But Abraham said, `They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, `No, father Abraham; but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, `If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead.'”Luke 16:29-31
The account of Lazarus and the rich man from today’s Gospel, Luke 16:1-31, is very rich in teaching.
Most Christians know and the story and perhaps the most profound teaching there is about generosity.
The rich man failed to be generous to Lazarus who was in need of his mercy, so when they both died, Lazarus received mercy and he didn’t.
As a kid, I often thought of the rich man as mean and stingy, until a priest gave another perspective and said maybe he wasn’t so much mean as he was complacent.
It could be that he was so full of himself and his pre-occupations that maybe he just never really cared to notice Lazarus.
Ah! That’s a jolting take.
Because most of us Christians don’t necessarily consider ourselves mean or stingy, but preoccupied and too busy to notice others in need, and help out, well that’s a different story.
I know I fall significantly into this category.
However today, I feel the urge to delve even deeper into the root cause of the rich man’s failure.
Abraham alludes to this in his conversation with the rich man when (referring to the rich man’s brothers) he says, “they have Moses and the prophets, let them listen to them.”
Then Abraham goes on to say, that if they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, neither would they listen if someone rises from the dead.
There are a couple of things to learn from Abraham’s message.
Abraham showed that the root cause of the rich man and his brothers failure was a lack of obedience to the Scriptures.
In this case Moses represented the 5 books of the Old Testament and the prophets, the rest of the Old Testament scriptures.
We recall Jesus was the One giving the message, so the New Testament as we know it now, did not exist then.
So for us as Christians the warning for us is to diligently study scriptures (Old and New Testaments) and do all that the LORD requires of us from His Word.
The other message from Abraham regarding one raised from the dead is very prophetic.
Here, the obvious person that comes to mind is Lazarus.
After all, Abraham was referring to the rich man’s request that Lazarus be raised from the dead to go and warn his brothers.
However Abraham points out that unbelief in the Word of God, won’t change hardened hearts even when someone is raised from the dead.
This prophecy was fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ.
The pharisees, scribes and rulers of the peoples who refused to believe the prophecies about Him in scriptures, still remained in unbelief after He was raised from the dead.
This is such a startling warning to us as believers as how dangerous it is, to disbelieve scriptures.
We cannot pick and choose as we please from the Word of GOD!
Sadly, this is the territory that most of us as believers in Jesus Christ are now in.
We choose and decide what part of scriptures fits in with our lifestyle and stick to those certain parts.
Anything else that is contrary or makes us uncomfortable we shove aside to the corner.
The Word of God is supposed to make us uncomfortable whilst at the same time bringing much comfort to us.
May God strengthen His Light in our lives and transform us with His glory and the humble gift of obedience.
Holy Father, we thank You for Your loving kindness and faithfulness towards us.
Youa are kind, gracious and merciful, full of goodness and loving in all Your ways towards us.
As we exalt You most High God, we ask that You instruct us in Wisdom and give us humble hearts that walk along Your path, steadfastly.
Let us not be like the mule or horse that requires a bridle to follow.
But trusting in Your great love for us and dwelling in the Power of Your Holy Spirit, let us rest and obey Your every word.
Thank You Father for the gift of Your Holy Scriptures.
In Jesus Name we praise and pray.
Always & Forever,
To the Lamb,
With all my ❤
12 Mar 2020