The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus


rich man and lazarus

In these tough economic times panhandling is a common scene. Visit any sizable city and it seems there is someone on every corner asking for money. No doubt, a few desperately need help; nevertheless the majority of panhandlers are taking advantage of the generosity of others. It is enough to make you numb to the problem of poverty and thus help no one. Worse yet, we could begin to think of ourselves as superior people because we are not like the poor person holding the sign. Our Lord told a parable of a rich man who whose heart was numb to the plight of a panhandler. In this passage Jesus challenged the conventional thinking of His day regarding riches and poverty and in the process taught His disciples the importance of using money to aid the poor.

Our parable[i] is set within the context of our Lords’ teaching on the use of riches and the Pharisees’ ridiculing of His instructions. Following the Lost Parables (Luke 15:1-32), Luke recorded the parable of the Unjust Steward and its accompanying principles governing the way disciples viewed and used material possessions (16:1-13). In summary, Jesus taught that we love and serve God, and use money in this life to make friends in eternity. However, “the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things and they ridiculed Him” (16:14). The underlying problem of the Pharisaical system was that they were seeking approval from “men” rather than God (16:15). Their standard of righteousness was based on outward appearances others could evaluate; thus, in their hearts they loved money more than God (16:15a; cf. Luke 20:47). Therefore, in vv. 16-18, our Lord accused those who prided themselves as keepers of the law with being its corrupters. They had created loopholes in the Law which enabled them to fulfill their sinful desires, cases in point: marriage, divorce, and what constituted adultery (16:18). The Pharisees had corrupted God’s law to the point that their righteous-cloaked greed was exalted among men; nevertheless it was “an abomination in the sight of God” (See Jesus’ rebuke of the practice called Corban; Mark 7:10-13). Our Lord’s swift two-point rebuke set the stage for the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus.

The Lord begins with a vivid picture of “a certain rich man” (16:19) who lived in lavish opulence. He wore luxurious “purple” robes; even his undergarments were made of “fine linen” and his life consisted of “feast[ing] sumptuously every day” on the finest of foods. In the mind of the Pharisees this man’s riches proved he was righteousness (cf. Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Psalm 37:25; Proverbs 13:22). So entrenched was this belief, that when Jesus taught on the difficulty “a rich person” would have entering the kingdom of God, the astonished disciples asked, “Then who can be saved?” (Luke 18:25-27).

Outside the rich man’s gate was “a poor man named Lazarus” whose body was “covered with sores” (16:20) and who lived daily on the brink of starvation. From where he laid, he could have smelled the delicious foods and heard the revelry from the daily feast. His only desire was “to be fed with” the crumbs that “fell from the rich man’s table,” and yet the rich man and his guests repeatedly ignored him (16:21a). “But instead the dogs would come and lick his sores” (16:21b HCSB), providing Lazarus his only earthly relief[ii]. In the eyes of the Pharisees, and popular culture, Lazarus was getting what he deserved because sickness and poverty were viewed as divine judgments for sinfulness (cf. Deuteronomy 28:15-68; John 9:2, 34). In light of his plight, Lazarus’ name seemed a mockery; “He whom God helps” appeared to be he whom God has abandoned.

In the process of time, both the rich man and Lazarus died. In a Pharisaical frame of mind, the eternal destinies of these two men were fixed. The rich man would carry on his festive lifestyle in the presence of Abraham, while Lazarus’ torturous sufferings would continue in Hades. However, Jesus completely reversed the conventional expectations, thus dramatically illustrating His words, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God” (16:15).

“The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s side” (16:22a). Death brought an end to Lazarus’ suffering. Too poor for a funeral, his hollow body of skin and bones would have been dumped in a potter’s field, quickly forgotten by all who knew him. Yet, unseen to human eyes, “He whom God helps” was quickly escorted by the angels to Abraham’s side. The phrase, “Abraham’s side” (ESV) or “bosom” (KJV) denotes closeness and honor in a meal setting (ref. John 13:25; 21:20; cf. Matthew 8:10-12; Luke 13:28-30). In life, Lazarus was a sick, starving beggar who lived outside the rich man’s gate; in eternity he was on the inside as an honored guest at the table of Abraham. The words of the Psalmist sum up his life: “This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles” (Psalm 34:6).

