Luke Chapter 16 - Money won't buy Heaven!
If you want to be confused for a few days, reach Luke’s Chapter 16! It opens with a parable about a rich man’s steward who is stealing. The rich man tells his steward to be ready to account for what he has done. The steward sees a big problem in his near future! He is going to lose his job, so he goes to all the folks who owe his master and he decreases the amounts that are owed. The steward is hoping that one of the people he has helped, will like him and hire him after he loses his job with the rich man. Hmmm?
Many Bible scholars think that we are reading contemporary ways into text describing ancient ways. If that is true, the steward might have been simply reducing the bills by the amounts that would have been his commission. I like that concept! The rich man thought his steward had been smart in the way he handled the situation,
although he continued to think the steward was not trustworthy.
In the second part of the chapter, Jesus tells about a beggar and a rich man clothed in purple who lives the high life. The beggar is named Lazarus (not to be confused with Lazarus of Bethany) and he sits at the rich man’s front gate hoping for crumbs from the rich man’s table. He is ignored.
Jesus later describes how the beggar dies and is in the “bosom of Abraham”, while the rich man is in Hades. Jesus describes the afterlife.
My take-away from this slightly confusing chapter is that we will all be held accountable for the things we do. In fact, I think our conscience holds us accountable every single day for the things we do. I have often said, “I have to look at myself in the mirror every morning” so I have to do things the right way.
I also think these parables clearly explain that all the riches we can accumulate on earth will not get us to Heaven. I think much of the work detailed in the Gospels is about exactly that. Jesus is trying to let all people know that they are worthy.
My mother was so good at explaining parables. She was also good at setting her children straight if we disagreed with her … or questioned her too much! I’m sharing a recipe for something I made just yesterday. Mother used to make these a lot for my daddy. He loved them, and so did my husband, so I made them numerous times during apple harvest season right through to Christmas … because they are red! Thank you, Mama!
I use yellow delicious apples for these and usually prepare about 3 pounds. Peel, core and quarter the apples. Put them in a large pot and add water just to the top of the apples. Bring the water to a slow boil and cook them about 10 minutes. Remove the apples from the water, but leave the water in the pot. Add ½ cup of sugar to the water and a 12 ounce package of red hot candies. Bring the water back to a simmer and let it cook until the candy dissolves. Remove the pot from the heat and add the apples back in. There should still be enough liquid to cover the apples. Let them sit out until they reach room temperature, then refrigerate them. The red syrup will color the apples a beautiful Christmas red!