What a great weekend! My parents came down (a semi-business trip for my Dad), and it was great to spend time with them. They took me shopping, too, which was very much appreciated! I have food now! 🙂
My apartment is beginning to look “put together.” I bought some artwork yesterday to create an Italian themed kitchen–very excited about that!
Church today was great…our worship team was right on musically today, which of course helps the congregation to worship… And, once again, the Lord took a very familiar passage of scripture and made it completely new to me. I was amazed, and I want to share with you the “revelation” that was given. If you’d already known this, it’s good review anyway! 🙂
We were reading from Luke 16:19-31, which is the story of the Rich Man and the Beggar (Lazarus). The first thing Pastor Tom pointed out was that Jesus starts this parable differently than His other parables. Instead of saying that “life is like…” or “it’s as if…”, He begins by saying that “There was a rich man…” My pastor suggested that perhaps this was a historical story–about someone that Jesus knew (since He is God and all)…I had NEVER noticed that! It’s an interesting point to ponder!
But that is NOT the revelation I am talking about in this post, so we’ll move on. 🙂
To summarize the story, the rich man had many luxuries, and never shared them with Lazarus, a beggar who sat outside his gate each day. The rich man was selfish, greedy, etc. They both died, and Lazarus was taken to heaven while the rich man went to hell. He looked up and saw Lazarus with Abraham, and he asked Abraham to have Lazarus dip his fingers into water and drip some water onto the rich man’s tongue.
Abraham said that was not possible because of the chasm that exists between the two places, which makes it impossible for people to travel between the two. He also says that Lazarus is now receiving his blessings, and that the rich man received his on earth.
This is where my eyes were opened…
“[The rich man] answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’
‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'” (Luke 16:27-31)
This parable was more than likely told a year before Jesus would travel back to Jerusalem for the final time. He was, I’d assume, aware of His destiny by this time…
And before today, I hadn’t really thought much about the deeper meaning of this parable. I can’t honestly tell you what I used to think it meant, because today it was made SO clear!
If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.
“Abraham” in this parable wasn’t just talking about Lazarus rising from the dead! He was talking about JESUS!!
The religious leaders had ALL the evidence in the Torah and in the books of the law…the Prophets had foretold of Jesus’ coming, but they didn’t listen. He fulfilled all the prophecies, but they made excuses…
They saw miracles…they saw blind men see, they saw lepers cured, they saw lame men walk again. They saw 5,000 men (not even including the women and children) fed with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. And they didn’t listen.
And even when Jesus rose from the dead, they didn’t listen.
They were not convinced…and they still aren’t today.
So often we ask for a miracle, we ask for a sign…but, this verse implies that even if we did have signs, we wouldn’t believe. We’d explain the miracle, or we’d come up with excuses…leaving God behind… Unless people realize that the Bible is the Word of God, and they believe in the messages therein, they would never believe just because someone rose from the dead and told them that it was true.
I just wanted to share. It seriously was like this lightbulb appeared above my head today as we were reading this passage. God placed this revelation inside my heart, giving me something new to ponder…I LOVE how He does that!
Off to Ontario to see my dear friend Cara! May your day be blessed!