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The Effectiveness of the Word of God

January 2, 2008

When I think of the parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16, I don’t usually think of it as a parable on the effectiveness of God’s Word. But that is the theme the parable concludes on. Here is a short summary of the parable:

The rich man, in his nice clothes and large mansion, feasts everyday while Lazarus, a beggar outside his gate, starves. When they die, the beggar is taken to the side of Abraham, while the rich man is taken to Hades –a place of torment. After a short dialogue between the rich man and Abraham, the rich man pleads for Abraham to send Lazarus to his brothers in order that they may repent and be free from eternal torment. I will let Scripture tell the rest of the story:

29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'”

Jesus’ words puts great emphasis on the power of God’s Word over any other great word or wonder. This should instruct pastors, evangelists, and parents to mainly rely on the power of God’s Word to instruct, exhort, convict, and encourage those who are under their care.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. John permalink
    January 13, 2008 1:37 pm

    So glad to have you back in the saddle, brother!

  2. Paul Eppedrson permalink
    May 1, 2008 8:36 pm

    True on the effectiveness of the word of God. However, I find it ironically interesting that these would indeed have one rise from the dead, Jesus Christ, and yet for all we know still did not turn.

  3. reibwo permalink
    September 8, 2008 8:50 pm

    I don’t think that is the point of the parable at all. The point of the parable is to treat your neighbor (or anyone in need) as yourself (not as the Rich Man treated Lazarus). You go to hell for being unkind to those in need, and even if someone comes back from the dead to tell you otherwise (as Jesus did)–you will not–if you harden your heart to Jesus’s exhortation to love and sacrifice for others. That is the point of the passage.

  4. jbstarke permalink*
    September 8, 2008 9:29 pm

    I agree with you that it is not the point of the parable. I mentioned that it was a “theme.” God’s Word (Moses and the Prophets) is efficient to express God’s instruction for eternal life, not necessarily signs and wonders like someone coming back from the dead. Sorry if that was confusing. I thought it was a good implication from the passage.

  5. Thomas Puahanikeni. permalink
    March 20, 2015 10:25 pm

    The point here is that every one hear the good news about Jesus from pastors,priests,and christains.

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