Luke 16:24

Exodus 24, Luke 16:19-31


Luke 16:24 (New International Version)

‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’


Actions speak louder than words and inaction can speak louder still. So reading this parable we might be drawn to what the rich man did and didn’t do. But let’s listen instead to what he says.

‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
Even in Hades, the rich man is thinking of himself. The selfishness so evident in his life on earth persists beyond the grave.

‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family…’
Here is the first hint that the rich man has any interest beyond himself – but it is limited to the sphere of his immediate family. And Lazarus? The rich man is expecting Lazarus to run here and there on errands for him.

‘No, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
The rich man has the nerve to gainsay Abraham and to imply that it is not his brothers’ fault that they do not repent.

The rich man’s words reveal his heart; a hard heart; a heart that was stony in life and little changed in death.

Lord Jesus, soften our hearts, that compassion might characterise all our words and actions.

 

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