Sunday Luke 16:19-31

Opening prayer: O God, teach me through your Word to do your will. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost

 

 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.’ "

 

What a cold statement and a cold hard story.  This rich and influential man ignored the poor beggar who was visible every day at the gate to his home.  He knew who he was, but he did not care for him.  All the wealth that God had given him was not shared with this poor beggar.

 

After they both died, the rich man asked Abraham to send that the poor beggar, or someone go to his brothers and warn them that they should not ignore God’s instructions and warning.  But Abraham answered that it wouldn’t matter because even miracles will not convince some people.

 

Our writer writes; “The rich man and his brothers have no excuses.  Moses and the prophets have all spoken on God’s behalf.  If they haven’t listened to them and acted accordingly, then they won’t listen to a resurrected Lazarus either.”

 

“How often we make excuses and fail to serve both God and neighbor! How often we close our ears to the cry of those in need! How often even the resurrected Christ fails to convince us to pay attention?

 

We have ministries right in our own neighborhoods which need our attention. Are we seeing them?

 

Prayer: “O God, open our hearts to your word. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

 

Luke 16:19-31 (New International Version)

The Rich Man and Lazarus

 19"There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21and 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. 23In hell,[a] where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24So 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. 26And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, 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 father’s house, 28for 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.’ "

 

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1 Response to Sunday Luke 16:19-31

  1. Judith says:

    If it’s true that no one will be convinced even if someone rises from the dead, then why did Jesus bother to die for us? And why appear after his resurrection? Of course this can change people! It’s the hardened heart which refuses to soften (open) that condemns one to eternal life in hell. Rich and poor, in worldly goods, are equally likely to refuse to hear the Good News, just as both are equally likely to embrace it.

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