What Jesus Did! 'Gut-Wrenchingly Graphic' — Luke 16:19-21

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Jesus said, "There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man's table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores."
— Luke 16:19-21 NLT

Key Thought

This image is disgustingly repellent — in cornbread English, it makes me want to throw up. However, what makes us sick is probably the thought of having dogs licking Lazarus' open sores. Yes, like some other images in Scripture, this one is revolting. But, even more sickening to God — and it should be to us also — is a man who had so much but was doing nothing to help someone living nearby. Lazarus wasn't even looking for much. However, rather than anointing the sores with oil and bandaging Lazarus' wounds, the rich man spurned him, and only the dogs offered him comfort and companionship. Who is your Lazarus? And yes, who is my Lazarus?

Today's Prayer

Father, help me to show compassion to everyone, but especially open my eyes to see the disadvantaged people you have placed in my path for me to treat with compassion. Stir my heart with your Spirit to respond when I see them. Strip away the calloused and dead skin that surrounds my heart and prevents compassion. Teach me the best way to show your love and grace. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Luke 10:33-34
  • Psalm 68:4-5
  • Matthew 25:34-40

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Illustration

Illustration of Luke 16:19-21 NLT — "There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.