They Have Moses and the Prophets

In one of the fascinating stories Jesus told in His ministry, a wealthy man who dies unprepared to meet God pleads with Abraham, a major figure from Old Testament history. In the account, the rich man remembers five of his own brothers who needed to be warned about the realities of eternity that he was now experiencing. The rich man urges Abraham to send a poor beggar named Lazarus from beyond the grave to the house where these five brothers lived.

Abraham reminds the rich man of the Scriptural resources available to faithful followers of Jehovah. In the synagogues and in the temple there was a cycle of reading Scripture which included the books of LAW (Moses) and the PROPHETS (other Early and Later Old Testament writings.) Those still living had the opportunity to receive adequate instruction from Scripture readings.

The rich man challenges this assertion, and claims that if someone came back from the dead, surely those who witnessed this miracle would repent.

Jesus concludes the story with a final assertion expressed through the mouth of Abraham. “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.”

The story abruptly ends with this assertion. Scripture is sufficient. God’s Word is adequate and provides clear instruction to truly seeking sinners. Miracles do not provide any extra convincing ‘proof’ of eternal realities!

We may have full confidence in God’s Word. Scripture is not only inspired, infallible and inerrant. It is sufficient. “Sola Scriptura” is not just some eccentric Latin expression, it defines the absolute adequacy of God’s Word for us today. The real questions are – “Will we read it?” “Will we respond in obedience to what we read?” After all we “have Moses and the Prophets” as well as the amazing fulfillment of what they predicted in what we call the New Testament, God’s amazing revelation centred in His unique Son, Jesus, who is called the Christ!

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