116. The rich man and Lazarus- Luke 16:19-31
-At this point another story is related by Jesus to His listeners with significant afterlife doctrine. The point of the teaching revolved around wealth and the comfort of this life with an eternity of torment compared to the comfort of God in eternity to those enduring pain and suffering in this earthly life. A couple of points need to be made here. First, Jesus teaches a literal place of paradise with an ongoing existence along with the saints of old. There is also a literal place of torment reserved for those who do not trust in the Lord and His salvation. Jesus’ point here is that the rich man rejected God’s goodness and salvation and was buried separated from the love of the Savior. The angels carry those who die in God’s grace to His Kingdom in Heaven, but for those separated from Him there is a great chasm that cannot be crossed. This is a place of agony and eternal suffering, where no one would ever desire to be. *Application* I’ve heard people say, “I want to go to hell cause that’s where all my friends and family will be.” This is skewed thinking and just doesn’t match up with the reality that we see here in this Scripture. The last thing this man would want is for others in his family, that he is close to, to be in this horrible environment. In fact he would do anything to keep them out of this place. Hell will not be a place of community and any type of socializing. Therefore, just because someone you may know or love has ended life without saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and is destined for hell is no reason for you not to receive salvation and redemption. In paradise, Christ will wipe away every tear and there will be no more mourning (Revelation 21:4). Those in this place of torment would desire to see you in Heaven.
-Secondly, Jesus tells His listeners that everything needed for salvation is in the Word of God. It, Scripture, is sufficient to save the soul. Jesus is plainly speaking of the Old Testament here to these Pharisees and disciples. The New Testament had not even been written yet. *Application* Moses and the Prophets are enough for us to learn the mysteries of God and come to Him (Colossians 1:25-2:3). They speak of the Messiah Jesus who would come and die for the sins of mankind giving us forgiveness of sin and complete cleansing in the eyes of the Lord to the repentant ones with faith.
Verse to Memorize- Luke 16:31
117. Woe to those who cause others to stumble- Matt. 18:6-7, Luke 17:1-4
-Now the theme of stumbling blocks (people that cause others to do wrong, Jesus is primarily speaking of the false religious teachers more than likely here) is discussed by Jesus with a warning that it is inevitable that they come. There doom is fatal and certain and there is clear warning for them not to do what they do in leading little children astray. *Application* It always grieves my spirit to hear of parents, leaders, and teachers of the young who do not use their influence in a Godly way. In fact the news is filled with horrific crimes that are committed against the young and innocent almost constantly. Take this warning seriously. You have a part in training up the next generation. They will stumble if you neglect the Lord’s command.
-The warning against being a stumbling block is to be on guard. “If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him (Luke 17:3).” Even if it is seven times a day that he does you wrong, but returns in repentance, forgive him (Luke 17:4). *Application* How hard it is to rebuke another in this day and age, especially when that person may be in authority over you in some way. We are instructed to rebuke older people gently by the Scriptures (1 Timothy 5:1), and any rebuke should be done for correction and restoration. It is to be done in love and as many times as needed as we see here in this passage. We are to have a forgiving and compassionate spirit like our Father in Heaven in these matters for peace and reconciliation.
Verse to Memorize- Luke 17:3
118. Healing of the ten lepers- Luke 17:11-19
-While on the way to Jerusalem passing between Galilee and Samaria, Jesus encountered ten lepers who were begging for mercy and healing. He sent them to priests to show themselves clean as prescribed by the Law. As they went they were cured and cleansed. Only one man, who was a despised Samaritan, returned to give Jesus thanks and worship. The Christ took notice of this and told the man to stand up and go; His faith had made him well (literally “saved you”). *Application* We see the importance of life saving faith and the giving of thanks here in this passage. Be a grateful person for all God’s good and perfect gifts coming down as the Father of lights (James 1:17).
Verses to Memorize- Luke 17:18-19