每日诗歌: 耶和華你是我的神 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01ojW25Ou7s)
1 Samuel 25 [Read]
1 Samuel 26 [Read]
Luke 16:19-31 [Read]
Luke 16 presents to us two unique parables told by Jesus, and both of them invite questions and controversy. In the story about the shrewd manager, we wonder how our Lord can commend a corrupted, self-interest seeking housekeeper who lied for his own benefit. In the story about the rich man and Lazarus, we were puzzled, and some of us were even offended, when Jesus seemed to assume that all rich people go to hell. So, how are we to understand this difficult chapter?
Of course, the Bible teaches neither of those things. Foreseeing the possible misunderstanding, Luke immediately followed the first parable with other sayings of Jesus about the importance of being honest and trustworthy (16:10-12). They clearly hint that Jesus was commending something other than being dishonest. While for the rich man story, Abraham was a very rich man himself. Therefore, the false assumption against being affluent simply does not work.
So, is there a consistent point of teaching here? The key is right in the center of this chapter. Jesus told the money-loving Pharisees (16:14) that “what is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight” (16:15). Furthermore, the context of this saying is that “no servant can serve two masters…You cannot serve both God and money” (16:13). Jesus was not commending the way the shrewd manager handled his master’s money, but he wanted the “sons of light” to imitate his judgment between life and money. When it comes to eternal life whereabouts and present life wealth, there is no comparison. Jesus was not condemning the affluence of the rich man, but the Lord who gives eternal life valued compassion towards the poor much more than living in luxury everyday (16:19). Our eternal wellbeing is much more important than our present affluence. Men may value money highly for its power in this world and this life, but God detests such superficial view because the Kingdom of God is in our heart (17:21).
At the end, it’s a teaching about value system. You become what you worship. The aroma of your life is directly related to your value system, and the smell of money is no comparison with the fragrance of Christ. There is a deep chasm between the world and the Kingdom of God (16:26), and I pray that we all choose to be on the same side as Abraham. Amen.
Keep on reading,