Thursday, December 13, 2012

Luke 16

This chapter begins with the very odd story of the dishonest manager. The manager is a cheat and a scoundrel, yet Jesus uses him as a positive example. The example (and what is usually missed) is that cheaters and scoundrels are shrewd dudes with what they have. We who are followers of Christ need to use the resources God has poured into our lives resources to make a difference in this world and the kingdom of heaven . . . we should approach our spiritual destiny with the same level of shrewdness. The key here is verse 10 "whoever is faithful in very little is faithful also in much and whoever is dishonest in very little is dishonest also in much." If we can't be trusted to use our money and resources faithfully we will never be trusted with "true riches!"

The Rich man and Lazarus (19ff) is all about the sin of indifference. The rich man never actually abuses Lazarus, he does not kick him, he does not sick the dogs on him, he does not begrudge the crumbs of bread that are Lazarus' livelihood. The Rich man simply ignores the destitution of the man sitting at his gate. The points Jesus makes at the end are not intended to give us a glimpse into heaven and hell (rich man in torment Lazarus in "Abraham's bosom"), rather, as with all Parables we have to look for the central theme and point. Here is is pretty simple: "if they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead (31)." Jesus tells this story against the Pharisees and Scribes who believe they have it all figured out and are "in love with wealth." One's wealth will not secure a place in eternity.

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