Jesus told this parable to deal with the problem of covetousness.
Luke 12:16, “And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘you fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ Jesus told this parable to deal with the problem of covetousness. Sometimes we don’t recognize it or we call it by some other name.
The footnote in the New International Version at 2 Kings 18:4 is most interesting. When Hezekiah found the children of Israel worshiping the brazen serpent made by Moses in the wilderness, he destroyed it. Hezekiah called the serpent "Nehushtan." The footnote explains the meaning of the word as "a serpent made of brass."
We wonder how such an idol could have existed for so long. It would seem that it would have been destroyed in one of the reformation movements of one of the judges or kings. In my opinion, it lasted so long because it apparently was not recognized as an idol. Perhaps the children of Israel justified the worship by not calling it an idol. Hezekiah, however, came and called it what it really was—a brass image of a snake.
How often we justify sin by either ignoring it or calling it a different name! Some call adultery "a meaningful relationship." We excuse covetousness by calling it "prudence" or "economy." A life of sensual pleasure is "living with gusto."
In answer to a critic, Abraham Lincoln asked, "How many legs does a cow have?" "Four," was the reply. "If you call her tail a leg, how many does she have?" "Five," was the answer. "No," Lincoln said, "just calling a tail a leg does not make it a leg."