The text that Vern preached on this past Sunday is Luke 16:19-31. It is known as the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. You should read it and hear for yourself Jesus' storytelling mastery.
The gist is this: Lazarus is a beggar who sits at the gates of the rich man's estate. They both die. Lazarus goes to Abraham's bosom while the rich man goes to a place of torment. The rich man can see Lazarus and Abraham and begs for help. First, he begs for himself, that he would be comforted. Then he asks that someone would be sent to warn his brothers, so they would not endure the same fate as he. Both requests are denied and Abraham's quote at the end is, "If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead." (NIV, Luke 16:31).
This is a parable about money.
- Jesus knew the hearts of man (John 2:24-25) and...
- Jesus was speaking to his disciples as the "Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering..." (Luke 16:14).
There are two very important contrasts in this parable. The first and obvious choice is the rich man vs Lazarus. The second and often overlooked is the rich man and Abraham.
If we look only at the first set of characters in the parable, one could wrongly conclude that rich people are evil and go to hell and poor people will be comforted and go to heaven.
The problem is that the very man pictured in "heaven" with Lazarus is Abraham.
Abraham was very, very rich.
The famous maxim is wrong, "money is the root of all evil." The truth is, "the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil..." 1 Timothy 6:10
As you approach Thanksgiving this week and look forward to Christmas, what are some ways you can impress these things on your children?