Friday, January 20, 2012

A Morning Cup of Tea: the Rich Man and Lazarus

Good morning! Just a quick note about yesterday's appointment. For those who were praying for me, thank you. It went well and I am thankful my husband had the time off to be with me. He will pull a double shift today, but then he's off for the weekend and the three of us can be at worship on Sunday!
  Today we are finishing up chapter 16, beginning with verse 14. The Pharisees had heard Jesus' words about being friendly toward others and not being able to serve two masters, and derided Jesus about it. But Jesus had this to say to them:
15. And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth you hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
   Jesus reminded them that the law and the prophets were there until John came. Then began the teaching of the kingdom of God, and every man needed to hear this.  He also told them that whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery. And whoever marries the divorced woman commits adultery. 
  Then Jesus told the parable of Lazarus and the rich man. The rich man was clothed in purple--if Armani and other high price names had been around back this man would be wearing those labels. He ate sumptuously every day, never missed a meal.
  Meanwhile, Lazarus was a beggar at the rich man's gate. He hoped only to have the crumbs from the rich man's table to eat, and he had no one to care for him and dress his sores except the dogs who licked his sores.
  Both men died. The angels came and delivered Lazarus to Abraham's bosom, while the rich man was sent to hades. The rich man felt the fire and the heat and was very uncomfortable. He appealed to Abraham to send Lazarus to him, that he might wet the tip of his finger and cool the rich man's tongue a bit. Abraham told him no. The rich man knew only good things in his life; Lazarus had suffered greatly. Now Lazarus need not suffer any longer. Besides this, there was a huge chasm between hades and Abraham's bosom. No one could cross over from either side to the other.
  The rich man appealed to Abraham once more. Please send Lazarus to my father's house, he pleaded. I have five brothers who need to hear his message so they won't know torment like I do. Once again Abraham told the rich man no. They have Moses and the prophets. They should listen to them. The rich man said they wouldn't but surely they would listen to someone from the dead!. Abraham told the man that if his brothers would not hear the words of the prophets they would not hear anyone else, even if they had come from the dead.
  We are all given the opportunity to hear the word of God through the bible. Hopefully we do more than just hear or read the word--we heed it and try to live according to God's plan and to teach others. We each have that choice: to hear and do, or to reject. Ebeneezer Scrooge may have been persuaded by 4 ghosts to change his ways, but that is not the way real life works. 
  Have a wonderful day. 

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