Scripture: Luke 16:19-31
Let’s sum up, then, the two parables of the chapter. In verses 1-13 Jesus told a parable to make the point that we should use our money shrewdly—not as the world counts shrewdness, but shrewdly for the advancement of the gospel in the lives of more and more people so that they will receive us into eternal habitations (v. 9). Money is a test of our faithfulness to God: if we don’t use it in a way that shows God is more precious than things, then verse 11 says there is no reason to think that we will ever be entrusted with the true riches of heaven. The use of money can make or break your eternal destiny.
To this kind of teaching the Pharisees respond with scoffing in verse 14. Why? Because they are lovers of money and they see in Jesus a threat to the way they live. So in this text the love of money is the root cause of why they will not receive Jesus for who he really is.
Then Jesus tells another parable in verses 19-31 with basically the same point. If we use our money to fatten our cushions instead of seeking every way possible to invest in the hope of others, then we will go to the place of torment. And if our love for money and things is so deep that the writings of Moses and the prophets of God do not change our values, then we will not be changed even if Jesus Christ should rise from the dead. We will not receive him for who he really is.
So now we go back to our question: How must the heart be prepared to receive Christ for who he really is? The answer from today’s text is that the heart must be freed from the love of things—the love of money.