“The rich man also died and was buried” (16:22b). His life of ease, comfort and pleasure suddenly ended. His riches would have afforded him a grand funeral, yet from a divine perspective it was not worth mentioning. On the other side of the grave, the rich man found himself in the hellish torment of Hades. From there “he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side” (16:23). In life he had not used his wealth to aid the poor, thus he had no friends to receive him in the eternal dwelling (16:9). He had callously hidden his eyes to the plight of poor Lazarus; consequently, he would suffer eternal curses (ref. Proverbs 28:27).

From the flames of torment the rich man “called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me” (16:24a). The unsympathetic rich man was now the beggar pleading for mercy and, in a way, seeking to become “He whom God helps.” He appealed to Abraham based on their kinship (16:24, 27, 30), however, his relationship to the patriarch had not guaranteed his salvation, nor would it ensure him minimal comforts (cf. John 8:31ff). He entreated Abraham to send “Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue” pleading, “for I am in anguish in this flame” (16:24). Despite their relationship and the rich man’s suffering, he received no comfort. “Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all of this,” Abraham added, “between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us” (16:25-26). Just as Lazarus was refused help from the rich man’s table, the rich man was refused help from Abraham’s table.

Rebuffed, the rich man pleaded, “Then I beg you, father, send him to my father’s house – for I have five brothers – so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment” (16:27-28). Since his eternal state was fixed, perhaps he thought he could change the course of his brothers’ lives. In a figurative sense, the rich man’s brothers were the Pharisees who were listening to this parable. Presumably, the five brothers lived lives of luxury just as he had and yet he realized that one can gain the whole world but lose his own soul (ref. Luke 9:25). Again, Abraham was not persuaded to grant his request, “They have Moses and the Prophets,” he said, “let them hear them” (16:29). To “hear” means to listen and obey. The rich man’s brothers, and the Pharisees they represented, had ample information to reform their lives. Countless passages in the Old Testament called for Jews to compassionately use their wealth to alleviate the plight of the poor. Deuteronomy 15:11 summarizes those instructions, “For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’” Also, the prophet Amos bluntly described the judgment of God against the rich of Israel who, at the expense of the impoverished, lived indulgent lives (ref. Amos 4:1-3; et. al). Furthermore, even the Proverbs spoke of the blessedness of aiding the poverty-stricken (ref. 19:17; 22:9; 28:27; 29:7). Though the Pharisees had ignored God’s word regarding the use of their riches to help the poor, these instructions still stood and they would ultimately be judged by them (16:15-18).

Amazingly, the rich man sought to correct Abraham’s assessment of his brothers’ situation. He knew too well that they would require something more than scripture. “No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent” (16:30). Ironically, no one listened to Lazarus’ pleas for help in life, but the rich man was sure they would heed him in death. Abraham replied, “If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead” (16:31). Abraham pointed out the brothers’ refusal to repent was the result of hard hearts toward God and His word, which no supernatural event would cure. With these words, our Lord ended His parable.

I often picture Jesus walking away at this point, leaving the Pharisees alone to fume over what He had said, shocked by the dramatic and unexpected turn of events. Not only had this seemingly righteous man been sentenced to a life of eternal torment, but his own patriarch refused his request for mercy. In dramatic fashion, our Lord drove home the consequences of seeking the approval of men and ignoring divine teachings, especially on the proper use of wealth in aiding the poor.

