Humility; more parables; Pharisees reproved; rich man and Lazarus, the begger.
And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living (Luke 15:12-13).
Jesus illustrates two alternatives in life by first describing a self-centered prodigal son who demanded freedom from his father's authority.
This is the story of the human race. It is our fallen nature to be self-willed and self-sufficient, seeking to be independent from our loving God's authority. The prodigal son discovered that his father's compassion and love were far greater than he had realized. Every repentant sinner will also discover that the Heavenly Father, in love and compassion, is waiting to transform the wasted lives of all who come to Him.
Jesus then tells of another successful business man who never recognized he had wasted his life by becoming self-sufficient and complacent. After he died and found himself in hell . . . he cried and said, Father Abraham . . . send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame (16:23-24). Although the rich man was tormented in this flame, there is no indication that he was a wicked man. His sin was living to please self. He had fared sumptuously in life (16:29). He knew his brothers had also refused to believe the Scriptures, but he thought they would repent if Lazarus could return from the dead to warn them. Abraham's answer was brief, but clear: They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them (16:29). God, in love, has made the Scriptures sufficiently clear. But this man refused to believe that he was accountable to God his Creator.
All mankind, rich or poor, has one thing in common, death. The difference, at most, is but a few short years. The Son of Man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His Kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 13:41-42; 49-50;Revelation 20:9-15). For believers our brief life on earth is a time of preparation for an endless eternity with our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. For I have no man like minded, who will naturally care for your state (Phil. 2:20).
Thought for Today:
Do your personal interests crowd out devotion to our Lord Jesus Christ.
For Luke 16:15: See Prov. 21:2.
14:26 hate not . . ., all natural affections are to be as compared with the Christian's devotedness and love for Christ. Jesus clarified this when He said: Who is My mother? and who are My brethren? . . . For whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother (Matt. 12:48-50); 14:32 ambassage, delegation; 15:16 would fain, craved to; 16:11 unrighteous mammon, the use of your money in this world.
Pray for Government Official: Rep. Maurice D. Hinchey (NY) • Country: Belize (236,000) on the eastern coast of Central America • Major languages: English and Spanish • Religious freedom • 64% Roman Catholic; 26% Protestant; 2% spiritist/animist; 1% Hindu; 1% Muslim; 1% Baha'i • Prayer Suggestion: Pray and depend upon the Lord when in need for He will not forsake you (Is. 41:17).
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 139:16