Luke 16:16-20

Luke 16:16 (KJB)
The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.

John was the last of the Old Testament prophets and up until that time the law and the prophets took center stage in the life of the Jew. It was these Hebrew Scriptures by which they ordered their lives. Once John the Baptist came on the scene, he was the forerunner of the Messiah who would bring in the Kingdom of God. From the time of John, grace would now be proclaimed as the way a person becomes saved. Then Jesus states that every man tries to press into the Kingdom of God. The word “presseth” is the same word used in Matthew 11:12, for “suffereth violence.” Jesus now tells the multitude that from John’s time till the present the Kingdom of God suffers violence. What He is meaning by that is people were trying to come into the Kingdom of God by their own works. John preached the baptism of repentance but mere repentance of sins did not equal salvation. So evil men had tried to enter in of their own way. We can see this same scenario today where people belong to false churches and are told to adhere to their rituals and that will make them Christians.

Keep in mind sinners are heinous in the sight of God and are in total opposition to the Kingdom of God. (Rom 14:17 KJV) For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. We read that the Kingdom of God is peace and joy, two things the unbeliever does not enjoy because they lack the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. (Isa 57:21 KJV) There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked. While on earth many had tried to a attach themselves to Jesus because they saw all the miracles and healings He performed but they could not attach themselves eternally unless they were the chosen of God in Christ. The unsaved who believe they are in the Kingdom of God are Christians in name only because you cannot combine saved and unsaved by standing next to each other. The unsaved must come into the Kingdom of God through Christ any other way is nothing but force.

Luke 16:17 (KJB)
And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.

Even though a person is saved by grace, the law of God is still in operation today. The tittle was the smallest mark in the Hebrew writings and if not one shall fail, then anything else in the law will not fail. (Mat 5:17 KJV) Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. Jesus did not come to destroy or nullify the law, He came to fulfill the law. Those who attempt to try and get to Heaven by keeping the law, must do so perfectly. (Psa 119:89 KJV) LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. The word of God is settled in Heaven and that is why not the least of it will fail. The Heaven and earth failing would be a natural event and they would go by attrition but the word of God is eternal and time nor elements will affect it.

Luke 16:18 (KJB)
Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.

Jesus places a very important principle in this verse and that is if a person divorces their wife and then marries another commits adultery and remember under Mosaic law, adultery is met by stoning. Jesus also states that if a man marries a woman who is divorced, then whether she has a writ of divorce or not, it is considered adultery in the eyes of God. In the time Jesus walked the earth, just like today, divorce and remarriage was rampant and Jesus is telling them that it is adultery to marry a person whose spouse is still living. Moses allowed remarriage because of hardness of heart but Jesus is stating that it is adultery. If a man divorces his wife, this means she is still living and if they are joined together by God as we saw and he marries another after divorce, then he is actually married to two women. He has adulterated the marriage.

(Rom 7:3 KJV) So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. If a woman divorces her husband and she marries another, then she too is in adultery. The only way a marriage is dissolved is by death. After the death of the spouse, the other person is permitted to marry again.

Luke 16:19 (KJB)
There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

Here Jesus introduces the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. The main point of this parable is that there are definitely eternal consequences from a wrong attitude towards wealth. The first character we are introduced to is the rich man. We are not given the identity of the rich man. We do know that he was definitely a man given to appetite and he wore expensive clothing. We are told that he “fared sumptuously” every day. The word “fared” carries with it the meaning of “making merry or making good cheer.” The word “sumptuously” carries with it the meaning of “magnificently or lavishly.” So from these words we definitely know that his man literally ate a feast every single day because he was wealthy he was able to afford it.

Luke 16:20 (KJB)
And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

In contrast to the rich man who dressed and ate lavishly, there was a poor beggar named Lazarus who was placed at his gate to probably beg for food and money. The word “laid” in the Greek carries with it the meaning of “throwing or casting,” which means Lazarus was not treated gently when he was placed at the gate, it was like he was tossed there and left. His body was also filled with sores, which were probably boils or abscesses. Lazarus did not only suffer in body, he suffered while being handled. The name “Lazarus” means “God is my help.”

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