Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Women World Leaders' Podcast

Jul 26, 2023

Jesus told the story of Lazarus and the disobedient rich man. They both died – one was buried and the other was carried away by angels. We will all die. What will decide your fate? (Luke 16:19-31)



Welcome to Walking in the Word – the biblical teaching arm of the Women World Leaders podcast. My name is Julie Jenkins, and I am so happy you have joined us for this Wednesday edition of the podcast, when we open the Bible together and ask God to reveal what He wants us to know today.

If you are new to the ministry, please know we are glad you are here! We are an eclectic group of women from around the world who love and support each other as we grow in our faith and our leadership abilities in an effort to do all God has called us to do. Together, we study the Bible, pray, and develop and put into practice our individual giftings – all while giving glory to God. This podcast is just one of our many offerings – you can find out more about the ministry by visiting our website: While you are there, be sure to fill out our contact form so that you can receive our regular emails that will help you connect with us.

Women World Leaders is a 501c3 non-profit ministry, which means that we are dependent on you to support all we do. We are an army of mostly volunteers, but, like everyone, we do have expenses. If you feel drawn to take advantage of a tax write-off as you donate financially, you can do that also at And when you become a regular monthly donor, we will put you on our subscription list to receive a physical copy of Voice of Truth magazine as a thank you. Will you consider helping us empower each other to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ by volunteering or donating to the ministry? There is much that God has for us to do, and we don’t want YOU to miss out on any part of it!

Well, let’s dive into today’s teaching, shall we? If you have your Bible handy, today we will be studying from the book of Luke, chapter 16, verses 19-31. Before we begin, let’s pray…

Dear Heavenly Father – we come to you today in awe of your presence! Thank you for always being with us. Thank you for your grace and mercy and endless teaching and guidance as we walk through this life. We admit that we are flawed. But Father, we also proclaim with joy that although we mess up, you never give up on us. Thank you for being with us now as we open your Word. Help us hear and understand all you want us to know from this Scripture. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

As we step into the writings of Luke today, it may help to know that in this 16th chapter of the gospel, Jesus was speaking to His disciples, but the Pharisees and other followers were also listening in. In this crowd, there were, no doubt, people from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Yet the Pharisees held a strong belief that the amount of a man’s riches directly pointed to his righteousness. Jesus, however, had already bluntly taught of the dangers of the love of money, stating in verse 13, “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.”

And their response indicated the hardness of their hearts to Jesus’ words, as verse 14 records: The Pharisees, who dearly loved their money, heard all this and scoffed at him.

Despite the scoffing, Jesus didn’t give up. Instead, He teaches again from an angle that we hope reached some…let’s begin in Luke 16:19 from the New Living Translation…

19 Jesus said, “There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. 

This man was truly of the upper echelon of the rich folks – one to whom the Pharisees would certainly prescribe righteousness on account of his riches. His outer garments were purple – made from a dye that was very expensive, and even his undergarments were made of the the finest linen.

But, it was evident that he cared deeply for only himself. As we will see, he closed his eyes to those in need around him. Verse 20…

20 At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. 21 As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores.

As I write, my own puppies are lying beside me, and I smile when they come up and lick me as they show their love. But don’t allow yourself to be culturally confused here. In the Jewish culture, dogs were NOT lovable pets. They were detestable and dangerous scavengers. This scene highlights the helplessness of this poor man, Lazarus. Not only was he hungry, longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, but he was also seemingly too weak or worn out to even shoo the dogs away who came to lick his sores as he lay at the rich man’s gate.

Picture that: the rich man went BY Lazarus each time he left his home and each time he returned to his home. This is important, because it shows us that this rich man was not godly. When we love God, we long to be like Him. Sure, we mess up, but He continues to put us in circumstances where we can serve and honor Him and others – molding us each day more and more into His own image.

But this rich man had clearly hardened his heart. He, again and again, put his own comfort and his own love of money above everything else, including the miserable man who lay at his own front gate.

Verse 22…

22 “Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to sit beside Abraham at the heavenly banquet. 

