Thursday, July 21, 2016

Luke 16:19-23

Luke 16:19-23
“And some man was rich.  And he was wearing purple cloth and was wearing fine linen while rejoicing according to his days of magnificent living.  And some poor man named Lazarus had been cast out near his gate, having been found full of sores and desiring to be full of that which fell down from the tables of the rich.  But instead, after dogs came near they were licking his sores.  And it became that the poor man died and he was being carried by the angels to the bosom of Abraham.  And the rich man died and was buried.  And after lifting up his eyes in Hades, after beginning in torment, he saw Abraham from far off and Lazarus in his bosom.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

There are some clear contrasts in this parable that we should make sure to notice before we get into the parable proper.  First of all, we have a rich man and a poor man.  Why is this important?  Think about it.  If you see a wealthy man who can invite you into His opulent lifestyle or a poor man covered with sores who is only going to have food if he begs, with whom are you likely to want to hang around?  Jesus is intentionally setting up a contrast between these two extremes knowing that the average human, if they are honest with themselves, are going to feel more drawn to the rich man than to Lazarus.

Is this true about you?  Why would most people choose to hang out with the rich man than Lazarus?

Second Thought:

The next thing that we can contrast is their states in the world.  The rich man was full and satisfied in life.  He had all that he needed.  The rich man had nothing but what he could see others enjoying.  He didn’t even have people to help him stay clean.  Dogs came and licked his sores.  Not only is Jesus focusing on the man, he’s focusing us on the circumstances of the man.  Most of us, again, if we are truly honest with ourselves, would prefer to pick the circumstances of the rich man than Lazarus.

Is this true about you?  Why would most of us prefer to live in opulence than poverty and misery?

Third Thought:

However, in the parting verses of this section we get a true glance of the priorities of the kingdom of heaven.  Notice that Jesus is very clear.  The poor man dies and is carried into the bosom of Abraham.  In other words, this poor man who had nothing in this life is carried into the nearest proximity of the founder of the faith.  On the other hand, the rich man dies and is cast into Hades.  He gets to see Abraham, but only from a great distance.  This sets us up for the lessons of tomorrow, but we’ll look at them today.  Given these results, how many of our earlier decisions would we now regret?

Are you willing to trade luxury in the present for reward in the eternal?  If so, how do you live that out today?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 16:24-31

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