. Christians are called to live selflessly, sharing their blessings with others and not hoarding them for self-gain.

Seek True Security in God

Ultimately, the parable teaches that true security cannot be found in material wealth but in a life lived in accordance with God’s will, trusting in His provision. God is the creator and sustainer of life, and your soul may be taken at any moment. Also, the second coming of Jesus may happen at any time. Therefore, Christians should live a life that is rich towards God, emphasizing the importance of spiritual growth and the eternal dangers of materialism.

Want Your Own Copy of Jesus’ Parables Complete With Interpretations and Life Applications?

Grab Our NEW Profound Parables Book

Discover the power and purpose of Jesus’ teachings through this comprehensive study guide.

Profound Parables Book

Read More Parables In the Bible

The Parable of the Rich Fool is just one of many parables in the Bible. Use the links below to explore more of Jesus’ parables, their meanings, and life lessons.

Summary of the Parable of the Rich Fool

We hope you enjoyed this summary of the Parable of the Rich Fool.

As you discovered, the Parable of the Rich Fool appears in Luke 12:16–21. And the primary meaning of the parable is that placing your security in material wealth instead of in a rich relationship with God is foolish. The life lessons include being aware of covetousness, valuing spiritual riches, being grateful for what you have, living selflessly, and seeking true security in God.

Profound Parables Book - Check It Out

Explore our free chapter-by-chapter summaries for every Book of the Bible.