Reading Should Change Us

Abraham said to him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

Luke 16:29

This is God’s message to the Rich Man With No Name who let Lazarus starve to death at his gate while he lived on the highest level of ease and prosperity.

This morning I was reading this passage. I have read the Bible many times, but I never really saw this until today. The Rich Man literally had Lazarus dying at his very gate from hunger. You can’t get much closer than that. My ridiculous thought was, “How do you know that the rich man did not listen to Moses?” For the first time, it kind of dawned on me, think of someone cracking an egg on my head and letting the raw egg run down my face, that if the Rich Man had listened to Moses, he would not have left Lazarus starving to death at his gate because Moses had an awful lot to say about how we treat poor people.

I struggle with this. I do not hate poor people. My struggle is that I lead a very programmed and list-driven life. I want to be able to read this and say, “Hey, I give X percent of my income to the poor, so this guy is not my problem.”

I do not think that is what God is looking for. He wants me to open my eyes and actually see the people who are needy in proximity to my life. He does not need lists. He has lists. He knows the number of hairs on every person’s head. He needs someone who cares about the people He sends to camp out at our gates.

I have Moses and that prophets. And Jesus. And the entire Bible in multiple versions. Can I hear them? Or am I just a Rich Woman?


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