Let’s be thankful that Jesus came to earth and showed us the way
16 ‘The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing their way into it. 17 It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law.
18 ‘Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
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.”’
Looking at this from the big picture, we encounter two separate (and short) teachings from Jesus, followed by a parable. The parable will be covered in more detail in Grow Dailies later this week.
Overall, the first teaching seems to be the more difficult one for us (well, me anyway) to understand. Culturally we sit far removed from a society ordered around a religious system of laws. Verse 17 is stating that the Old Testament moral law is still valid – it reflects the person and character of God, who will never pass away.
What initially made my head spin is the second part of verse 16 – about people ‘forcing their way in’. There is probably a translation issue here – the commentary I read suggested this means ‘everyone is forcefully urged into’ the kingdom of God. That seems to make more sense.
Verse 18 is not the Bible’s entire position on divorce (or adultery). If how Christians deal with divorce is an issue for you, can I encourage you to speak with your pastor soon please? They will no doubt be able to walk with you through what the Bible teaches and refer you on to helpful resources as appropriate.
Head: Do your habits of thinking reflect the truth that the kingdom of God should be preached?
Heart: Is your heart honestly excited about being part of God’s kingdom?
Hands: Is there someone you can talk to this week about the good news of Jesus?
Prayer: Lord, thank you that there are parts of the Bible that we might find difficult to understand. In your mercy, please give us a desire to keep returning to your word for encouragement and sustenance. Amen
A song to listen to: Give myself away
Living Church Creek Road