Tuesday 3 December, 2019
19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ 25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ 27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 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.’”
Here Jesus does something really unusual – he speaks the gospel in reverse. He tells us, the readers, what is required for eternal life in heaven – repentance (v30). And this is told from the perspective of someone who has chosen in his lifetime NOT to repent.
But what is repentance? How can we know we have repented properly or genuinely or enough?
Verse 31 gives us a clue – again from the negative. It’s the rich man’s brothers who continue to refuse God. They kept saying no to God.
Repentance is changing my “no” to a “yes”. It’s saying…”I used to say no to you God but now I say yes.” Not a partial yes – like some parts of my life are off-limits. This is a full yes. This is Everything.
Lord I repent anew today. You offered up your life to save me, it’s only right I offer up my life to you in return. I offer you my yes. Amen
Written by Boudy Van Noppen
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