Some Will See and Still Not Believe

Scripture: Luke 16:30-31
He said, “No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.”  He said to him, “If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.”’ (NRSV)

One of the arguments I have heard from multiple people who simply can’t allow themselves to believe in Jesus as the risen savior, is that if they had been there when he walked out of the tomb or if they could see him now with their own eyes, they would believe.  But short of that, they will not be convinced by the writings found in an old book.

It appears that this is not a new argument at all.  Today’s text is the end of a story Jesus told about a rich man and a poor beggar who both die and end up in the afterlife.  The rich man is tormented while the poor beggar is comforted.  The rich man is pleading with Abraham to send the poor beggar back from the dead to warn his brothers of what their fate will be if they do not change their ways.  And the text above is father Abraham’s answer.

Of course, Jesus is telling this just prior to his death and resurrection.  He is warning the church that there will always be those who will not believe, even if they were to have seen him walk out of the tomb or if he appeared to them right now.  But this does not absolve us from our responsibility to share the good news of Jesus Christ that gives us life.

We are still responsible for living our lives in such a way that people can see the impact of God’s love on us.  We are still responsible for proclaiming the hope we have in Jesus.  We are still responsible for giving glory to God in all things so that others might know the reason for our changed lives that give us freedom to live with joy even in the midst of a broken and sinful world.

We are not being told to argue people into a relationship with God through Jesus because some will never believe no matter what.  But we are to share the love of God with all, proclaiming the good news that has changed our lives.

Pray with me:

God of love and God of salvation encourage me to live a life of joy and righteousness so that those who are on my path may see the impact that my relationship with Jesus has had on me.  And then, give me the words to share the reason for my joy so that others will know without a doubt that Jesus lives in me.  AMEN.

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