Summary: It is not any sin of commission that is pointed at but the sins of omission. We often think of sin as something we do wrong, and it is that. There are many things that we omit to do which is sin in the sight of God.
TITLE: BAD TABLE MANNERS
SCRIPTURE: ST. LUKE 16:19-30
There are portions found in the Gospel according to ST. LUKE that can make an individual very uncomfortable. This is such a passage. It is DESIGNED to discomfort the comfortable. And, strangely enough it comforts those who may be struggling in this life. My focus this morning will be upon the first section of this powerful text. This is a very interesting Parable that most of us are very familiar. It is a Parable that is often ignored or used for evangelistic sermons about the PERMANENCY AND REALITY OF HEAVEN AND HELL. While it does deal with both of those realities – I would suggest to us this morning that the message that Jesus spoke really has less to do with heaven and hell. This parable is part of a TRILOGY:
• Begins with the Prodigal Son wasting his Father’s money
• Transitions to the Dishonest Steward wasting his master’s possessions
• Concludes with our text for examination
There are TWO SECTIONS to the parable – the PICTURE PAINTED of the situation in verses 19-23 – which is where our focus rests - and the DIALOGUE in verses 24-30. There is a misunderstanding that comes and it is that our Lord was condemning the rich man because he was rich. That is to MISS THE WHOLE POINT of this story. He is not being sentenced to Hell because of his STATUS and RICHES. If that be the case we have some great tension to deal with, especially in the Old Testament.
• Job was rich, matter of fact the Bible says he was the greatest of all men in the East
• King David was very wealthy, blessed with Kingdoms
• King Solomon, we know was wealthy
• He asked God for Wisdom and Discernment and God would also bless him with Riches and Wealth
• Father Abraham, we know, was rich: rich in cattle, in herds, silver and gold
• Yet, Abraham is the person to whom Lazarus goes when he dies
• It is not riches but what is done with them
Another thing about this rich man is that we are not told that he did anything OUTWARDLY THAT WAS CRIMINAL apart from how he treated Lazarus. It is not any SIN OF COMMISSION that is pointed at but the SINS OF OMISSION. We often think of sin as something we do wrong, and it is that. However, the Catechism says, "ANY WANT FOR CONFORMITY TO THE WILL OF GOD".
• That is, there are many things that you and I omit to do which is sin in the sight of God
• Often we forget that and we only think of what we have done and not of what we have failed to do
• What is brought home to us here is the great omission in this man's life
So I would suggest to us this morning as we continue to build upon this Message that the Problem with the Rich man was not his wealth – the issue that would eventually condemn him was the fact that he simply had – Bad Table Manners.
• Bible says Rich man clothed in Purple and fine Linen and fared sumptuously every day
• Lazarus was laid at his gate and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table