Meditating the Word of God – 11th October
Today’s verse is from the Gospel according to Luke 16:29-31. The passage given below is from the three versions of the Bible.
Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ” (version NIV)
But Abraham said, They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear and listen to them. But he answered, No, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent (change their minds for the better and heartily amend their ways, with abhorrence of their past sins). He said to him, If they do not hear and listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded and convinced and believe [even] if someone should rise from the dead. (version AMPC)
Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. (version KJV)
If you read from a few verses earlier (verse 19 onwards) you can see that the rich man had a luxurious lifestyle of abundance, whereas Lazarus was in utter poverty. The rich man would come across Lazarus when he stepped out of his home through the gate. Thus, the rich man was aware of Lazarus. Most probably, he could even have noticed the plight of the poor man from his home. This is more likely, as it’s mentioned that Lazarus longed to eat what fell from Lazarus’s table.
The rich man also probably went to the temple and heard the readings of Moses and the Prophets and heard them expounded. But the option of living a charitable life, being considerate to the poor, widows and orphans was not chosen by the rich man during his lifetime.
Today, many Christians see suffering, poverty around us. But many of us are like the rich man, ignoring or being totally ignorant of the people suffering around us. Our lives on earth can end at any moment. Not choosing to practice what we read and hear from the Bible. We are self-absorbed to live a life of luxury and comfort without considering the poor.
The window of opportunity to do good is limited. Today is the day to show forth, express love in Jesus name, to take care of a poor relation, poor neighbour suffering, someone who needs a touch, a kind word, food, money.
Our Lord God has made all matters clear. He does not force us into choosing. Rather, he loves us to make a free choice, a free will to do actions which speak forth His love and kindness towards people around us.
In addition to seeing Lazarus regularly, the rich man knew Lazarus by name. The rich man was able to ask Abraham to send Lazarus to soothe his wound. Hence, does this scripture remind us of the need to be at least kind and loving to the surrounding people whom we know? Should we not be careful not to miss these golden opportunities?