The great lesson taught in this parable is timeless and foundational to the faith: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27). This love is expressed by obeying the Lord’s commands to help the poor, cheerfully supplying the needs of one’s deprived neighbors (cf. James 2:14-17; 1 John 3:17-19). Scripture nowhere teaches that being well off is sinful. Rather, our Lord, through this and other passages, sounded a note of warning concerning the “deceitfulness of riches” (Matthew 13:22). Paul’s exhortation in 1 Timothy 6:17-19 is an excellent summary of our Lord’s teachings and a fitting conclusion to our study: “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God…They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” 

A shorten form of this article appears in the August issue of Biblical Insights.


[i] Some debate surrounds the question of whether or not this is a parable or a factual story. Generally, those who believe this passage relates the events of a true-life story base their argument on two facts. First, they say, since this story is not introduced as a parable is should be views as a factual story. However, three other stories in Luke’s gospel are not introduced as parables but are recognized as such: The Good Samaritan (10:30-37); The Great Banquet (14:12-24); and The Unjust Steward (16:1-8) and several others. Therefore, just because a parable lacks a formal introduction that alone does not disqualify it as being a parable. The second reason put forth for why this is not a parable is that the poor man has a name, Lazarus. This fact is seen as significant since no other character in our Lord’s parables is provided a proper name. However, this argument fails to take into account the meaning Lazarus’ name and how it fits into the context of the parable itself, something that we will do in our study. But, someone might ask, “Why does it matter whether this is a parable or a factual story?” They would be right; ultimately it does not matter so long as the central message of this story is kept in context. Nevertheless, it has been my experience that those who are adamant about calling this a factual story do so in order to discuss, as they call it, the intermediate state of the dead and tragically ignore the powerful message our Lord taught about riches and helping the poor. Throughout this study I will refer to this story as a parable.

[ii] Commenting on v. 21, Robert’s Word Pictures states: “Moreover, even the dogs” (alla kai hoi kunes). For alla kai see also Luke 12:7; 24:22. Alla can mean either “moreover,” though it often means “but.” Here it depends on how one construes Luke’s meaning. Additionally, in his book, Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes (Downers Grove, IVP), pp. 385-386, Kenneth Bailey provides three reasons why the licking of the dogs should be viewed as a compassionate , especially in contrast to the Rich Man’s uncompassionate actions. First, he states alla should be translated as “but instead” thus forming a contrast with the rich man. He continues to state that in the Greek this contrast is clearly seen and important to the story. Second, he cites a Harvard study to show that dog saliva contains helpful antibodies that facilitate healing. Third, somehow the ancients knew this and a major healing temple was present in the ancient city of Ashkelon. There archaeologist have unearthed over 1,300 dog skeletons used in the temple. This would also explain the prohibition of Deuteronomy 23:18 which forbade the worshiper from bringing “the wages of a dog” into the temple treasury. In the ancient world dogs were not kept as pets but where used for idolatrous healings. Therefore, since, as RWP points out, the language of the verse does not force one to accept the dog’s licking of Lazarus sores increased his pain and suffering, I’m inclined to accept Bailey’s explanation.

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Go Be Merciful – The Go Statements of Jesus


Christianity is a doing religion. We are not saved in order to become statues in a museum; rather, we are saved to become active doers of God’s will in this world (ref. James 1:22). It should be no wonder then, that our Lord so often commanded those who would be His followers to “Go!” and do something.

So far we have considered four of our Lord’s “Go!” statements, “Go Be Reconciled – “Go In Peace” – “Go And Tell” – “Go And Learn” and “Go And Surrender.”  In today’s lesson we will explore the application of “Go Be Merciful” from Jesus’ interaction with an unnamed religious lawyer from Luke 10:25-37.

As our Lord was rejoicing with the disciples over their successful missionary trip (ref. vv. 17-24), Luke says, “Behold, a lawyer stood up to put Him to the test, saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’” (v. 25). The lawyer was one who was supposedly an expert in the Law of Moses. The unnamed man raised a very good question; however, as Luke indicates, his motives were less than sincere.

Rather than answer his question directly, no doubt our Lord knew this was a test (cf. Luke 9:47; 11:17), Jesus skillfully posed a second question, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” (v. 26). In essence, couplet of questions means, “What does God’s word say? And what does it mean?” The lawyer quickly answered back, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all you mind, and your neighbor as yourself’” (v. 27).

