In the parables of the clever steward, and of the rich man and Lazarus, Jesus teaches about heaven and hell, judgments and rewards. His depiction of hell alludes to understandings about the afterlife in Greek mythology.
Parable of the Clever Steward (v1-13)
Many of Jesus' parables belong together in pairs or groups where Jesus draws out different points surrounding a common theme. Although placed apart in Luke's account of the Gospel, this parable fits together with the parable of the talents or minas (Matthew 25 and Luke 19).

The rich man represents Jesus, and his estate represents Christ's kingdom or the Church. The manager is a trusted employee or slave. He could represent any Christian, but he especially represents leaders in the Church. The rich man is informed of accusations that the manager has been wasting his assets. Although the accuser likely represents Satan (Revelation 12:10), the accusations appear to be justified. The manager is called to turn in an account for his administration, because he can no longer be the rich man's manager. This time of accounting likely represents the judgment before Jesus and his Apostles at the end of the age (Revelation 20:4). What is at stake is the manager's position in the age to come. At the end of the parable, there is no mention of the manager being thrown into hell. Jesus places Christians in positions of responsibility even though they are sinful human beings. At the judgment, each must give account for his service.

In 1 Corinthians 3:9-15, Paul likens Christians to God's co-workers, helping Jesus build his kingdom. But on the Day of Judgment, each man's work will be tested with fire. "If what someone has built survives, he will receive a reward. If someone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss. He himself will be saved, but only as through fire".

The manager in this parable seems to fit into the category of those who will be saved, but only as through fire. He will suffer the loss of his position, but he is still commended for some things. When he hears that he is about to lose his position, he calls in the rich man's debtors in turn, and reduces the debt of each. Although it was not actually the manager's right to do this, and he was acting in a worldly manner, the rich man commends him for being shrewd. He uses his master's wealth to gain friends. Jesus draws several points of conclusion from this parable:
1) "the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their contemporaries than the people of light" (v8). In other words, Christians can sometimes learn from non-Christians about management of money and of people.

2) "make friends for yourselves by how you use worldly wealth, so that when it runs out you will be welcomed into the eternal homes" (v9). The implication is that both the manager and the rich man's debtors are saved. The rich man's debtors represents Christians, and some Christians will end up better off than their Church leaders in the age to come.

3) "The one who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and the one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much" (v10). In other words, this life is a test of how fit we are to handle greater responsibilities in the age to come.

4) "If then you haven't been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will entrust you with the true riches?" (v11). Jesus will look closely at how we use money in this life, to assess what rewards and responsibilities he gives us in the age to come.

5) "And if you haven't been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you your own?" (v12). Jesus portrays the wealth and responsibilities we have in this life as gifts of God with which we have been entrusted. We do not own them. How we handle what God has entrusted to us will determine what he gives us as our eternal possessions and responsibilities in the age to come.

6) "No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money" (v13). In other words, we have to choose. If we choose God as our priority, money must take second place. If we choose money, it will own us and God will take second place in our lives.
Parable of The Rich Man and Lazarus (v19-31)
This is yet another parable about judgments and rewards in which Jesus turns people's preconceived ideas upside down. Jesus plays with his listeners' minds. Who is truly righteous and going to heaven? Who are the real bad guys? At the judgment, who will pass with distinction? Who will scrape through? Who will fail?

It also continues his teaching about money. At the end of the previous parable, Jesus has just said "You cannot serve God and money", for which the Pharisees have ridiculed him. The Jews had a preconception that if you were rich it was a sign that God was pleased with you, and conversely, if you were poor it was a sign that he was displeased with you. The Old Testament book of Job, like a Shakespeare drama, challenges this kind of idea. But still the Jews believed that if things go badly wrong for you, it must be because you have done something wrong and God is angry with you.

In Luke 18:25, Jesus makes the astonishing statement, "…it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God". Those who heard this asked, "Then who can be saved?" Their reaction implies the question, "If even the good guys whom God is pleased with are unsaved, what hope is there for anyone?"

In verses 19 to 21, Jesus sets the scene. The rich man is really rich. A poor man called Lazarus lies at his gate, longing to eat the crumbs from the rich man's table. This is the only parable in which Jesus names the characters involved. The reason he names the poor man 'Lazarus' becomes clear at the end of the parable (v31). Apparently the rich man shows no concern for Lazarus, but the dogs lick his sores. The dogs have pity on him when the rich man does not. Dogs were considered unclean animals. They add to the sense that he was not only a penniless beggar, but he was also unclean. So if you were at all religious, you would want to pass Lazarus by with a wide berth. If you were to touch him, he would make you unclean too. Jesus could hardly have described a more pitiable character.

