Luke 16:29-31 (NIV) 29“Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ 30“‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31“He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'”
Jesus told a story of a rich man and a beggar named Lazarus. Both of them died. The rich man was in a place of torment and could see Abraham and the beggar. He asked Abraham to send Lazarus with water to relieve his thirst. Abraham said it was not possible. Then the rich man asked for Lazarus to be sent to his living brothers to warn them. Our passage today is Abraham’s reply.
They have something better than the words of a man returned from the dead. They have the Law and the prophets, the words from God that warn them. It is up to them to listen to those words. But the rich man kept pleading, insisting that someone from the dead would cause them to repent. Abraham said that they would not be convinced. If they can ignore the words of God, they can ignore or excuse a person coming to them from the dead.
It is interesting that Jesus called the poor man Lazarus, for in the future Jesus was going to raise a man named Lazarus from the dead. There were those who witnessed that event that went straight to the religious leaders. Those leaders would be determined to kill Jesus because of that miracle. Then, after Jesus rose from the dead, they still refused to believe. The Law and the prophets predicted all this, but they refused to believe them and the One who was resurrected. When Jesus told the story it must have seemed incredulous that people would not believe a person who had returned from the dead, and yet in a short time it came to pass. Man has the ability to justify anything in his own mind. We can convince ourselves not to believe. One has returned from the dead, the Victor over death. Have you allowed yourself to be convinced? The rich man said it would cause his brothers to repent.
Consider: Does resurrection convince you so that your life is changed?
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