God’s Word of Wisdom
Luke 16:14-31: Jesus upbraids the Pharisees for their hypocritical behavior. The parable of the rich man and Lazarus is designed to teach about having compassion for the poor.
Some Sayings of Jesus
(Matthew 11.12,13; 5.31,32; Mark 10.11,12)
14When the Pharisees heard all this, they made fun of Jesus, because they loved money. 15Jesus said to them, “You are the ones who make yourselves look right in other people’s sight, but God knows your hearts. For the things that are considered of great value by people are worth nothing in God’s sight.
16 “The Law of Moses and the writings of the prophets were in effect up to the time of John the Baptist; since then the Good News about the Kingdom of God is being told, and everyone forces their way in. 17 But it is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the smallest detail of the Law to be done away with.
18 “Any man who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery; and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
The Rich Man and Lazarus
19“There was once a rich man who dressed in the most expensive clothes and lived in great luxury every day. 20There was also a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who used to be brought to the rich man’s door, 21hoping to eat the bits of food that fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs would come and lick his sores. 22The poor man died and was carried by the angels to sit beside Abraham at the feast in heaven. The rich man died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, where he was in great pain, he looked up and saw Abraham, far away, with Lazarus at his side. 24So he called out, ‘Father Abraham! Take pity on me, and send Lazarus to dip his finger in some water and cool off my tongue, because I am in great pain in this fire!’ 25But Abraham said, ‘Remember, my son, that in your lifetime you were given all the good things, while Lazarus got all the bad things. But now he is enjoying himself here, while you are in pain. 26Besides all that, there is a deep pit lying between us, so that those who want to cross over from here to you cannot do so, nor can anyone cross over to us from where you are.’ 27The rich man said, ‘Then I beg you, father Abraham, send Lazarus to my father’s house, 28where I have five brothers. Let him go and warn them so that they, at least, will not come to this place of pain.’ 29Abraham said, ‘Your brothers have Moses and the prophets to warn them; your brothers should listen to what they say.’ 30The rich man answered, ‘That is not enough, father Abraham! But if someone were to rise from death and go to them, then they would turn from their sins.’ 31But Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone were to rise from death.’”
Today’s Key Verse: Luke 16:15b
[Jesus said:] “The things that are considered of great value by people are worth nothing in God’s sight.”
When the Pharisees are described as those who “love money” (verse 14), it is because they neglected the poor for the sake of their own social status. In Jesus’s day, some people thought that the life to come would be like a banquet that God would give for them; Abraham would be the most important person there and the guest of honor would be seated next to him. What happened to the rich man? What happened to Lazarus? What did the rich man ask of Abraham? What can you learn from this parable?
Holy and compassionate God, teach me your ways and help me not to ignore the needs of others. You know my heart, O God; may I be obedient to your Word. Amen.
Luke 17:1-10: Jesus teaches about sin, forgiveness, faith, and service.