Monday Reverb -26September2022


This week’s theme is God’s caring provision


In the keynote passage, Jesus gives the parable of Lazarus and Dives, showing how Lazarus was comforted and cared for by God in the next age.

The Heart That is Moved

Luke 16:19-23,24-26,27-31

19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20 and there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores21 and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom

24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. 

27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: 28 for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.  30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.  31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.  

Oscar Schindler was a German industrialist during World War 2. He was also considered a proud member of the Nazi party. But when he began to witness the plight of the Jews who were in concentration camps, his heart was moved with compassion.

He knew that he could not possibly save all the Jews, but he could save some. Schindler used his wealth and privilege as a respected member of the Nazi party to bribe the German prison officials. The bribes went towards releasing Jews to work for him at his factories. This compassionate act on the part of Schindler saved many Jews from death.

By the end of World War 2, Oscar Schindler had spent his entire fortune saving the lives of more than 1200 Jews. Here was someone who could not live with himself if he knew he had the opportunity to save others but chose to do nothing.

We may not have the finances or status that Oscar Schindler had, but what matters is where our hearts are.  Are we open to seeing to the needs around us when it is in our power to do so?  Do we have hearts that can be moved?

Today, we are going to look at a parable that Jesus aims at the Pharisees.  It’s a story about a man of great wealth and privilege.  But despite all his great resources, he chooses not to help someone in need, even though the opportunity was always at his doorstep.  And while this story is told to the Pharisees, may we have ears to hear it as well.

Read Luke 16:19-23,24-26,27–31   

Earlier in Luke’s Gospel we see Jesus telling several parables concerning finances and resources.  The parable just before this one was about the shrewd money manager.  Jesus is on a roll here and is having another go at the Pharisees, whom he has identified as greedy and lacking in compassion.

Jesus pulls no punches with this parable.  He sets up a story about two men who were polar opposites in their worldly circumstances.  The first man is described as someone who is extravagantly dressed and wasteful – a wealthy man, who tradition calls Dives, meaning “rich.”  The fact that Jesus gives the detail that he was dressed in purple shows that he was in the top tier of the population.  When Jesus says that Lazarus longed to eat the bread that fell from the rich man’s table, he was talking about the practice of the super wealthy using their bread as napkins to wipe their faces and discarding the crumbs.

Next, you have the beggar, Lazarus, who was laid at the rich man’s gate.  Being laid there more than likely meant that he was dumped there.  This indicates that he may have been crippled or suffered some disfigurement or disease.  In any case, he didn’t even have the strength to fight off the wild dogs as they came and licked his sores.

This pitiful and grotesque condition of Lazarus should have elicited a response out of even the most hard-hearted and greedy individual.  And yet, Dives ignores the suffering of someone at his lowest point as Lazarus lays there at his gate.

The disturbing picture that Jesus has just painted for the Pharisees was done to get a reaction—to cause them to feel outrage over the lack of compassion in the rich man. We read later that the lesson was lost on the Pharisees just as it was on Dives.

At this point let’s check in with how this parable makes us feel so far. Do we feel the outrage that Jesus intended? Are we tired of seeing the greed that causes so much harm to others? Are we responding to the needs around us when we are able to do so?

Owen Cooper was a chairperson for the Mississippi Chemical Corporation. He had amassed much in his lifetime. As he got older, he reflected on how he had lived his life. A friend asked him, “If you had your life to live over, what would you do? Here is an excerpt of his answer:

If I had my life to live over, I would love more, I would especially love others more. I would let this love express itself in a concern for my neighbors, my friends, and all with whom I came into contact. I would try to let love permeate me, overcome me, overwhelm me and direct me.

I would love the unlovely, the unwanted, the unknown and the unloved. I would give more and I would learn early in life the joy of giving, the pleasure of sharing, and the happiness of helping…

I would choose to go where the crowd doesn’t go, where the road is not paved, where the weather is bitter, where friends are few, where the need is great and where God is most likely to be found.

Let’s read on in Luke 16:

The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. (Luke 16:22-23)

Now we get to the part of the parable where everything is equal.  Death doesn’t play favorites; we are all taken at some point.  Lazarus and Dives are both in the place of the dead.  However, one person’s experience is that of comfort and relief and joy – paradise – and the other experiences the torment and misery of Hades.  The tables have been turned.  Now it is Dives who is separated from his life of ease and extravagance while Lazarus has been restored.

Any improvement in Lazarus’ situation would have been greeted with shouts of hallelujah.  It wouldn’t have taken much for him to feel relieved, to know that God has seen him.  The name Lazarus means He who The Lord helps.  

At the same time, Dives was so accustomed to having it all, that to take the slightest step down would have been unbearable.  To be stripped of all his wealth and privilege and to be on equal footing with everyone else would have been agonizing.

Despite the torment and agony that Dives is experiencing, he has still not had a change of heart.  This is evidenced by his unchanged attitude about Lazarus.

So he called to him, “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.” (Luke 16:24)

In verse 24, and again in verse 27, Dives pleads with Abraham to send Lazarus to do something for him — to serve him.  He still doesn’t understand the position that he is inHe still thinks that he is above everyone else, especially Lazarus, as if Lazarus should bow to the whims of Dives.  Dives has not humbled himself even in death.

Thomas Merton once wrote,

Our God also is a consuming fire.  And if we, by love become transformed into him and burn as he burns, his fire will be our everlasting joy.  But if we refuse his love and remain in the coldness of sin and opposition to him and to other men then will his fire (by our own choice rather than his) become our everlasting enemy, and Love, instead of being our joy, will become our torment and our destruction.

Let’s continue with the text:

But Abraham replied, “Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.  And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.” (Luke 16:25-26)

Abraham reminds Dives how different his life was from that of Lazarus.  The difference was more than what was seen on the outside.  The difference was the condition of their heartsThe real problem was not that Dives was wealthy, it’s that he refused to do anything with his wealth to aid others.   He had a life of opportunities and hoarded everything for himself.

The chasm that could not be crossed in Jesus’ parable was the condition of Dives’ unchanged, prideful heart.   When we ignore the suffering of others, our hearts become hardened.  As pitiful as Lazarus’ physical condition was, it was only physical.  But on the inside of Dives was a grotesque condition that was far worseIt was the condition of a greedy, unrepentant heart.

Although Jesus tells this parable to the Pharisees who were stuck in their greed, this parable has something to teach all of us.

Jesus, through his Spirit, is looking for open hearts – hearts that can be moved with compassion for others.  We have all been given gifts, resources, and opportunities. And this Spirit is always with us, longing to commit us to the acts of God directed towards others and to remind us of our temptation to center on self.

May we do what we can with what we have, to be able to share with those who have so little.  May we be reminded that when we have done something for the least of these, we are doing it to Christ.

Let us be warmed by the fire of God in our hearts as we seek to keep others warmed by that same fire.  We anticipate the joy that awaits us as we see others through the compassionate eyes of our Father in heaven.  We embrace the self-giving life of his son, Jesus.   And we submit to the guidance of the Holy Spirit who moves our hearts to serve those who are in need.


(6647) Don Moen When its all been said and done – YouTube







Master PT (



(6647) Worthy Is The Lamb – Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir – YouTube



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