Luke 16:19-31

During the season of Lent our devotions have been written by members of Faith Lutheran Church.  Today’s writer is Don Hodde.

“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores.

The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’

He said, ‘Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers—that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.’ Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’ He said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” Luke 16:19-31

I love bible stories like this one. There are so many lessons depending on the perspective you take.

For me, the first lesson is about justice and consequences. While being rich or poor doesn’t correlate with faith in God, it comes across here in verse 25 as if the rich man was distant from God on earth and that he had no need for God given all the good things he enjoyed in life. Lazarus maintained his faith in his God through all his turmoil in life on earth.

This story teaches there are consequences for choices we make in life including procrastination. The rich man found it easy to ignore God. Life was good! There would be time for God later.

In verse 29, Abraham’s message is clear: All have access to the teachings of Moses and the prophets. Take heed when you can! Then there is risk of obliviousness, arrogance, and the lack the willingness to learn.

In verse 31, Abraham tells the rich man if his relatives would not listen to Moses and the Prophets, then they probably wouldn’t listen to a dead beggar come back to life either!

Take time to listen and be open to different views. You might learn a life lesson. There are other interpretations and learning from this story. Our interpretations of bible stories deepen when we take time to read them more than once, and study them through life. Listening to sermons instills new thinking. Maturity changes our perspectives, what we hear, and what we learn. Simple stories written two thousand years ago can endlessly bring fresh insight and grow our faith.

Let us pray: Father in Heaven, you have provided a wealth of learning opportunity to us through your words to us in the bible, in Jesus name, Amen.

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2 Responses to “Luke 16:19-31”

  1. kirk Says:

    Anyone who would let a starving person suffer and die right in front of them could not be of God no way, A men

  2. kirk Says:

    very good devotion, A Men

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