Lazarus and the rich man both die (v22-23). Contrary to what Jesus' listeners would have expected, Lazarus goes to heaven, where he is by Abraham's side. But the rich man descends into the fires of hell, where he is in torment. He looks up and sees Lazarus far off in the distance by Abraham's side and calls out for Abraham to send Lazarus to help relieve his suffering. Abraham's reply implies that both of them got what they deserved (v25), and also that it is impossible for anyone to pass from heaven to hell, or vice versa (v26). So then the rich man asks Abraham to send Lazarus to his father's house to warn his five brothers, in case they also end up in hell. He speculates that even if it is impossible to pass between heaven and hell, perhaps it is possible to return to the land of the living. If Lazarus were to rise from the dead and warn his brothers, surely they would repent (v30). But Abraham says they have Moses and the prophets, and must respond to them (v29). If they don't respond to them, neither would they be convinced if someone rose from the dead (v31). At this point, it becomes clear why Jesus named the poor man 'Lazarus'. John 11-12 records the story of how Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, became ill and died. Jesus proceeded to very publicly call Lazarus from the tomb and raise him from the dead, four days after his burial. Instead of believing in Jesus as a result of this great miracle, the Pharisees made plans to kill Jesus (John 11:53).

Whether Jesus told this parable before of after the raising of Lazarus is not clear. But what is clear is that the rich man and his brothers represent the Pharisees. Jesus was warning them that they needed to repent or they would end up in hell. And if Lazarus rising from the dead was not enough to make them believe, Jesus himself would rise from the dead. But still they would not believe. And what about Abraham's comment that the rich man's brothers had Moses and the prophets and must respond to them (v29)? In John 5:45-47, Jesus told the Pharisees, "Do not suppose that I will accuse you before the Father. The one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have placed your hope. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me. But if you do not believe what Moses wrote, how will you believe my words?"

Hell and its connections with Greek Mythology
This parable of Lazarus and the rich man also gives unique insights into how Jesus viewed life after death and what happens when you die. The Old Testament often described death as 'joining your ancestors' or 'lying down with your fathers' (e.g. Genesis 15:15, 25:8, 25:17, 35:29, 47:30, Numbers 20:24, Deuteronomy 31:16). This fits with Jesus' description of Lazarus being carried by angels to Abraham's side. In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, when Paul talks about the resurrection and rapture, he makes it clear that we will be reunited with Christians who have died. Being reunited with your ancestors is a picture of heaven. This parable confirms that when believers die, they are reunited with their ancestors in heaven. They don't have to wait until the resurrection. Jesus said in Matthew 22:31-32, "Now as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living!” In other words, from God's perspective, believers who have died and gone to heaven are already alive. Their spirits are alive, even though their physical bodily resurrection is still future (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3).

But heaven is only a place for the righteous. The wicked end up in hell. According to Jesus, heaven and hell are separated by an uncrossable chasm, but are visible to each other from afar. In its descriptions of hell, the New Testament borrows several words from Greek mythology. In this parable, Jesus used the word 'Hades' as a description of hell, the realm of the wicked dead. Another word used in the New Testament is the verb form of 'Tartarus'. In 2 Peter 2:4, speaking of angels who sinned before the Flood and led mankind astray (see Genesis 6:1-5), Peter says, "…God did not spare the angels who sinned, but threw them into hell (Greek 'Tartaroo') and locked them up in chains in utter darkness, to be kept until the judgment...". And Revelation 20:1 speaks of the bottomless abyss (Greek: 'abussos').

Each of these words have Hebrew equivalents in the Old Testament. Ezekiel 32 is an Old Testament chapter that gives us a similar insight into hell from an Old Testament perspective. Ezekiel prophesies the descent into hell of the armies of Egypt and of Antichrist's end-time empire, after their defeat at the battle of Armageddon (at least, that is my understanding of that chapter). Ezekiel 32:17-23 says, "Son of man, wail over the horde of Egypt. Bring it down; bring her and the daughters of powerful nations down to the lower parts of the earth, (Hebrew: 'takhtee') along with those who descend to the Pit (Hebrew: 'bore'). Say to them, ‘Whom do you surpass in beauty? Go down and be laid to rest with the uncircumcised!’ They will fall among those killed by the sword. The sword is drawn; they carry her and all her hordes away. The bravest of the warriors will speak to him from the midst of Sheol along with his allies, saying: ‘The uncircumcised have come down; they lie still, killed by the sword.’ “Assyria is there with all her assembly around her grave, all of them struck down by the sword. Their graves are located in the remote slopes of the Pit (Hebrew: 'yeraykaw bore').

