Moral Code – The Rich Fool and Rich Young Ruler


To challenge pupils to think about the moral code they live by.

Bible base

  • Luke 12:16-21 – the rich fool;
  • Mark 10:17-31 – the rich young ruler.

You will need:

  • A tray with a selection of three or four chocolate bars and some ‘undesirable’ obejcts (eg a used match, an old comb, a biro that’s run out, a snapped elastic band). As one of the ‘undesirable’ objects include a lump of dirty Blu-tack which is wrapped around and conceals a two pound coin.
  • The name of the game, ‘The Grab’, displayed on a large piece of card.


The Grab

1. Ask for three or four volunteers to come to the front. Explain to them that they will be shown a tray with a selection of objects on it. At a given signal you want them to grab whatever they want from the selection of ‘goodies’.

2. Explain to them that the idea of the game is simply to take what they want, before someone else does. After all, isn’t that the whole point of life?

3. Explain that you will count down (‘Three, two, one…’) and then, they are to grab! If someone else gets what they wanted, they must go for something else quickly. Increase the drama by stopping the countdown a couple of times to restrain any overeager ‘grabbers’ who are trying to start too soon.

4. When ‘The Grab’ is over, and the volunteers have their choices, talk to them about whether they are happy about what they wanted, the reasons for their choices etc.

5. Explain that sometimes it’s better not to go for the things in the nicest packaging. For example, once you’ve eaten the chocolate bars, you’ll soon be hungry again! Then pick up the Blu-tack and reveal that concealed inside this very ordinary and not very attractive object, there is hidden treasure – a one pound coin. This one object could buy four or five of the things they grabbed.

Make the point that to have opted for the dirty Blu-tack or one of the other ‘undesirable’ things would probably have seemed odd to everyone else, because in our society the best packaging, the way things look on the outside and ‘image’ are very important to us.

6. Ask the volunteers to return to their seats. They can keep what they ‘grabbed’.


  1. Tell the pupils that Jesus had a lot to say on the subject of priorities. Read to them from a contemporary version of the Bible the story of the rich fool (Luke 12:16-21).
  2. Explain that Jesus himself had no home and very few possessions, but he didn’t ever seem jealous of the rich people he met. In fact, he seemed to feel sorry for them because that was all they had – their riches; and he knew that they couldn’t see beyond them. The danger was that the wealth they believed to be so important, would only bring them disappointment. (See also Mark 10:17-31) – the story of the rich young ruler.)
  3. Comment that perhaps some of them have already noticed that the ‘richest’ people they know don’t necessarily have lots of money or attractive possessions. Instead, they have decided to make the sort of person they are on the inside their priority, and that’s infinitely more precious than wealth and outward appearances.
  4. Conclude by challenging pupils to decide what their priorities for life are going to be.


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