Following on from last week (“You cannot be the slave of both God and money”) we see a practical illustration of what this means. The division between rich and poor was very striking at the time of Jesus: popular understanding, however, said that to be rich was a blessing from God. Jesus reminds people that riches carry their own responsibility – the duty to notice the poor man, especially when he lies at your own gate. In this parable, Jesus is subtly attacking the people’s lack of acceptance of the teaching of the prophets – “They have Moses and the prophets…”, but they obviously haven’t listened to them. The twist in the last line is powerful: “…they will not be convinced even if someone should rise from the dead.” Since our world still sees a division between rich and poor, how true those words have become!

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