Luke 16:31, The Warning From Hell

“But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ”

//This line comes from the parable of Lazarus and the rich man. After life is over, Lazarus and the rich man both find themselves in Hades, separated by a chasm. Lazarus is stationed in a pleasant place, in the bosom of Abraham. The rich man, not so much. The rich man is in such torment that he asks Abraham to let Lazarus go up to the living world and warn his brothers about what will happen to them if they don’t learn to share their riches. Abraham says no, the brothers have Moses and the prophets to warn them. If they won’t listen to them, they wouldn’t be persuaded even if someone (meaning, Lazarus) came back from the dead.

The irony, of course, is that the parable does for us what it refuses to do for the rich man’s brothers. It warns us. But the presumption is the warning won’t help us; if we won’t listen when Moses and the prophets tell us how to care for the poor, we won’t be persuaded even if someone (this time meaning Jesus) comes back from the dead.

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