November 18
'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.’’ Luke 16:31
Bible reading: Luke 16:19-31 (Go to the Bible passage)
This parable deals with two kinds of people: those who receive in their lives everything one might desire, and those who – like the name Lazarus implies – stand alone and do not receive help.
The rich man did not care at all about Lazarus who was laid at his gate. There were so many beggars, one cannot possibly provide for all of them; the people might as well have laid all the poor of Israel at his gate! The rich man did not listen to the words of Moses: ‘Six days you shall labor and do all your work.’ After all, he did not need to work. He had money in abundance and spent his time partying.
But if he had obeyed the word: ‘I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land’ (Deuteronomy 15:11b), then he might not have had enough money to party every day, then he would have had to work, according to the command of God. The beggar Lazarus could not work, he was sick and miserable, even the dogs came and licked his sores…
When the poor man died, people did not carry him to a grave, but the angels carried him to Abraham’s side, which we might translate as ‘to Abraham’s bosom’. This indicates Lazarus was a child of Abraham and therefore a true believer. The rich man took during his lifetime what he considered as rightfully his, without reckoning with God. Hereby he had done well for himself, contrary to Lazarus.
Our life on earth is very short, compared to eternity. Therefore God gave us His word, so that we might find Him and learn to obey Him, especially through suffering and tears.
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