In Luke 16:14 we are told about Pharisees who “loved money” and who were “sneering at Jesus.”
Jesus said: “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight” (verse 15).
Shortly afterward Jesus then told the story of the rich man and Lazarus. While on earth the rich man lived the high life and neglected the needs of others. In contrast, Lazarus begged for food. After they died, Lazarus went to heaven but the rich man was tormented in Hades.
To me, it seems that the rich man represented the Pharisees. They gave lip service to God, but neglected God’s commands to show mercy to the poor.
Of the many things this story teaches us, one of them is surely this: Faith isn’t just about WHAT to believe, but HOW to believe.
It’s not a coincidence that the early Christians were called the people of “the Way.” If we believe in the God who has shown mercy to us, then we will show mercy to others. It is our way. If we neglect the things God cares about, can we honestly say that we are loyal to that same God?
The more we learn about the character of God, the more we seek to reflect that character within ourselves.
Faith isn’t just about what to believe, but how.
–Sermon. Today’s devotional is related to my most recent sermon (March 7, 2021) called “Not just what to believe, but how” and is based on the story of the rich man and Lazarus from Luke 16:19-31. You can listen here.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.