Luke 16:30

ESV And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’
NIV 'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'
NASB But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’
CSB " 'No, father Abraham,' he said. 'But if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'
NLT The rich man replied, ‘No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will repent of their sins and turn to God.’
KJV And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.

What does Luke 16:30 mean?

The rich man makes one last argument. He has died and is in Hades, tormented by flames. A man named Lazarus, who once begged at the rich man's gate, is with Abraham in paradise. The rich man wants Abraham to send Lazarus to his five brothers to warn them that if they don't change their lives, they will join him (Luke 16:19–28). Abraham tells him, "They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them" (Luke 16:29). The rich man insists that they need more. He may be thinking of his own fate, in which case he is subtly blaming God for not giving him enough information to make the right choice.

The wealthy man's complaint implies that God is withholding truth from those who sincerely desire it. The truth is that those who want to reject God can never have enough evidence, or experience, even miracles. No matter what happens, such unbelievers always claim to need a little more: one more miracle, one more sign, one more message. Abraham closes the argument by saying, "If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead" (Luke 16:31). This is as true of the modern God-denier as it ever was of the ancient Pharisees (Romans 1:18–20; Psalm 19:1).

Jesus is telling this story to a group of Pharisees whose love of money and cruelty toward people strongly indicate they do not worship God as they claim (Luke 16:14–15). Throughout His ministry, they have constantly asked for signs (Luke 11:16); when Jesus agrees, they reject the miracle and claim Satan is behind the event (Luke 11:14–15; John 9:16).

Pharisees say they follow the law of Moses, but they use their Oral Law to cut loopholes for their own benefit (Mark 7:1–13). They claim to value the Prophets of the Old Testament but are purposefully blind to how they point to Jesus as the Messiah. Abraham—and Jesus—know that "just one more" miracle isn't going to make a difference.

That truth foreshadows real events. This story seems to be a tale meant to make a point and not a description of real events. But not long before the crucifixion, Jesus' friend—coincidentally named Lazarus, of Bethany—will die, and Jesus will raise him from the dead. The Jewish religious leaders, including the Pharisees, don't respond with sudden insight that Jesus is from God. They respond in fear that more people will follow Jesus. So, they plan to kill both Jesus and Lazarus (John 11:1–53; 12:9–11).
What is the Gospel?
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