According to Greek mythology (see the book 'Mythos' by Stephen Fry), when you died, you were escorted by Thanatos, the god of death, to the near bank of the River Styx. As part of Greek burial rites, a coin was placed on a deceased's tongue, so that they could pay Charon the Ferryman for safe passage to the far side of the Styx, hell's muster point. Once there, they faced judgment before the throne of Hades, or of his Queen Persephone, or by one of three judges, Rhadamanthus, Minos and Aecus. Hades was both the realm of the dead, and its god and king. It was divided into many levels, and the one to which you were escorted depended on what sort of life you had led:
1) The Isles of the Blessed - the very highest level (see below).

2) The Elysian Fields - this was reserved for souls who had lived the most heroic or righteous lives, a kind of Paradise. It was debatable whether this was actually part of Hades or not. It was possible to be reincarnated from this level. If you reached this level each time after three successive lives you could be promoted to the Isles of the Blessed.

3) The Meadows of Asphodel - this was a pleasant place, carpeted with white flowers. The blameless majority were escorted here to spend their eternity, those whose lives were generally righteous, but not especially so. Before they arrived, they drank the waters of forgetfulness from the River Lethe, helping them to forget any unpleasant memories from earthly life.

4) The Halls of Hades - the abode of sinners, blasphemers and those who had lived generally immoral lives. They spent eternity here, without feeling or consciousness of their existence. It was a kind of unconscious oblivion.

5) The Fields of Punishment - located somewhere between the Meadows of Asphodel and the depths of Tartarus, this was the abode of the most wicked, a place of eternal torture and torment, where wicked souls received punishments appropriate to their earthly crimes.

6) Tartarus - the deepest depths of Hades, a place to which dangerous gods could be banished and imprisoned.
Compare this Greek mythology of death to Jesus' parable of Lazarus and the rich man. Lazarus is carried by angels to Abraham's side or bosom, similar to the Elysian Fields. The rich man is wicked and descends to Hades, similar in description to the Fields of Punishment.

In Luke 8:31, when Jesus drives demons out of the demoniac, they plead with him not to be sent to the Abyss. The Abyss is the equivalent of Tartarus. Similarly in 2 Peter 2:4, Peter says about the angels who sinned before the Flood, "…God did not spare the angels who sinned, but threw them into hell and locked them up in chains in utter darkness, to be kept until the judgment". And in Revelation 20:3, Satan is locked up in the Abyss for a thousand years.

It should be understood in this parable that Jesus alludes to the states of heaven and hell in the present age. According to Revelation 20:11-15, at the end of the Millennium, souls must be resurrected to face God's judgment before his Great White Throne. The sea, Death and Hades all give up their dead, who will be judged according to their deeds as recorded in books. If anyone's name is not found written in the book of life, they are thrown into the lake of fire. The depths of the sea, as well as the depths of the earth, are seen as part of the realm of the dead. Death and Hades are then thrown into the lake of fire, implying that there is no more death and no more Hades. That leaves a question that Christian theologians continue to debate. When souls are thrown into the lake of fire, does that mean they are annihilated, or do they continue to face eternal torment?

In most cases when Jesus referred to hell, he referred to it as 'Gehenna' (e.g. Matthew 5:22-30, 10:28, 18:9, 23:15, 33). Gehenna is a Greek transliteration of the Hebrew words 'ge hinnom' meaning 'Valley of Hinnom'. This was a valley along the south side of Jerusalem. It had been used in Old Testament times for human sacrifices to the pagan god Molech (Jeremiah 7:31, 19:5-6, 32:35). It was also Jerusalem's rubbish dump, where rubbish was continually burned. In Isaiah's portrayal of the new heaven and new earth, he pictures people coming to Jerusalem to worship and says in Isaiah 66:23-24, "From one month to the next and from one Sabbath to the next, all people will come to worship me,” says the Lord. “They will go out and observe the corpses of those who rebelled against me, for the maggots that eat them will not die, and the fire that consumes them will not die out. All people will find the sight abhorrent.” Consequently, the Valley of Hinnom had become symbolic of hell. Jesus alluded to this passage when he said in Mark 9:48, "If your eye causes you to sin, tear it out! It is better to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies and the fire is never quenched".