I LOVE this visual!! For those of you who know me, you know my mom died recently after a long bout with Alzheimers. For the last several years, she couldn’t speak and didn’t have any sense of recognition. Yet as I held her hand as she took her last breath, her eyes opened wide, and a look of glorious recognition graced her face! It was clear that the angels were there to carry HER to the heavenly banquet.

Our physical death on this earth can be so glorious! If we give our lives to Christ today, we have NOTHING to fear and EVERYTHING to look forward to! Lazarus lived a life of want…but he clearly knew God. And God honored Lazarus by ushering him into heaven.

Verse 22 continues in direct contrast, however…

The rich man also died …and was buried,… 23 and he went to the place of the dead.[b] There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side.

24 “The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.’

The rich man still didn’t get it…despite the place of torment he was now in, he still considered Lazarus beneath him. He spoke to the holy Abraham, demanding his way. This is a picture of how I imagine the rich man had lived his life – feeling that his money gave him power over others and the right to demand their service.

But the tables had turned…and they had turned permanently… verse 25…

25 “But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there.’

There will come a time when we will each take our last breath on earth – and at that moment, the playing field will be leveled. I’ve heard it said that he who dies with the most toys wins. That statement couldn’t be further from the truth.

Money is not evil, in fact, it is a blessing that can be used to bless others. But the truth is, it doesn’t matter to God how much money we have, what kind of car we drive, or where we live. Our perfect God cares most about the relationship with have with Him. And you can trust He has a purpose and a plan for each of His children’s lives – whether we are lying in a hospital bed, sitting in a prison cell, living in a shack, or residing in a mansion by the seaside. When we know and love God, He will place in us a desire to follow Him in obedience. All He asks is that we follow Him one step at a time, no matter what our lot in life is. Pray to Him. And listen in obedience, doing WHATEVER He calls you to with WHATEVER you have been given.

At this point, it seems the rich man understands that his fate is now permanent.

Verse 27…

27 “Then the rich man said, ‘Please, Father Abraham, at least send him to my father’s home. 28 For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them so they don’t end up in this place of torment.’

29 “But Abraham said, ‘Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read what they wrote.’

30 “The rich man replied, ‘No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will repent of their sins and turn to God.’

31 “But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”

I imagine this last statement was personal to Jesus.

From the time the first sin created a chasm between God and humanity, God put a plan in place to bridge that chasm – to allow sinful man the opportunity to spend eternity with God. God sent Moses and the prophets to give warnings and hope to His people. Some listened. Many did not. Then Jesus Himself came. He taught the truth, giving warnings and hope – and even performed miracles to showcase that He was telling WAS the truth. Some listened. Many did not.

And, even as Jesus told this very story, He knew that His own time was drawing near. Jesus, fully God and fully man, was sent to die a sinner’s death on a cross and then be raised from death – so that He could overcome death once and for all time for those who follow Him.

Yet even as He spoke and prepared for His own death and resurrection, Jesus knew…Some would listen. But many would not.

Our God is kind, thoughtful, generous, and merciful. He infiltrates this world with signs and wonders and miracles in an effort to lead US to our place of salvation. He has prepared us each a place at His table and has His angels on standby, ready to escort us directly to Him when we each take our final breath on this earth.

But our God also gives us free choice.

We can CHOOSE to follow Him. We can CHOOSE to be obedient with all He has given us. Or we can CHOOSE to focus on the things of this earth – loving the gifts instead of the Giver. Hoarding whatever wealth we’ve been given instead of obediently responding when He calls us to a mission.

The rich man died and was separated from God forever, not because he was rich, but because he had hardened his heart while he was here on earth, refusing to love others as God loves and serve others as God serves. We do not go to heaven because of what we do or don’t do, with one exception: to dine at the eternal feast with our Father who loves us so much, to experience the glory of the angels whisking us to His side when we take our last breath on this earth, we must give our lives to Him today. We must accept the payment that Jesus made for our sins. When we do, God will begin to mold us into the people He has called us to be.

Let’s pray…

Holy Father, we come to you today in obedience, giving our lives, our decisions, and our loyalties to you alone. We ask you to guide us each day. We thank you for the forgiveness of our sins you have already granted us. And we look forward to that day when we get to dine at your table for all of eternity, escorted in full glory by your angels. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.