PARABLES | Week 2: Too Much Is Never Enough
During the mid to late 1800s, Cornelius Vanderbilt became the wealthiest man in America. He was the greatest capitalist that the world had ever known. In today’s dollars, he was worth almost $200 billion. Despite his great fortune and meager upbringing, Vanderbilt was not a philanthropist. In fact, he gave away almost nothing to charity. Instead, he built grand mansions all over the United States. The Vanderbilt family epitomized the excesses of the Gilded Age. Not long after the death of Cornelius in 1877, the family fortune was squandered and lost. The family could not maintain their properties or businesses and one by one they were gone. No legacy and nothing to show for the hard work and the enormous amount of wealth.
Read Matthew 6:24
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
READ those verses again and consider these related questions.
How do our priorities drive us and help to determine our life’s outcome?
What does money and wealth become in the hands of someone who has God as their priority?
Read Luke 12:16-21; Matthew 6:19-21; 1 Timothy 6:9-10
1. What is the common theme shared by these passages?
2. Are any of these passages suggesting that it is bad or sinful to have wealth?
3. Do these lessons only apply to wealthy people? Why/why not?
4. Describe what it means to be “rich toward God.”
5. Describe how misaligned desires can impact our ability to trust God with our future.
6. How would you connect biblical stewardship to this discussion?
7. What is the gospel application in Luke’s parable?