The Rich Man and Lazarus (Lent 30-2019)

Jesus was nearing the end time of His earthly ministry.  It never failed to grieve Him that people felt like there was something they could do to earn by rights (or purchase for themselves) salvation.  A stubborn refusal to listen—always setting up their own barriers to becoming persuaded of their need for God—it was very troubling but inevitable, Jesus reminded Himself.  Worse, they were only deluding themselves.  Money can provide comfort and security here on earth, but it does nothing for a person when it comes to eternity and the final judgment that awaits every last person.

Jesus told the Pharisees and the crowds explicitly, Luke 16:13 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” 14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. 15 He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.”

“Detestable?  How horrible!  What a destructive teaching,” thought the Pharisees!  “We value the Law,” they protested silently.  “We love the Law, we obey it, and we require it of others to the minutiae!  If money comes our way, then it’s a blessing from the hand of God, not a curse!  What does that Jesus know?  We don’t serve money!”  Jesus, knowing the thoughts in their hearts, just shook His head sadly and told them a parable.

 Luke 16:19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.  20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades,

“Whoa, whoa, whoa!  What’s the rich man doing in Hades while the beggar is with our father Abraham?” thought the Pharisees as Jesus continued with a steady intensity,

Luke 16:23 “where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ 25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ 27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ 30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'”

Jesus looked earnestly at their expression which betrayed a growing hatred, plain and simple.  They caught His meaning and were indignant that this untrained man was trying to tell them a thing or two.  Consumed with hatred and pride, their pattern was set in motion.  They had not been listening to Moses with ears to receive the truth. They failed to see the wisdom of the Prophets predicting the Messiah.   And they weren’t listening Jesus Whom they did not know would rise after they—in their hatred—had put Him to death.

Think about it:

  • How stubborn is our belief that we can love both God and money? 
  • How likely are we to help others whom we believe are “beneath us”? 
  • Why would people not be convinced by someone rising from the dead if they didn’t listen to Moses or the Prophets?

Thank You, Father, for ample places in Your Word in which You outlined Your plan of salvation.  Thank You that it’s Your plan and not one of our own making!  Thank You, Lord Jesus, for Your faithfulness and grace!  Help us to be free from allowing Money to master us. Help us to reach those we love with Your Gospel and may we preach Your Word boldly so that no one misses out on the grace of God!  Amen.

If you’re already signed up on my Home Page sidebar to receive posts, you’ll get the 2019 Lent Devotionals automatically. Or you can “Like” Seminary Gal on Facebook and they’ll be delivered to your Facebook news feed. If you haven’t signed up, today is a great day to do so. Advent and Lenten devotionals remain among my most popular offerings. You don’t want to miss this great look at the Easter story to prepare your heart for Easter! Understanding that prior years’ devotionals remain popular,

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on April 9, 2019

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