In summary form, the lawyer quoted a synopsis of the Law by combining: Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18. Some believe this was a commonly used summation; in fact, on another occasion, Jesus Himself summed up the old covenant in the same way (ref. Matthew 22:34-40).

Of course, it is one thing to interpret God’s word correctly, it is another to internalize and perform it. Thus, the Lord approved of the lawyer’s representation of the Law, “You have answered correctly,” (v. 28a), but He also counseled him to practice what he knew to be true by adding, “do this and you will live” (v. 28b). In other words Jesus said, “Good. Follow your own advice and you will have eternal life.”

“But [the lawyer], desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” (v. 29). For a second time in this exchange, the lawyer’s less than sincere motives are revealed (ref. v. 25). His follow-up question implied that the obligation to love one’s neighbor was not as clear as Jesus might have made it appear. You can almost hear him say, “One must be careful with such things. You wouldn’t want to be guilty of loving someone who is not your neighbor.”

The popular teaching of the day was, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy” (Matthew 5:43; cf. Psalm 139:21-22). Certainly, the lawyer would apply neighborly status to fellow Jews, but then again not to every Jew (cf. Luke 5:30; 19:7). Thus, he used the Law concerning love for neighbor as a means to draw lines of distinction, but for the Lord, its actual purpose was to break down any distinctions that a person might seek to make. So, to correct the lawyer’s misguided understanding, Jesus told one of His most famous parables, the parable of the Good Samaritan.

The winding seventeen mile road between Jerusalem and Jericho served as the setting of the Lord’s true-to-life story. It was a notoriously dangerous road, lined with rocky crags from which robbers and bandits easily preyed on lone travelers. Nevertheless, a certain man traveled this way going from Jerusalem to Jericho and predictably, “he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead” (v. 30).

Although one might assume that the victim was Jewish, Jesus does not name or otherwise identify the man’s ethnicity or religious affiliation. Therefore, unidentifiable by either speech or clothing, the half-dead man (quite literally) stripped down to a mere human being in need. This lone fact will create the tension that is at the heart of this parable.

“Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side” (vv. 31-32). Briefly, the Lord described the first two people on the scene.

On that day, there just so happened to be a priest and a Levite traveling on the same course. Each in his turn, came upon the unidentified victim, “saw” his injured state, but offered no comfort and faded into the landscape, mercilessly leaving the poor soul to die.

I believe the parable presupposes at least two facts about the priest and Levite that are fundamental to the interpretation of the parable: 1) Both men were able but unwilling to render aid. Otherwise, their inaction could be excused in light of the Samaritan’s action. 2) Both men operated on the same level as the lawyer. Since they could not identify the man as a neighbor, they believed they had no obligation to love him.

Well, shortly thereafter, “A Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where [the injured man] was,and when he saw him, had compassion on him” (v. 33). The contentious animosity between the Jews and Samaritans was legendary (cf. Luke 9:51-56; John 4:9). Nevertheless, Jesus used a hated Samaritan as the hero of the parable, the embodiment of what it meant to “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

All three men: the priest, the Levite, and the Samaritan recognized the authority of the command to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18). The two Israelites, however, defined one’s “neighbor” in very stringent terms. The Samaritan, on the other hand, applied a much broader application to the term “neighbor” believing that he should love even a “stranger” as he loved himself (ref. Leviticus 19:33).

So, moved with “compassion” for the injured man, the Samaritan, “went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back’” (vv. 34-35). In stark contrast to the brief narrative involving the priest and Levites, Jesus detailed the Samaritan’s merciful and compassionate acts of neighborly love.

Despite the self-evident peril to his own safety, the good Samaritan took the time to bandage the man’s wounds, medicating them as best he could. Once stabilized, the Samaritan transported him to a nearby inn taking care of him throughout the night. Finally, the next morning, he made open-ended financial arrangements for the injured man’s care while he recuperated. The Samaritan did all of this for a person he did not know, nor could ever reciprocate the costly compassion shown to him.   

