St Luke 16 Reflections

The Gospel According to St Luke: Luke Chapter Sixteen: Read here:

16 rich-man

The Parable of a Rich Man and His Steward: Luke 16:1-13:

And he said also unto his disciples,

“There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. And he called him, and said unto him,

‘How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.’

“Then the steward said within himself,

‘What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed. I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’

“So he called every one of his lord’s debtors unto him, and said unto the first,

‘How much owest thou unto my lord?’

“And he said,

‘An hundred measures of oil.’

“And he said unto him,

‘Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty.’

“Then said he to another,

‘And how much owest thou?’

“And he said,

‘An hundred measures of wheat.’

“And he said unto him,

‘Take thy bill, and write fourscore.’

“And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.

“And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.

He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.

If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?

No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

Although we must seek to serve the Lord in all things, Jesus is telling us here that our livelihood is important; how we conduct our business affairs matters. We need to show that we are trustworthy servants in temporal matters, so that the Lord will also trust us in spiritual matters.

As employers, do we treat the business with the same respect as we would if we were the owner? Do we want to do our best to make the business successful, or are we just punching a time card? We can best serve God when we do righteously in all areas of our lives.

Interaction with Pharisees: Luke 16:14-18; (JST Luke 16:16-23 in italics):

And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.

And he said unto them,

“Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

And they said unto him,

“We have the law, and the prophets; but as for this man we will not receive him to be our ruler; for he maketh himself to be a judge over us.”

Then said Jesus unto them,

“The law and the prophets testify of me; yea, and all the prophets who have written, even until John, have foretold of these days.

Since that time, the kingdom of God is preached, and every man who seeketh truth presseth into it.   And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than for one tittle of the law to fail.

And why teach ye the law, and deny that which is written; and condemn him whom the Father hath sent to fulfill the law, that ye might all be redeemed?

“O fools! for you have said in your hearts,

‘There is no God.’

“And you pervert the right way; and the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence of you; and you persecute the meek; and in your violence you seek to destroy the kingdom; and ye take the children of the kingdom by force. Woe unto you, ye adulterers!”

And they reviled him again, being angry for the saying, that they were adulterers.

But he continued, saying,

“Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery; and whosoever marrieth her who is put away from her husband, committeth adultery. Verily I say unto you, I will liken you unto the rich man.” [end]

Isn’t it interesting how much light the Joseph Smith Translation adds? The Pharisees are much like leaders of many church congregations today. They do not have a real belief in God, but think that the principles are good to live by. Yet they do not live them rightly themselves. They say that they believe in Jesus Christ, but they do not teach His gospel. Having no authority, they ignore the principles and ordinances that are necessary for salvation.

It seems that the Pharisees justified themselves in taking the marriage covenant lightly. They would put away their wives to marry new wives, thinking that they were still obeying the law. But Jesus was telling them that if you put away your wife just because you want to take another, that is adultery.

Heavenly Father sent Jesus, and they rejected the Son of God.

The Parable of a Rich Man and a Beggar Named Lazarus: Luke 16:19-31:

“There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

“And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

“And he cried and said,

‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’

“But Abraham said,

‘Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

‘And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.’

“Then he said,

‘I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’

“Abraham saith unto him,

‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’

“And he said,

‘Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.’

“And he said unto him,

‘If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.’”

The rich man had the gall to think that Lazarus was still a beggar and that he should be sent to serve him. I wonder, if we could see others hearts as the Lord does, if we could see them in the grandeur of their immortal souls, would we treat them like outcasts? Would we shun the beggars and turn away from them?

Are the riches we gain in this life anything compared to the riches that God has in store for those who love Him?

Those who reject the words of the prophets also reject Christ’s and His words. He was there with them, but they would not have Him to be their leader or their ruler or their judge. He even returned from the dead, but they refused to believe the signs and wonders because they had hardened their hearts against the truth.

Are we offended by the words which Christ taught? Or do we accept Him as our Lord and Savior?


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