Scripture: Luke 16:19-31
In verses 19-31 Jesus tells another story about money. Verse 19 presents us with a rich man who used his money to put the finest clothes on his back and the finest foods on his table every day—”clothed in purple and fine linen and feasting sumptuously every day.”
In verses 20-21 we meet a poor man with a disease of sores. He lay at the gate of the rich man where he would be seen each day as the rich man went in and out. All he wanted was to eat what was left over from the rich man’s table. He was so destitute that dogs licked his sores.
Then (in v. 22) the inexorable end comes to both, as it will to every one of us: they die. The poor man goes to paradise where Abraham is. The rich man goes to Hades where there is fire and torment.
Then the rich man calls out in verse 24, “Father Abraham!” In other words, this man is a Jew. And his Jewishness has not saved him. Do you remember what John the Baptist preached in Luke 3:8-11?
Bear fruits that befit repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our father,” for I tell you, God is able from these stone to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire . . . He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none.
So the rich man in the parable is one of those who presumed to say, “I am secure as a child of Abraham.” But he bore no fruit that befits repentance, he shared no food, no clothes, and the axe fell and now he’s in hell. And this is no doubt the very mockery that that the Pharisees threw back at Jesus in verse 14: “We are the children of Abraham! Don’t threaten us that the use of our money might change our eternal destiny.”