Having completed His parabolic teaching, Jesus countered the lawyer’s second question with His own, slightly reworded query, “‘Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?’” (v. 36).

The lawyer’s original question, “Who is my neighbor?” (v. 29) was never answered by our Lord’s parable. As stated earlier, it was the wrong question to ask since it focused on establishing neighborly status for others. For Jesus, status was a non-issue. So, he refocused the lawyer’s question, “Who proved to be a neighbor?” In other words, Jesus said, “The heart of Leviticus 19:18 is not defining who others are to you but who you are to others.”

Once again, the lawyer answered correctly, “‘The one who showed him mercy’” (v. 37a). It is common to supplant that the lawyer could not bring himself to say “the Samaritan” and maybe that is true. Nevertheless, he understood preciously what our Lord was implying. Instead of formulating a list of who was, or was not one’s neighbor, Jesus wanted the lawyer to become a neighbor to all, loving others as he loved himself. 

The scene ends with Jesus telling the lawyer to take his new found understanding and, “Go and do likewise” (v. 37b); Go Be Merciful. The lawyer received his answer; indeed, even with his own mouth he articulated the response. How did he respond to Jesus’ directive to “Go”? We will never know. I guess the most important question though is: how will you and I respond to Jesus’ directive to Go Be Merciful?

The command to love one’s neighbor as oneself is foundational to Christian teaching and practice. It was not only confirmed by our Lord, but also repeated by Paul in Romans 13:8-10, along with Galatians 5:13-15 and slightly reworked in Ephesians 5:28-29, 33. Furthermore, in James’ epistle, he referred to it as the “royal law” saying:

“If you fulfill the royal law according to the Scriptures, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.” (James 2:8-9)

By means of this parable, Jesus is calling His disciples away from a religious or culturally conditioned mind-set that “show[s] partiality” by dividing people into groups of those who are worthy of neighborly love and those who are not. The challenge is to Go Be Merciful to all, no matter the color of their skin, their national origin, their language, their religion, their social status, or their need.

Now, someone might ask, “What does that look like in everyday application? Can you give me something practical to do today that will be fulfilling this?” In light of the teaching in this parable, there is nothing more applicable or practical than, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” As Christians, we are called to mercifully love all humanity as we love ourselves. Period. Why is that? Because, it is the same kind of love God showed the world (ref. John 3:16). That’s why. May God help as we Go Be Merciful to all.

As always, I’m more than happy to help you in your quest to know more about Christ. Please email me at clay@claygentry.com, I’ll be happy to come alongside you on your spiritual journey.

Seize The Moment – The Message of Stephen


rembrandt Stoning stephen

A challenge to seize the moment,

“But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him.” (Acts 7:57-58a)

Time is a limited commodity. “Life is but a vapor,” we don’t know how much any of us have. Therefore, we’ve got to take hold of every opportunity we can, “redeeming the time.” So, if you had one shot to someone (anyone) about Christ would you take it? Stephen did. His moment came and he urgently took advantage of it. He boldly spoke the truth at just the time, saying exactly what needed to be said. But, too often it seems like I figure out what to say after the moment has passed. I think it is because I’m not living with a sense of urgency that propels me to seize the moment for Christ. Maybe you’re in the same boat. Well, no more! No more procrastination. No more negligence. No more excuses. This is our moment! We have no guarantees about tomorrow – for ourselves or anyone else. So, as witnesses for Christ, let us redeem the time with urgent resolve and say what needs to be said to those who need to hear it. Amen!?

