Saturday, July 23, 2016

Luke 16:27-31

Luke 16:27-31
“And he said, ‘Therefore I beseech you, father, that you should send him into my father’s house.  For I have five brothers – oh, how he should witness to them – in order that they should not also come into this place of torment.’  But Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets.  Let them listen to them.’  But he said to them, ‘No, Father Abraham!  Rather, if someone from the dead should go to them, they will repent!’  And he said to them, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be faithful if someone out of the dead should rise up.’”

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

Now, after the rich man is told the complete and utter truth, do we get a glimpse of selflessness.  The rich man now cares about His brothers.  He cares that they don’t end up with the same fate as he has received.  But here is an interesting point.  We shouldn’t give the rich man too much credit.  Notice that he only cares about his family?  He isn’t caring for the poor.  He isn’t caring for the orphaned.  He just cares about his brothers.  He still looks at Lazarus as a servant.  He sees Lazarus as someone deserving of labor.  Do you notice that he doesn’t ask to seek out his brothers himself?  Yes, the rich man does show us that he can care about the fate of others.  However, we might ask why.

Why do you think that the rich man asks for Lazarus to go to his brothers?  What’s really motivating him to not have his brothers share his fate?  Are you surprised to realize that the rich man still sees Lazarus as a servant and someone to do his bidding, even given their lot after death?

Second Thought:

Abraham responds with a really neat thought here.  He won’t send Lazarus back.  We’ll get to the effects of this thought in the paragraph below.  For this paragraph, let’s stay focused on what Abraham does say.  People have the Law (Moses) and the prophets.  We all have access to that which should point us to Christ.  We can read about our human sinfulness.  We can read about our fallen nature.  We can read about how a sacrifice for our sinfulness is necessary.  We can read about the contrast between God’s righteousness and our own.  But while we can read all of these things, we don’t necessarily have to believe them.  We don’t have to listen to the lessons.  We don’t have to reflect on what God’s Word says.  Furthermore, if we don’t listen and reflect, why on earth would we ever believe anything that anyone says about them?

How do you use God’s Word to understand yourself and Christ?  How does God’s Word influence your life?  Are there places in your life where you are hesitant to let God’s Word speak to you?

Third Thought:

Jesus does a really cool thing at the very end of this passage.  Jesus flat out says that if you don’t believe the Word of God, you won’t believe someone coming back from the dead.  Do you hear what He is doing here?  He is setting up His own future!  Jesus will come back from the dead.  He will rise up as a witness.  But will people believe?  No, of course not.  All those who believe believed before He died.  All those who rejected Him before He died will find a way to reject His resurrection, too.  We’d like to think that we can be changed by huge dramatic supernatural events.  The reality is that it is not the huge supernatural events that change us.  We find ways to justify our thoughts about the huge supernatural moments.  What changes us are the small daily efforts of faith and belief.

Do you believe?  Is God’s Word enough for you?  That being said, if God’s Word is enough for you, what does Jesus’ resurrection really add?  How have you come into your faith?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 17:1-4

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