The Parable of the Unjust Steward:
(Read Luke 16:1-18)
Jesus said you cannot serve two masters and warned us of being double minded. A rich man discovered wastefulness in his steward’s management and decided to dismiss him. To protect his future, the steward immediately wrote off some of the debt people owed. The rich man admired the dishonest steward for his shrewdness. Jesus said “Use your resources to store up rewards for you in heaven”. The main lesson in this parable is that we must use our resources and opportunity to serve Christ properly before death comes. This does not mean a man cannot be wealthy. We must value God’s Kingdom more important than anything else. What we love, we worship. This is not easy or popular idea. It reveals what we love and challenges us to consider our priority in life. The love of money is the root of all evil (1 Tim 6:10). God demands that everything should be subservient to Him. The Pharisees were lovers of money and wanted to look good in public. But Christ knew their evil hearts. What the world honors is an abomination in the sight of God. Until the coming of John the Baptist, the Old Testament saints had only the Law of Moses and prophets to guide them. In Christ, we have a new order and example to follow. Jesus corrected the Jewish practice of divorce and its misuse. To know more read notes on Matthew 19:1-9. “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries a divorced woman commits adultery” (Luke 16:18). Pray God to keep your heart captivated by his glory so that you desire him more than money.
The Rich Man and Lazarus:
(Read Luke 16:19-31)
This is the true account of a real history of two men, the rich man and Lazarus. The name Lazarus means “God helps”. Moses, Abraham and prophets were all real people. This story is used in a parabolic fashion to prove a main point. Jesus describes what took place after death in the case of two men for the moral benefit of his hearers. Abraham’s bosom is the picture of heaven. Jesus gives a glimpse of life in hell. It is a dark place of punishment. When Lazarus died, his soul went to be with the Lord (2 Cor 5:8). The soul of the rich man went to conscious torment because he was not saved. The resurrection reunites the body to the soul. Once a person dies, his eternal destiny is fixed (Heb 9:27). The hell is a place of flames, isolation and torment. Memory and regret of personality continue there even in the midst of untold anguish, misery and suffering. The rich man was in great agony in hell that he pleaded God to send Lazarus to dip his finger in water and cool his tongue. There was a great chasm separating them. Then the rich man said “Please send Lazarus to my five brothers to warn them about this place of torment. He wanted them to get saved before they die”. But God said “If they don’t hear Moses and the prophets, they won’t listen even if someone rises from the dead and warns them”. Our acceptance or rejection of Christ determines on which side of the divide we will spend our eternity. Pray that God would keep our hearts captivated by his glory to love him more. We can embrace gospel only as we ponder God's great love for us revealed in the Bible.