Luke 12:20 Index
"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?"
Research Material

" . . . Thou fool . . . " (Luke 11:40)

  • Jesus does not say that God actually uttered these words to the "fool" or even brought to him an awareness of this appellation, any more than our Lord means to imply that the conversation between the rich man and "father Abraham" (Luke 16:24-31) actually took place. In both instances the conversation is supplied for the benefit of the audience listening to the parable, that they may see the divine principle illustrated by the parable. Compare also the conversation between the trees of the forest (Judges 9:8-15). (5BC 797)

" . . . this night . . . "

  • Every moment is freighted with eternal consequences. We are to stand as minute men, ready for service at a moment's notice. The opportunity that is now ours to speak to some needy soul the word of life may never offer again. God may say to that one, “This night thy soul shall be required of thee,” and through our neglect he may not be ready. (Luke 12:20.) In the great judgment day, how shall we render our account to God? Life is too solemn to be absorbed in temporal and earthly matters, in a treadmill of care and anxiety for the things that are but an atom in comparison with the things of eternal interest. Yet God has called us to serve Him in the temporal affairs of life. Diligence in this work is as much a part of true religion as is devotion. The Bible gives no indorsement to idleness. It is the greatest curse that afflicts our world. Every man and woman who is truly converted will be a diligent worker. (COL 343)

" . . . thy soul . . . "

  • The clause reads literally "they are requiring thy soul of thee." Some suggest that the impersonal "they" is a rabbinical circumlocution to avoid use of the divine name (Luke 15:7). Others refer the pronoun to the "destroyers" (Job 33:22). (5BC 797)