Sometimes I wonder whether Luke’s first readers ever tired of his endless attack on the rich.
In this reading the only reason Lazarus seems to ‘deserve’ to be carried by the angels to Abraham is that he was poor and suffered ‘evil things’ (v. 25).
The rich man’s situation seems to me to be more complex. Even in Hades where he was tormented he still seems to think of Lazarus only in terms of how he can be of use. He still does not seem to understand what equality with Lazarus might look like.
Also in the discussion between Abraham and the rich man it is implied that the rich man did not listen to ‘Moses and the prophets’. Clearly the rich man and Abraham (and Jesus of course as the teller of the story) all think that there is something very clear in ‘Moses and the prophets’ about this situation. I wonder if the rich man had listened to ‘Moses and the prophets’ what would have been different? What do Moses and the prophets teach us about sharing with the poor? What does that mean for us in our lives?
Clearly if we cannot hear the message of sharing with the poor from the Hebrew Bible we will not hear it even if someone rises from the dead. Now someone has risen from the dead – will we listen to Jesus’ plea?
25 September 2016
Luke 16: 19-end
This weekly blog on one of the lectionary readings is by Anne Claar Thomasson-Rosingh, Programme Leader for Lifelong Learning at Sarum College.