Today’s reading: Luke 16
Today we read Jesus description of the eternal fate of one rich man and one poor man. The poor man lay at the door of the rich man and wanted only the scraps of his table. However, the rich man never showed any charity to Lazarus. When they died, Lazarus went to “Abraham’s bosom” and the rich man to Hades.
It’s unclear whether this story is a parable or if Jesus is referring to two actual people. That in itself should be a warning to us. Jesus’ parables are usually easily identifiable. That fact that this is not and possibly in the realm of a true story should make us focus intently on the lessons of the story.
One of the lessons, in this case, spoken by Abraham, is the rich man received his rewards in life, while Lazarus is receiving an eternal reward. Again, this should be a warning to us. If one is prosperous, God is not punishing us with prosperity but he does give us earthly material wealth in trust for others. It is not meant to be hoarded but to spread about and shared. Particularly, with the poor.
The final verse in this story is also difficult to read or hear.
And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. Luke 16:31
The rich man is begging for Lazarus to be allowed to go back and warn his brothers. However, Abraham says that even this will not cause them to change their ways. He goes so far as to say that even one rising from the dead will not convince them. Although this should not surprise us it should still upset us. It doesn’t surprise us because there are many people today who do not accept the evidence of Jesus’ resurrection. Yet it also should upset us. The evidence is strong and most people in rejecting it are determined to live secular lives of moral relativism. Many will, like the rich man, be materialistic and look past the poor that surround them and ultimately be lost.
Tomorrow: Luke 17