Luke 16:19-17:10

Jesus tells a story about a rich man and a poor man

19 Jesus then said, ‘At one time, there was a rich man who had very expensive clothes. This rich man ate big meals every day. 20 There was also a poor man called Lazarus. He had sores all over his body. He lay outside the gate of the rich man. 21 He was very hungry. He wanted to eat the bits of food that the rich man threw away. Even the dogs came and they tasted the sores on his body. 22 Then Lazarus died and God's angels carried him away. They put him at the side of Abraham in heaven. The rich man then also died and his family buried him in the ground. 23 He went to the dead people's place called Hades. He was in a lot of pain there. He saw Abraham far away in heaven. He also saw Lazarus at Abraham's side. 24 So he shouted out, “Father Abraham, please be kind to me. Please send Lazarus here to help me. I am in great pain because I am in a fire that burns me. Let him put his finger into some water. Then he can use the water to make my mouth cool.”

25 Abraham replied, “My child, remember the time when you were alive on earth. Remember what happened then. You had many good things, and Lazarus had many bad things. Now I am taking care of Lazarus, and you are in pain. 26 But that is not everything. Between you and us, there is a big hole. It is wide and long and deep. There is a reason why that hole is there. Nobody can cross from here to where you are. And nobody can cross from where you are to come here.”

27 The rich man said, “If that is true, father Abraham, please send Lazarus to my family. 28 I have five brothers that are still alive. He can tell them not to do the same things as I did. Then they will not also come here when they die. They will not be in great pain, as I am.”

29 Abraham replied, “They have the books that Moses and God's prophets wrote. Your family should read them and do what they say.”

16:29The men of God wrote down the messages that they received. An officer read these messages aloud in their meeting places. They explained them to the people. If the people listened, they could understand them. And then they could obey God.

30 The rich man said, “That is not enough, father Abraham. But if someone goes to them from among the dead people, they will listen. Then they will turn away from the wrong things that they do.”

31 But Abraham said to him, “They do not listen to what Moses and God's prophets have said. So they will not believe God's message even if someone comes back from among the dead people.” ’

16:31Jesus came back after he had died. But many of the Pharisees and the other people still did not believe.

Luke 17

1 Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Some bad things in this world will make other people do wrong things. You can be sure about that. But God will punish anyone who makes these bad things happen. 2 These other people may not seem to be important. But you must not make them do wrong things. Do not do that! It would be better if someone tied a big stone round your neck, and then he threw you into the sea.

17:2The unimportant people here may be children. They may be people that do not believe strongly in Jesus. They may be new disciples of Jesus.
17:2Jesus is not telling a person to kill another person. But he is telling his disciples to think very seriously: God will judge someone who causes trouble like this.

3 Be careful how you live. If your Christian brother does something wrong, speak to him. Tell him that he has done a bad thing. He may say, “I am sorry for what I did. I will not do it again.” If he says that, you must forgive him. 4 Your brother may do a bad thing to you seven times in one day. He may turn to you each time and say, “I am sorry for what I did. I will not do it again.” If he does that, you must forgive him every time.’

5 The apostles said to the Lord Jesus, ‘Help us to believe more and more in God.’

6 The Lord replied, ‘You may believe in God only a very little bit, like a very small seed. Even if you only believe that little bit, you could say to this tree, “Pull yourself out of the ground and plant yourself in the sea.” Then the tree would obey you.

7 Think about this. You may have a servant that is ploughing your land. Or you may have a servant that is taking care of your sheep. When he comes in from his work in the evening, you would not say to him, “Sit down and eat.” 8 No, you would not say that. You would say to your servant, “Prepare my meal for me. Dress yourself properly and bring the food to me. I will eat and drink first. You can eat when I have finished.” 9 Servants should do what their masters tell them to do. When they do that, their masters do not need to thank them. 10 It is the same with you. The Master tells you what you should do. So when you have done all of it, you should say, “We are not special servants. We have only done what we should do.” ’