When you look closely at Isaiah's portrayals of the new heaven and the new earth, they appear primarily to be descriptions of heaven and earth in the Millennial age, rather than in the eternal age. So although Jesus' description of hell in Mark 9:48 appears to portray never-ending eternal torment, it is still possible that he is describing hell in the Millennial age. In Revelation, the lake of fire is where the Antichrist and his False Prophet are thrown after the battle of Armageddon, and where the unsaved end up after the Millennium. So the possibility is left open of people being annihilated in the lake of fire at the end of the Millennium. Isaiah and Daniel also both had visions of Antichrist being thrown into the Lake of Fire (Daniel 7:11, Isaiah 30:30-33).

Further Biblical Connections to Greek and Canaanite Mythology
2 Kings 23 describes the reforms that King Josiah of Judah made in the year 623 BC, after Hilkiah the Priest rediscovered the books of Moses. Verse 5 says, "He eliminated the pagan priests whom the kings of Judah had appointed to offer sacrifices on the high places in the cities of Judah and in the area right around Jerusalem. (They offered sacrifices to Baal, the sun god, the moon god, the constellations, and all the stars in the sky.)" And verse 11 continues, "He removed from the entrance to the Lord’s temple the statues of horses that the kings of Judah had placed there in honor of the sun god. (They were kept near the room of Nathan Melech the eunuch, which was situated among the courtyards.) He burned up the chariots devoted to the sun god". These verses reveal that as far back as the 7th century BC, the people of Judah were worshipping Greek gods as part of their pagan religious mix. According to Greek mythology, Helios the Sun god rides his chariots across the sky each day, and Selene the Moon god rides her chariots across the sky each night. In addition, the prophet Jeremiah made frequent references to their worship of the Queen of Heaven, who was the Greek goddess Hera (e.g. Jeremiah 7:18).

Going further back, Genesis 6:4 speaks of the time before the flood and says, "The Nephilim were on the earth in those days (and also after this) when the sons of God would sleep with the daughters of humankind, who gave birth to their children. They were the mighty heroes of old, the famous men". The 'mighty heroes of old, the famous men' is a reference to the heroes of Greek mythology. It doesn't affirm the legends in their detail, but it does affirm that there was a time when 'the gods' appeared to people and reproduced with them. So it affirms that there was at least some basis to the Greek legends of heroes who were half 'god' and half man.

The Old Testament also alludes to Canaanite mythology. Before the rise of the Greek empire, Canaanite mythology was somewhat closer to home than its Greek equivalent. In about 700 BC, Isaiah prophesied that Satan would end up in hell after incarnating himself as a man (the Antichrist) and attempting to exalt himself. Isaiah 14:13-16 says, "You said to yourself, “I will climb up to the sky. Above the stars of El I will set up my throne. I will rule on the mountain of assembly on the remote slopes of Zaphon. I will climb up to the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High!” But you were brought down to Sheol, to the remote slopes of the Pit. Those who see you stare at you, they look at you carefully, thinking: “Is this the man who shook the earth, the one who made kingdoms tremble?" Zaphon refers to Mount Zaphon, known today as Jebel Aqra. It is a mountain that rises above the Mediterranean coastline near the Turkish-Syrian border. According to Canaanite mythology, Mount Zaphon was considered to be the seat of Baal and the Canaanite gods, just as Mount Olympus was considered by the Greeks to be the seat of Zeus and the Greek gods. Also Isaiah 27:1 says, "At that time the Lord will punish with his destructive, great, and powerful sword Leviathan the fast-moving serpent, Leviathan the squirming serpent; he will kill the sea monster". Leviathan is the seven-headed sea monster of chaos that God overcame when he created the world, according to Canaanite mythology. This doesn't mean that Isaiah was affirming Canaanite mythology. It was simply part of the general knowledge and language of the biblical authors, much like our English language is rich with phrases and metaphors from Shakespeare's plays. Isaiah borrows this Canaanite picture to speak figuratively about the destruction of Satan and the forces of chaos that have resisted God throughout history. Then it turn, Revelation 12 and 13 adapt this metaphor, portraying Satan as a seven-headed dragon, and his earthly kingdom as a seven-headed beast that arises out of the sea.

