The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




How Many Times Do I Have To Tell You

"And there was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury everyday. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat whatever fell from the rich man's table" (Luke 16: 19-20).

How many times did you hear the mantra that is today's title as you were growing up. I think that parents may have a universal playbook, of which this is one of the necessary questions. Even though we wanted to raise our kids differently, we probably used that same question when our children did something that was inappropriate. The question is one of those we like to refer as rhetorical. In the King James version of the Bible, the word judgement is used more than 350 times. Today's verse is the beginning of a teaching of Jesus. It is the story of the rich man and the beggar Lazarus, not to be confused with Mary and Martha's brother. It is Jesus asking the question; "how many times do I have to tell you?"

Jesus told his disciples, and us that he would return. He told them that all authority had been given to him and upon his return would be the judgement. "How many times do I have to tell you?" What you do here on earth and how you live your life will determine where you will spend eternity. The story in today's verse brings eternity into stark reality. I love the story about a Sunday school teacher who had just read the story to her class, complete with pictures, and dare I say flannel board. When it was done, she posed the question; "Now who would you rather be, the rich man or Lazarus?" A canny little boy raised his hand and replied; "Well, on earth I would rather be the rich man, but in heaven I would rather be Lazarus." Unfortunately, this is often the thinking prevalent in today's world. Jesus wants not only our love, but our obedience, and this story is a powerful reminder that our lives are preparations for the very moment that we will stand before the Lord. The rich man's wealth and Lazarus' poverty meant nothing in God's judgement. Simply put, we are to live today, tomorrow and the next day the way the Lord wants us to live them. We are to live them in the realization that one day, there will not be a next day. Think of it as Jesus saying to us; "How many times do I have to tell you....."

Have a wonderful day... Go about doing good... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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