This week’s theme: The Message of the Martyrs

Be Faithful… The Message of Antipas

Speak Out… The Message of John the Baptist

Don’t Be Silenced… The Message of James

Don’t Be Silenced… The Message of James


beheading-james-greater

A challenge to not be silenced,

“About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword.” (Acts 12:1-2)

A martyr, like James, doesn’t back down. When he preached: some people mocked him, once he was imprisoned, threatened and even beaten. Nevertheless, it didn’t stop him; he just kept on preaching to whoever would listen. James did what so many Christians are often afraid to do; boldly tell others about Christ, no matter the consequences. We live in a world that is increasingly hostile toward the Faith, but we can’t let that stop us. More than ever, the church needs people who will enthusiastically say, “No matter what, I’m going to share Jesus because He is the only way, the only truth, the only life that can save souls!” Sure, you will be mocked, threatened and perhaps in some places imprisoned. But, as witnesses for Christ, we can’t allow ourselves to be silenced! Too much is at stake.

This week’s theme: The Message of the Martyrs

Be Faithful… The Message of Antipas

Speak Out… The Message of John the Baptist

Seize The Moment – The Message of Stephen

Speak Out… The Message of John the Baptist


beheading of john

A challenge to speak out against sin,

“Immediately the king sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison and brought his head on a platter…” (Mark 6:27-28a)

John was not killed for preaching and baptizing in the wilderness, or for being a good moral person, or for associating with Jesus. Rarely would those things stir up any kind of opposition or persecution in our lives. Rather, John was beheaded because spoke out against the sinful adultery of King Herod and his wife Herodias. We’ll hardly stir up any strife by quietly going about our comfortable Christian lives; but we’ll hardly save anyone either. The world doesn’t need a bunch of wish-washy, mealy-mouthed Christians who will pander to their sins; it needs the truth. If we are to be witnesses for Christ we must speak out against sin. Martyrs are willing to say what needs to be said, when it needs to be said, no matter what! O God, infuse us with heavenly courage to boldly speak out against sin. Amen.

For the whole story read Mark 6:14-29

This week’s theme: The Message of the Martyrs

Be Faithful… The Message of Antipas

Don’t Be Silenced… The Message of James

Seize The Moment – The Message of Stephen

Be Faithful… The Message of Antipas


antipas rev 2.13

A challenge to be faithful unto death,

“I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast My name, and you did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.” (Revelation 2:13)

What is faithfulness? It is devotion, loyalty and perseverance. It means you are committed to Jesus; never backing down, never quitting, never giving up. That was Antipas – he was unshakably faithful to the Lord, holding fast to His name even in the face of death! History says, idolaters in Pergamos enraged at Antipas, seized him, roasting him in a bull-shaped pot all because he would not deny Jesus. The principle of the Christian life is not denial or retreat, but endurance and conquest by faith. If we are to be witnesses for Christ, we cannot cower to the political correctness of our day; nor can we shrink back from our God-given responsibilities. Friends, we must, like Antipas, muster our faith, answer the call and if it cost us the ultimate sacrifice then so be it… Because, isn’t that what Jesus did for us?

This week’s theme The Message of the Martyrs:

Speak Out… The Message of John the Baptist

Don’t Be Silenced… The Message of James

Seize The Moment – The Message of Stephen

The Nevertheless of Obedience


At Your Word I Will

For times when following Christ seems too hard,

“Simon answered and said to Him, ‘Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.’” (Luke 5:5 NKJV)

Exhausted from an unproductive night of fishing, Jesus’ command to “let down your nets” must have seemed a mockery for the bone-weary fishermen. No doubt, Peter, the expert fisherman, thought Jesus’ directive made no sense and was a waste of time; because fish were supposed to be caught at night, not during the day light hours. “Nevertheless,” Peter obeyed and was rewarded with bulging nets of blessings. Have you struggled with a lack of faithful obedience? You are not the first (not the last) to grapple with the decision to follow Christ’s commands; especially, one that flies in the face of human instinct. So today, incur God’s blessing by bridging the chasm between doubt and obedience with “nevertheless.”

For the whole story read Luke 5:1-11

Other post in this series, “The Nevertheless of…”

God’s Firm FoundationSharing The Good News, New Heavens And A New Earth and Of Christ’s Sacrifice.