Faithlife Sermons

Sermon Tone Analysis

Overall tone of the sermon

This automated analysis scores the text on the likely presence of emotional, language, and social tones. There are no right or wrong scores; this is just an indication of tones readers or listeners may pick up from the text.
A score of 0.5 or higher indicates the tone is likely present.
Emotion Tone
Anger
0.14UNLIKELY
Disgust
0.1UNLIKELY
Fear
0.12UNLIKELY
Joy
0.61LIKELY
Sadness
0.57LIKELY
Language Tone
Analytical
0.62LIKELY
Confident
0UNLIKELY
Tentative
0.04UNLIKELY
Social Tone
Openness
0.75LIKELY
Conscientiousness
0.75LIKELY
Extraversion
0.18UNLIKELY
Agreeableness
0.64LIKELY
Emotional Range
0.73LIKELY

Tone of specific sentences

Tones
Emotion
Anger
Disgust
Fear
Joy
Sadness
Language
Analytical
Confident
Tentative
Social Tendencies
Openness
Conscientiousness
Extraversion
Agreeableness
Emotional Range
Anger
< .5
.5 - .6
.6 - .7
.7 - .8
.8 - .9
> .9
If We Did Not Listen
“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.
20 And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores.
22 The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham.
The rich man also died and was buried.
23 In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side.
24 He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’
25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony.
26 Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’ 27 He said, ‘Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.’
29 Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’ 30 He said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’
31 He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’
Prayer.
The parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus is tantalizing, because it is one of our favorite types of story: the one about the Guy who gets what’s coming to him.
We love poetic justice, because we love to see people “get what they deserve.”
The rich man lived comfortably, feasting on the richest foods, and dressed in designer clothes, all the while ignoring poor Lazarus, whose life was plagued by discomfort and hunger.
The irony of fortunes reversed for these two men drips off the page.
Lazarus had sores all over his body.
The Hebrew word for sores is the root word for “burning.”
But in the end, the rich man is the one who burns in Hell.
Lazarus was constantly hungry, hoping for the tiniest morsel of food from the rich man’s table.
But in the end, it was the rich man who begged for the tiniest drop of water from Lazarus’ hand.
Wrapped up in all of this are issues of wealth, of justice, of what it means to be “blessed.”
These issues all point to the role wealth plays in our faith.
What does it mean for us to be wealthy and Christian?
How do we navigate the challenges we face because of our wealth so that we can be faithful to God?
These matters are what make this rather unique parable of Jesus relevant to us today, and definitely worthy of our careful attention.
First, we’ll consider the Parable itself: Who was the intended audience of the parable and how does the parable fit within Luke’s teaching on wealth?
Then, we’ll consider: What is the central teaching of Jesus in the parable?
Finally, we will consider some practical applications of Jesus’ teaching on wealth for our lives today.
So then, let’s take a closer look at the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus.
In his commentary on Luke, Fred Craddock highlighted the importance of considering: to whom was Jesus telling this story?
In Luke, many parables of Jesus are recorded, especially in the section where Jesus begins his journey toward Israel’s capital, Jerusalem.
He goes there, knowing he will die on a cross.
Along the way, Jesus offered various teachings, each in a different setting, each to different groups.
Sometimes we find Jesus teaching His disciples.
Sometimes we find Jesus teaching the crowds.
In the case of this parable, Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees, a group of leaders of the Jewish faith.
Craddock points out that the Rich Man was a person of interest to the Pharisees because the Rich Man would have been, to them, the best example of what it means to be “blessed.”
The Pharisees believed the rich man was an example of a godly man.
His wealth was a sign of God’s favor, a just reward for a righteous life.
The poor man, on the other hand, would also be of interest to the Pharisees, because the Pharisees believed suffering was a sign of God’s punishment.
Lazarus had boils on his skin, which the Jewish leaders would have instantly linked to the 6th plague of the 10 plagues God inflicted on Egypt when God’s people were suffering slaves.
They also would have approved of the rich man’s decision to leave Lazarus to his own devices.
After all, who is the rich man to interfere with the punishment of God?
It is clear that Jesus disagreed with their view of things.
For one, while Jesus agreed the Bible teaches that righteousness leads to blessing, and wickedness leads to suffering, there was certainly more to it than that.
I can hear Jesus asking: how is it righteous for the rich man to look upon the suffering of the poor man and do nothing?
