Introduction: Our study this week is about what we should do
“in our last years.” If the “giving back” in the title is
directed towards the parents rather than the children,
doesn’t that make the title very odd? Aren’t old people
poor? Isn’t the cry “I’m on a fixed income” a plea for
favorable financial treatment? What about all of those
discounts for old people? Doesn’t that show that they are in
need? The truth is that a lot of older people, especially
those who followed the teachings of the Bible on money, have
quite a bit saved for their old age. What should those old
people do with their assets in their final years? Let’s
plunge into our study of the Bible and learn more!

I. The Farmer

A. Read Luke 12:16-17. How does Jesus describe the
wealth of the farmer? (Jesus says the farmer was
rich. The suggestion is that he was rich before
what Jesus describes next.)

B. Read Luke 12:18-19. Is this a smart business plan?
Isn’t this saving for the future? Isn’t this just
like what Joseph did at God’s direction? See
Genesis 41:47-49.

C. Read Luke 12:20-21. God calls this prudent farmer
a “fool!” We need to discuss a few questions to
better understand that label.

1. Is there any reason to believe that this
farmer is old and this teaches us something
about old people with money? (There is no
evidence that he is old – other than the
farmer died that night. This parable might
teach Christians of any age about how to deal
with profits.)

2. Look again at Luke 12:19. Is there anything
wrong with this? Doesn’t this sound like the
farmer planned to retire “for many years?”

3. Compare Luke 12:21. Why does God call this
farmer a “fool?” Is it because he saved for
the future? (No. The actual indictment is that
he saved for the future “for himself” and was
“not rich toward God.”)

a. What would it take to be rich toward God?
(As we have studied, Malachi 3 sets the
mark at giving back to God 10% of

b. Do you think that God is speaking of
money when He charges that the farmer is
not rich towards Him? (The story says
nothing about whether the farmer paid
tithe on his gain, but it does tell us
exactly how the farmer intended to spend
his time. The farmer’s plan does not
include any statement about spending time
on God.)

c. Do you think God killed the farmer
because he foolishly failed in his
obligations towards God? Remember this is
a story!

D. I don’t think we can properly understand the story
Jesus told if we fail to notice why Jesus told the
story. Read Luke 12:13-15. Could these be the
children of the now dead farmer? (Since Jesus is
telling a story about a farmer, the answer is
“no,” but these facts might fit into the story.)

1. What do you think about Jesus’ answer in
Luke 12:14? Does this seem right to you? Is it true
we don’t have to answer to Jesus? (Jesus is
simply saying that He is not a local judge.)

E. Luke 12:15 holds the key to our entire discussion
so far about the farmer. What is the caution that
Jesus gives? (Not to covet.)

1. Why? (“Life does not consist in the abundance
of … possessions.”)

2. Is that a definition of covetousness – a focus
on possessions (or lack of them) instead of
other things in life?

a. Consider how that definition of
covetousness fits these facts. Instead of
asking Jesus for spiritual guidance, the
brother asks for help prying money from
his brother.

F. Re-read Luke 12:16. Jesus tells the farmer story
to illustrate His response to the brother. With
that in mind, tell me what you think is the point
of the farmer story? (We should not be focused on
our possessions rather than a relationship with
God. Why? Because our possessions can disappear in
an instant, while our relationship with God is

1. Does this story have anything to say to old
people who have great possessions?

2. Does this story have anything to say to old
people who do not have great possessions?

3. Have you noticed that people who do not have
great possessions are often more focused on
possessions than those who do? Is it an
accident that Jesus told the brother without
the inheritance to be “on guard against all

4. Does this story have a lesson for young
people? (It must. It was a younger person with
an inheritance dispute who started the

G. After considering our discussion of the farmer
story and its context, what should the farmer have
said in Luke 12:19 that would be better than what
he did say? (He should have said, “I don’t need to
earn a living for many years. I will spend that
time advancing God’s kingdom, relaxing more,
enjoying eating and drinking, and my life will be
filled with joy.”)

II. Inheritance

A. The death of the farmer in the context of the
brothers’ dispute over an inheritance raises the
issue of how the farmer should have considered the
possibility of his death. Read 1 Timothy 5:8.
Should old people with assets pass them on to
their children? (We are required to provide for
family. However, the context of this instruction
is helping those who are poor.)

1. In considering our decision about our money
when we die, is being rich towards God still a
consideration? (It must be given the farmer

B. Let’s consider some texts on passing our wealth on
to our children. Read Proverbs 13:22. Assume your
children don’t need your wealth. Does this suggest
that we should give it to them anyway because of a
concern about grandchildren?

1. Should we provide specifically for our

C. Read 2 Corinthians 12:14. Do parents have an
obligation to pass assets to their children? (At
best this is a secondary point Paul is making.)

D. Read Psalms 103:13. If you answered the prior
question with a “yes,” is this a question of
compassion rather than obligation?

E. Read Numbers 27:9-11. Think about what is being
written here. Is this a command to leave an
inheritance, or a command about what happens if
you leave an inheritance?

F. Read Deuteronomy 21:17. Do you think that this
still applies to Christians today? (One
commentator pointed out that this is the only
place in the Bible stating that a double portion
should be given to the first born. There are other
references to a “birthright,” which encompassed
more than an inheritance of property. In Genesis
25:5-6 Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac, even
though Isaac was neither his first born son nor
his only son.)

G. Read Genesis 49:3-4, and 1 Chronicles 5:1-2. What
is the lesson here in how we should leave our
assets to our children? (This is a consideration
of merit.)

H. Read Proverbs 13:11. What caution does this raise
about an immediate transfer of wealth to our
children upon our death? (It might be a mistake
because they may lose it.)

I. Read 1 Timothy 6:17. What is the best inheritance
that we can pass on to our children? (To trust in
God rather than money.)

J. Friend, our lives do not consist of the things we
own. They can be gone in an instant. Why not,
consistent with 2 Corinthians 4:18, turn our focus
to a relationship with God. That is an eternal

III. Next week: Managing in Tough Times.

Copr. 2023, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are
from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard
Version ), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing
ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All
rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within
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Holy Spirit as you study.