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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

Looking Down My Nose

Luke 16:19-31

Psalm 78:2 I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old—

Today we take a turn away from the prophecy of healing the lame and blind to look at another prophecy about Jesus, that He would tell stories to help people know the truth.

Like all parables, today’s story isn’t a real story though it is based on things that the people would understand. For example some parables use farming which was a widely known thing of that day. We have two men in this parable and we will take a quick look at both of them so that we can have the full picture that Jesus was trying to help His listeners see. Let’s start with the rich man.

The rich man had everything he wanted and then some. It didn’t matter how rich the man was, his life was not eternal and the day came where he died and went to spend eternity in the place of constant torture. The wealthy man doesn’t seem to regret where he is at nor seems to grasp that he isn’t in a position of power any longer. One of the first things he does is ask Abraham, who is in heaven, to send Lazarus to bring him some cold water to moisten his mouth. He still thinks he has the right to order the poor man around. The rich man doesn’t seem to understand that his status was flipped from the man that he despised. When Abraham tells him that he had received comforts in his earthly life that Lazarus didn’t, the rich man makes another request of Lazarus. He asks that the poor man be sent back to his humble means on earth so that he can warn the rich man’s relatives. The rich man is only concerned about everyone doing his bidding. Even his request about his family was not a matter of a repentant heart, he just wanted heaven for his loved ones because he saw it was richer.

The rich man didn’t think the man sitting at his gate in the earthly life deserved anything from him because the rich man would have seen him as unclean. Those sores and the crippled nature of his legs would have had Lazarus viewed as cursed by God. Jesus had someone in mind when telling this story. He saw how the Pharisees thought of themselves as higher than the “regular” Jewish people and definitely more than the Gentiles. The Pharisees missed the whole point of Jesus redemption mission. For them it was all about getting the best of whatever God had to offer, even if that meant casting out who they thought were undeserving.

Making It Personal

Are there people in your life that you feel aren’t worthy of the Gospel? Why do you feel superior to them? Who do you need to reach out to with the love of Christ?

Making It Personal Kids

Do you have people that you don’t treat very nice because they are different than you? Would Jesus treat them differently? Who do you need to reach out to with the love of Jesus?

Closing Prayer

Father, forgive us for looking down on others because they don’t fit in our mold of who should be allowed into heaven. Give us a heart for the lost that matches Yours instead of the Pharisees. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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