The Pharisees seem to have forgotten that the bible also teaches God’s people to be generous toward the poor and the foreigner.
In , the Old Testament Book of the Law on which the book of Luke relies heavily, God gives this command: “Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, “Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land.”
The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version.
(1989).
().
Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
Throughout the book of Luke, Jesus consistently addresses the fact that the Jewish leaders of his day didn’t grasp the full truth when it comes to affluence.
In chapter 3, Jesus challenges the notion that the Jews can claim God’s blessings simply because they’re Jewish.
He said: “Bear fruits worthy of repentance.
Do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 9 Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
In addition to challenging the Pharisee’s sense of entitlement because of their traditions, Jesus also challenged people who put their trust in their wealth.
In Luke, Jesus offers beatitudes, like “blessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” But, in addition to blessings, Jesus also offered curses.
Curses for those who put their faith in their possessions and their prestige.
“...woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.
“...woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.
“Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry.
for you have received your consolation.
“Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry.
“Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep.
25 “Woe to you who are full now,
for you will be hungry.
The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version.
(1989).
().
Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
“Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.”
“Woe to you who are laughing now,
for you will mourn and weep.
Thirdly, in Luke, Jesus was willing to offer the full blessings of those who are saved to people who did nothing to “earn” it.
Remember the thief up on the cross next to Jesus?
He said: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
And Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
Thus the thief on the cross becomes the culminating act of God’s forgiveness in Christ, a reversal of fortune for the criminal, who by all rights should have been condemned with all the others.
(pause)
Taken together, it seems to me it is a rather dangerous state of affairs for anyone to be wealthy and religious.
(pause)
The wealthy religious tend to believe their religious traditions will save them, when the truth is, only faith in God’s will for their lives will save them.
The wealthy religious tend to believe their wealth is a sign of God’s favor, when the truth is, their wealth is a sign of God’s expectation.
The wealthy religious tend to complicate things, causing them to miss the point: the simple truth that God saves those who put their trust in Him.
The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, then, is Jesus’ way of illustrating the perils of wealthy religion.
After the rich man dies, he goes to a place of eternal torment.
Even from the bottom of that miserable hell hole, he looks up and sees Father Abraham, pulling out a chair for Lazarus as he takes his seat at the banquet table of God. and he begs Abraham to send Lazarus to give him a drop of water to cool his burning tongue.
Even now, the Rich Man cannot let go of the idea that he is somehow superior to Lazarus, that Lazarus ought to do this kindness to him because of who he is.
But Abraham peers down into the hole and says: you got what you deserved buddy, this was your choice.
What’s more, there is too much distance between you and Heaven.
So it was that the Rich Man couldn’ stand the fire of hell, not because it was hot, but because he was so used to being comfortable during his time on earth.
The Rich man then makes his second request: well, if you can’t save me, then go and warn my brothers.
They live just like I did, ignoring the poor and the suffering around them for the sake of their own sense of religious entitlement.
To this, Abraham responded: they should listen to Moses and the Prophets, that is, the core teachings of the Bible.
This is where the rubber meets the road for Jesus and for the Pharisees who are fuming as they listen to this story: If the man’s brother’s had accepted the whole teaching of God, and not cherry-picked the parts of the Bible that made them feel justified, then they wouldn’t be in the mess they are in.
Abraham doesn’t need to warn them: the Word of God already did that.
The brothers just had a different agenda.
So then, the Rich Man becomes desperate.
He says: they will listen if you send Lazarus, for surely they would listen to someone who rises from the dead.
I can imagine Abraham stood there for a moment, thinking about what he should say next.
He thinks:
They refused to see that God calls us to care for the poor, the widow, and the foreigner in our midst.
< .5
.5 - .6
.6 - .7
.7 - .8
.8 - .9
> .9