#DailyDevotion So What Is The Rich Man & Lazarus About?
Luke 1629“ “They have Moses and the prophets,’ Abraham said. “They should listen to them.’ 30No, Father Abraham, he said, “but if someone comes to them from the dead, they’ll repent.’ 31“ ‘If they don’t listen to Moses and the prophets,’ he answered him, ‘they won’t be convinced even if someone rose from the dead.’”
So far we have meditated upon a couple of possible interpretations of this parable. Those however were not and are not the main point of the parable. So what is the point of the parable? Well there are actually two points. One is fairly immediate, the other won’t make sense unless we read the Gospel of John. Let us remember the context of this parable. The context actually start backs in chapter fifteen. The Pharisees and Scribes were upset because Jesus was eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners. As far as they were concerned, those people were going to hell and that was that. Then here in chapter sixteen the Pharisees turned their noses at Jesus and ridiculed him after the parable of the unjust steward because they were lovers of money. They believed those who were rich were blessed by God so they must not be sinners while those who were poor were cursed and must be sinners. So this parable of the rich man in torment and Lazarus in Abraham’s bosom must have been troubling.
While holding themselves out as teachers of the Law, the Torah, they didn’t actually keep it. Jesus points them to Moses and the prophets and how not a jot will be left void. Yet the Pharisees were trying to force themselves into the kingdom of God by making some parts of the Law harder than necessary and making other parts of the Law easier than what the Lord had commanded. To such unrepentant ones as the Pharisees who are represented as both the rich man and his brothers Jesus points to Moses and the prophets to where they can find salvation. In those text, if they would believe, they would find Jesus, the Lord, who saves them. No miracle Jesus had ever done would convince them unless they believed Moses and the prophets, which they did not do, even if someone were to rise from the dead.
We too only have the Scriptures—the Old and New Testaments. Peter declares them to be a more sure, certain, steadfast than even hearing the voice of the Father from the cloud and seeing Jesus transfigured before them in his glory. No miracle or sign will convince us, not even a someone rising from the dead.
Which brings us to the second point. Jesus says to the Pharisees, through his disciples, if they don’t believe he is the messiah, their savior, through Moses and prophets, if they won’t repent of their sins and believe through studying them, then they won’t repent even if someone rises from the dead. The Pharisees once asked Jesus to show them a sign. He told them only the sign of Jonah would be given. The sign would be the resurrection from the dead. First of Lazarus who was in the tomb four days and then Jesus who would be in the tomb for three.
When the sign of Jonah was given with Lazarus in the tomb for four days and he was raised whole, instead of repenting the Pharisees sought to kill Lazarus and Jesus. When Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day, instead of repenting and believing on Jesus they tried to cover it up, bribe the guards to tell a lie and persecute his disciples. Jesus, after his resurrection tells his disciples, Luke 2444“While I was still with you,” He said to them, “I told you that everything written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must come true.”
Repentance and faith is a gift from God we get from reading and hearing how the Scriptures point us to Jesus. The Spirit working through this word brings this about. His word alone is sure, certain and steadfast and you can trust what it says, particularly as it points you to Jesus.
Heavenly Father, always grant to us your Holy Spirit that we may understand the Scriptures, repent of our sins and have faith in your son Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.