The Deceitfulness of Riches Meaning

The Deceitfulness of Riches Meaning: What the Parable of the Rich Fool Teaches Us

He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

St. Matthew 13:22

Today, we are going to discuss the deceitfulness of riches meaning. And we shall look into what the parable of the Rich Fool teaches us.

Have you ever wondered why some people are so obsessed with money and wealth? Why do they spend their lives chasing after things that can never satisfy them? Why do they neglect their families, their friends, their health, and their souls for the sake of material gain? The answer is simple: they have been deceived by riches.

Riches can be very deceitful. They can make us think that we are happy, secure, and successful when we are not. They can make us forget about God, his word, and his will for our lives. And they are capable of making us ignore the needs of others and become selfish and greedy.

Jesus warned us about how deceitful riches can be in one of his parables. He told us a story about a man who had everything he wanted, but lost everything he needed. This man was a rich fool.

[Read: 10 Assured Reasons to Have Faith in God]

The Parable of the Rich Fool

The parable of the rich fool is found in Luke 12:13-21. Jesus told this story in response to a man who asked him to settle a dispute over an inheritance. Jesus refused to get involved in the matter and warned the crowd to beware of greed and covetousness.

He said that life does not consist in the abundance of possessions, but in being rich toward God.

He then narrated the parable of a rich man who had a very productive land. The man decided to tear down his barns and build bigger ones to store his crops. He thought he had enough wealth to last him for many years, so he planned to relax and enjoy himself.

However, God called him a fool and told him that he would die that very night. His riches would be useless to him and would belong to someone else.

Jesus concluded by saying that this is how it will be with anyone who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich toward God.

The Deceitfulness of Riches Meaning

What does it mean for riches to be deceitful?

When it is said that riches are deceitful, it suggests that wealth and material belongings can be deceiving and deceptive in their character and impact. While wealth may appear desired and provide short satisfaction, they can conceal deeper concerns and fail to provide true fulfillment or enduring contentment.

“The deceitfulness of riches” is a phrase that Jesus used to warn about the dangers of pursuing wealth accumulation. He said that pursuit of riches can choke the word of God and make people unfruitful.

Riches can be deceitful because they can create a false sense of security, a constant desire for more, and a love of money that leads to all kinds of evil.

Riches can deceive us in many ways. They can make us think that we are better than others, that we have no need of God, that we can buy happiness and peace, that we can control our destiny, and that we can ignore the needs of our neighbors.

Riches can also blind us to the reality of our spiritual poverty and our need for God’s grace. Jesus said, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36 KJV)

We shall take a closer look at this parable and see what it teaches us about the deceitfulness of riches and how to avoid it. So, by the end of this post, I hope that you will be able to recognize the dangers of the deceitfulness of riches and learn how to live wisely and generously in light of eternity.

Why are riches so alluring and dangerous?

Riches can appeal to our natural desires for comfort, pleasure, security, and status. They can make us feel powerful, independent, and successful. They can also make us forget our dependence on God, our accountability to him, and our responsibility to others.

The Bible warns us that “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:10 KJV) Riches can also deceive us by making us think that we have more time than we actually do.

We may postpone our repentance, our obedience, and our service to God, thinking that we can enjoy our wealth now and deal with God later. But we do not know when our life will end or when Christ will return. Jesus said, “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” (Matthew 24:44 KJV)

Pause and Think!

But before we proceed further, let’s ponder on these questions. Maybe the action of this rich man could be justified:

  • What is wrong with wanting to have more than enough?
  • Why should I share my wealth with others who did not work for it?
  • How can I enjoy my life if I do not indulge in the pleasures that money can buy?
  • Who can tell me what to do with my money? Is it not mine to do as I please?
  • What is the point of worrying about God or eternity when I have everything I need in this world?
  • Is there anything wrong with being ambitious in life or making plans for the future?
  • So what obvious evil did this rich man do?

[Read: 4 Essential Christian Maturity Lessons from the Life of Jesus]

The Rich Fool’s Mistake

The rich fool made a grave mistake that cost him his life and his soul.

He failed to realize that his wealth was a gift from God and a responsibility to use for God’s glory and the good of others. He also failed to realize that his life was in God’s hands and that he could not secure his future by his own efforts. He was foolish, short-sighted, and miserable.

Let us examine his mistake in three aspects: his materialism, his folly, and his poverty.

His Materialism:

The first mistake of the rich fool was his materialism. This man was consumed by the increase in his farm produce. He became obsessed with his possessions and neglected everything else.

He neither acknowledged God as the source of his wealth nor thanked Him for His blessings. He didn’t use his wealth to help those in need nor invest in God’s kingdom. He failed to realize that his possessions were temporary and unable to satisfy his soul.

He was a materialist, someone who treats materials as idols and puts them in a place reserved only for God.

He said to himself, “This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.” (St. Luke 12:18 KJV) Riches deceived him.

Jesus warned us about the dangers of materialism when he said, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24 KJV) Mammon is an Aramaic word that means wealth or money.

Jesus taught us that we cannot love both God and money, because they are competing for our hearts and our loyalty. If we love money more than God, we will become slaves to it and lose our freedom and joy. If we love God more than money, we will become stewards of it and use it for his glory and the good of others.

His Folly

The second aspect of the rich fool’s mistake was his folly. He did not consider the uncertainty of life and the certainty of death. He did not think about God’s will and word, but only about his own plans and desires. He did not realize that his life was not his own, but God’s. Riches blinded him. He acted just like a fool, someone who says in his heart, “There is no God.” (Psalm 14:1 KJV)

Fools deny God’s existence, authority, and judgment. They live as if they are the masters of their own destiny and accountable to no one. They ignore God’s law and wisdom and follow their own wayward hearts. They are blind to the reality of their sin and their need for salvation.

His Poverty

Though he was called a “rich man,” you may wonder why he was actually poor. This man, despite his title of wealth, was poor in true riches. That’s why he was labeled a “rich fool.” In his pursuit of accumulating material wealth, he overlooked the true wealth that matters.

He missed the true meaning and purpose of life and failed to be rich toward God. He did not seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, but only his own worldly interests. He did not realize that his material wealth was fleeting and could not provide him with true fulfillment.

What a wretched man he was! Someone who possesses nothing of lasting value or significance.

Also, the Bible warns us that “he that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 5:10 KJV)

So, dear reader, riches can never satisfy our deepest longings or secure our eternal happiness. Only God can do that. Moreover, a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. (Luke 12:15 KJV) Life is more than food and clothing, more than houses and lands, more than fame and fortune.

Remember, as men, we are to live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Life is about knowing God and loving Him, about serving Him and glorifying Him, about enjoying Him and being with Him forever.

[Read: 10 Success And Spiritual Lessons From Ants In The Bible]


We have seen how the parable of the rich fool teaches us about the deceitfulness of riches and how to avoid it. We have learned that riches can deceive us by making us think that we are happy, secure, and successful when we are not. We have learned that the rich fool made a grave mistake by being materialistic, foolish, and poor.

Let us not be deceived by riches, but seek the true riches that come from God. Let us not be like the rich fool, but like the wise man who built his house upon the rock. Let us not store up treasure for ourselves, but for God. Let us not live for this world, but for the next. Let us not love money, but God. For he is our Creator and Provider. He is the source of all wisdom, wealth, and happiness. May we give him our all, and be rich toward him. Amen.

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