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Luke 16 English Standard Version (ESV)
The Rich Man and Lazarus
19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried,23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”
- On a scale of one (the rich man and his brothers, being in Hades, or on the way there) to ten (Lazarus, with Abraham, and God), where do you stand? Why do you place yourself there? In the context of this story, there is no “in between”. There is only either where the rich man is, or where Lazarus is. How does this make you feel? How does this reflect your understanding/belief of Hell?
- The problem of the rich man and his brothers is not lack of knowledge of God’s word, for they have Moses and the Prophets’ teachings. Part of their problem lies in unbelief. They would not respond to the Word of God, “to Moses and the Prophets”. They simply would not be convinced. Do you have that tendency?
- Meditate on v31, read it over a couple of times. What about you? Do you listen to God’s word? Are you convinced of it? Do you show your faith by your obedience?
- Does this story inspire you to be concerned of your unbelieving family members and friends? Write their names down and pray for them one by one that they would be willing to hear the gospel and accept Jesus as their Lord and saviour. (You may use the prayer for unbelievers in yesterday’s reflection as a guide.)