Read­ing Time: 2 minutes



Ori­gin­ally, the incid­ent of the rich man and the poor man was spe­cific­ally addressed to the Phar­isees. Today, it is addressed to us, so we should not repeat the unfor­tu­nate mis­take of the rich man. Luke remains faith­ful to his claim of present­ing an orderly account (cf. Luke 1:3). This is true because, in every instance, Jesus spe­cifies the audi­ence or recip­i­ent of his teach­ing. For instance: In 14:3, he addressed the Law experts and the Phar­isees; in 14:7, he addressed the invit­ees to a wed­ding feast; in 14:25, he addressed the crowd fol­low­ing him; in 15:2–3, he addressed the Scribes and the Phar­isees; in 16:1, he addressed the dis­ciples; in 16:15 he addressed the Phar­isees. What about this Sunday Gos­pel? Judging from the con­text, it was also addressed to the Phar­isees (since the dis­ciples were also present, they must have listened attent­ively). In fact, Luke 17:1 specifies.…

The adverse effect of wealth and poverty

How­ever, it must be cla­ri­fied that the rich man was not tor­men­ted in Hades simply because he was rich, nor was Laz­arus com­for­ted merely because he was poor. Some com­ment­at­ors (e.g. Mat­thew Henry) identi­fy the prot­ag­on­ists as the wicked rich man and the godly poor man. Luke nev­er says they were wicked or godly. After all, poverty does not make one godly, and wealth in itself, does not make any­one wicked. Fur­ther­more, it is not wicked­ness that led the rich man to the place of tor­ment, nor was it god­li­ness that led the poor to the place of bliss. Wealth did not make the rich man wicked and poverty did not make the poor man godly. There­fore, wicked­ness and god­li­ness have noth­ing to do with this story. Luke only wanted to cor­rect the unjust and unne­ces­sary clas­si­fic­a­tion of human beings into the rich and the poor, the haves and the have-not. These are products of injustice. They are human making.


As he jour­neyed to Jer­u­s­alem, Jesus used dif­fer­ent stor­ies and par­ables to under­line the right use of mater­i­al pos­ses­sions. The dra­mat­ic and con­trast­ing sump­tu­ous­ness of the rich rep­res­en­ted by the rich man, and the indi­gent con­di­tion of the poor rep­res­en­ted by Laz­arus, is still a dis­tin­guish­ing fea­ture of con­tem­por­ary soci­ety. As the title of this reflec­tion indic­ates, Luke 16:19–31 is a reversal of fate between the rich man and the poor Laz­arus. In line with Lukan prin­ciple and theo­logy, this should not sur­prise us. One of the strik­ing lines of the Mag­ni­ficat is that God “has brought down the power­ful from their thrones, and has lif­ted up the down­cast. He has filled the hungry with good things, and has sent away the rich empty-handed” (Luke 1:52–53).

SUNDAY REFLECTIONS” (vols. I‑II-III)!! The reflec­tion for the 26th Sunday is found in
The Word of Life, vol. III, pages 540–553. Happy reading!

For details on how to get it, con­tact the author on this link: https://m.me/uchennabiblia?fbclid=IwAR2yeg4a6sDGBp9QGkIvKj6FSADumMokN6lshdE0zuo-JHs6qOmlhA7jyHo
or email me at: postmaster@uchennabiblia.com
or simply send an SMS on 08116100926, and I will get back to you.

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