Exegesis Luke Essay

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Exegesis Luke 12:16-21

The Parable Of The Rich Fool

exegesis of luke 12:16-21


"Luke's version of the story is a rather simple one, actually.

A rich man lives like there is no tomorrow, only to learn, to his embarrassment, there really isn't! Simple enough.

or is it?"

When Jesus shared the parable of the rich fool with the crowd that followed him, he had not only "set his face" to make his final journey to Jerusalem, he also "set his face" to stand firm in his calling to teach. The term "set his face," which occurs in five verses in the KJV of the Bible (Blue Letter Bible), includes the phrase "stedfastly set" (Luke 9: 51), which Strong explains relates to the Greek word, (st-riz?), which means:

To make stable, place firmly, set fast, fix

to strengthen, make firm

to render constant, confirm, one's mind (Blue Letter Bible. "Gospel of Luke 9…").

In the article, "Luke 12:13-21: The Parable of the Rich Fool, R. Wayne Stacy explains that Luke uses the phrase, "set his face," in his extensive, primarily original narrative to relate details regarding Jesus' final journey to Jerusalem, recorded in Luke 9:51-18:14. During the exegesis, the writer focuses on and examines one of the parables Jesus taught during this time, recorded in Luke 12:16-21, often referred to as the Parable of the Rich Fool.Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Essay on Exegesis Luke Assignment

At the start of the parable, Jesus stood teaching in the midst of a large crowd. Bob Deffinbaugh explains in the study, Greed: The Affliction of the Affluent (Luke 12:13-21), that as Jesus taught that day, a brother set his face to try to have Jesus side with him; trying to engage Jesus as a mediator regarding the dispute between him and his brother over his inheritance. Jesus, however, as a teacher, refused to turn away from his calling but continued to focus on the task God had called Him to do. "Jesus refused to act as a judge or an arbiter between these two brothers, not because He was incapable of doing so, but because it was not His calling" (Deffinbaugh Conclusion the Methods of the Master Section¶ 2). Instead of engaging in the dispute, Jesus related the following:

And he spake a parable unto them, saying, the ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:

And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?

And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.

And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, [and] be merry.

But God said unto him, [Thou] fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?

So [is] he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. (12:16-21)

An exegesis depicts a theological term describing the critical analysis approach one uses to interpret a Bible passage. In a concentrated effort to understand clearly what the intent the original writer meant to convey, "proper exegesis includes using the context around the passage, comparing it with other parts of the Bible, and applying an understanding of the language and customs of the time of the writing" (Exegesis). Basically, an exegesis aims to draw out the inherent meaning of the passage.

In the book, the Gospel of Luke Volume 3 of Sacra pagina series, Luke Timothy Johnson, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of the New Testament and Christian Origins at the Candler School of Theology, Emory University, presents a literary analysis of the gospel of Luke; exploring what Luke states and how he says what he says. Before becoming a Biblical scholar, Johnson was a Benedictine monk and priest. In the parable of the rich fool, Johnson stresses that in verse 16, the meaning includes that: "Life is a gift of God. No amount of possessions, however abundant, can make it greater or give it security."

In verse 17, when the rich man "began to calculate," Johnson explains, this literally means that he "debated within himself." Luke utilizes dialogismos and dialogizomal in a negative way as he identifies the protagonist to be a rich man, albeit, Johnson asserts this translation to be correct and fitting. In verse 19, in regard to this phrase Luke reports the rich man to contend, "I will say to myself…" Johnson confesses that this translation presents a difficult challenge. Johnson explains regarding this section:

Luke uses the term psyche in verses 15, 19 (twice) and 20, but with a slightly different sense each time. In verse 15, the contrast is between life (as existence) and possessions. In the present verse 19, the man says to his "self," and addresses it as "soul," so familiarly if that one is tempted to render it "old man." In verse 20 again, "soul" equals "life" in contrast to possessions.

eat, drink, enjoy yourself: The proverbial expression of a hedonism divorced from the expectation of future life or judgment, classically expressed in Qoh 8:15 and Tobit 7:10. Compare Isa 22:13, "eat and drink, for tomorrow we die" and its citation by Paul in 1 Cor 15:32. Luke will shortly condemn a life devoted to such pursuits, 12:29. (Johnson 199)

In regard to the phrase "your life is demanded," Johnson explains that the liberal Greek means " if they are demanding of you your soul." The third person plural, however, can substitute for the passive, which consequently likely refers to God's action: "God requires your life of you" (Ibid). James 4:13-16, Johnson notes, parallels the contrast between humans scheming for possessions and the transitionoriness of life depicted in the parable of the rich fool in Luke 12.

According to Johnson, the desire for inclusive language in regard to the phrase "builds a personal treasure" in verse 21, contributes to a rather gauche construction. In the Greek this literally means, "the man who makes a treasure for himself" (Ibid.). The phrase "rich toward God," and rendering, in contrast appears dense. With respect to God, wealth possesses the following two levels of meaning for Luke:

1. The response of faith;

2. In accordance with faith, the disposition of possessions. Rather than accumulating

possessions only for one's self, this means sharing them with others. (Johnson)

Johnson stresses that this parable, typical of the way Luke recounts the parables of Jesus, proves directly to the point as it reflects life. "The man was rich because he had many crops. He was a full because he thought they secured his life 'for many years to come'" (Johnson 201). When the man lost his life, he also lost his possessions.

Deffinbaugh asserts that during the parable of the rich fool, Jesus focused on greed, underlying problem, the "heart" of the matter. Jesus taught a valuable life principle which encompassed greed in a universal way "A man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions" Deffinbaugh Conclusion the Methods of the Master ¶ 4). Stacy states that during the critical "crunch" time when Jesus "set his face," to travel to Jerusalem mirrors the prophet Ezekiel when he years earlier also "set his face" to symbolize his determination and to resolve "to pronounce God's judgment upon an unrepentant and disobedient Jerusalem" (Stacy 285). In Luke's story, Stacy contends, amidst anxiety surrounding him and his disciples, that Jesus slows down to teach those who follow him what it means to live as his disciple. Jesus' teaching during this time, Stacy asserts, "focuses chiefly on three areas: persecution (12:1-12), possessions (12:13-34), and the parousia (12:35-48) (285). Through the parable, Jesus reminds those he taught that they were made for God -- not for possessions; that no amount of material things can as give life. One can only find eternal security within that life-giving relationship with God.

In Luke 12:15, the verse transitioning from Jesus' discussion with the brother discontent with the prospect of not receiving his inheritance, Jesus said unto those he taught, "Take heed, and beware of covetousness: a man's if life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." In the study titled, "Parable of the Rich Fool," Martin G. Collins, similarly to Johnson, but not as in-depth with his research, comments on each verse regarding TheParable of the Rich Fool. He also stresses the primary message of Luke's account relates Jesus' teaching that a person is to guard against every kind of covetousness.

The Greek word for covetousness,, (pleonexia), indicates a "greedy desire to have more, covetousness, avarice" (Blue Letter Bible. "Dictionary and Word Search for pleonexia)

The word and the Greek for parabol?, ( parabol? ) means:

1. A comparing, comparison of one thing with another, likeness, similitude

2. An example by which a doctrine or precept is illustrated

3. A narrative, fictitious but agreeable to the laws and usages… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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