Similarly here in Luke 16, Jesus borrows words and imagery from Greek mythology to describe the afterlife. It doesn't mean he is affirming Greek mythology. But just as a student of the English language benefits from a knowledge of Shakespeare, so also a student of the bible benefits from an understanding of Greek mythology. 'Mythos' by Stephen Fry is an excellent retelling of Greek myths in modern English. Here is a very basic summary of some of the key points:

In the beginning, there was formless Chaos. Out of Chaos sprang Erebus (the darkness) and Nyx (the night). Erebus and Nyx coupled to produce Hemera (the day) and Aether (light). Out of Chaos also sprang Gaia (the Earth) and Tartarus (the depths and caves beneath the earth). Gaia then spontaneously gave birth to Pontus (the Sea) and Ouranos (the Sky). Together, Darkness, Night, Day, Light, Earth, Tartarus, the Sea and the Sky were the primordial deities, the first order of creation. Gaia and Ouranos (Earth and Sky) then reproduced, giving birth to the twelve children known as the Titans, including Kronos (Time). With the birth of Kronos, time began, stories developed, and the gods developed personalities. Gaia and Ouranos also gave birth to the three Cyclopes and the three Hecatoncheires. These and the twelve Titans represent the second order of creation. When the Cyclopes and Hecatoncheires were born, Ouranos took an instant dislike to them and forced them back into Gaia's womb, causing her terrible pain. In time, Gaia sought relief and revenge. She convinced her son Kronos that he should kill his father Ouranos, and gave him a scythe with which to do so. In his sweep of the scythe, Kronos failed to kill Ouranos, but castrated him and defeated him. Having overthrown Ouranos, Kronos now wrested dominion from each of his siblings to become overall ruler of the universe. With another sweep of his scythe he cut open Gaia's side and delivered her of the Cyclopes and the Hecatoncheires. He then confined both Ouranos to Tartarus and assigned the Hecatoncheires as the guardians of its gates. First however, Ouranos cursed Kronos saying, "May your children destroy you as you have destroyed me".

In time, Kronos married his sister Rhea and they gave birth to children. Afraid of his father's curse, Kronos swallowed each them whole the moment they were born. Wise to this, before their sixth child Zeus was born, Rhea wrapped a smooth stone in swaddling cloths like a baby and tricked Kronos into thinking she had given birth. Kronos swallowed the stone whole, none the wiser. Rhea then gave birth to Zeus, who survived and grew to adulthood. Later, Rhea gave Kronos a potion that made him vomit up all the children he had swallowed, and they were effectively reborn. In time, Zeus and his siblings rose up against their father, starting a ten-year war known as the Titanomachy. Eventually, with help from the Hecatoncheires whom he brought up from Tartarus, Zeus defeated the Titans. One of these Hecatoncheires was called Gyges, the long-limbed one. Establishing his seat of power on Mount Olympus, Zeus became the new ruler of the universe. His siblings and their offspring ruled with him as the Olympian gods, and Zeus' brother Hades became ruler of the underworld. Zeus married his sister Hera, who was worshipped by some Old Testament Israelites as the Queen of Heaven (e.g. Jeremiah 7:18).

The bible alludes to both Zeus and Kronos as pictures of Satan. In Revelation 2:13, Jesus referred to the Pergamum Altar of Zeus as Satan's throne. In Revelation 12:4, Satan is pictured as a dragon, seeking to devour Israel's child as soon it is born. In that passage, the birth of the child represents the return of Jesus as Israel's Messiah. Just as Kronos sought to devour his children out of fear of the prophecy, so also is Satan afraid that Messiah will fulfil the prophecy of Genesis 3:15 and crush his head. As part of his plan, Satan brings a beast up from the Abyss (Revelation 13:1). This beast represents both an empire and its king. Its king (the Antichrist) is called Gog after Gyges the Hecatoncheire (Ezekiel 38:2). Satan hopes that just as Gyges helped Zeus defeat Kronos, so Gog will help Satan defeat Jesus.

In 168 BC, the Seleucid king, Antiochus Epiphanes, desecrated the Jewish temple and set up a statue of Zeus. He declared himself to be the earthly incarnation of Zeus and forced the Jews to sacrifice pigs to him on the temple altar. Four hundred years earlier, Daniel had prophesied this event in Daniel 11:31, referring to the statue of Zeus as the 'abomination that causes desolation'.

In Isaiah 14:13-14 describes Satan's dream of rising above the stars of El (the God of the Bible) and setting his throne on the slopes of Mount Zaphon. Mount Zaphon was the seat of Baal in Canaanite mythology, and the equivalent of Mount Olympus in Greek mythology.

Putting all this together, you end up with Satan's dream that Gog the Antichrist will one day help him overthrow El (the God of the Bible). Then Satan can rule as supreme god of the Universe. In the process, Antichrist will once again desecrate the Jerusalem temple, setting up a new 'abomination of desolation' (Matthew 24:15), only this time it will not be a statue of Zeus. The bible's depiction of Zeus or Baal as Satan reflects the idea that all false gods are ultimately different guises of Satan. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:20, "I mean that what the pagans sacrifice is to demons and not to God". By the 7th century AD, Zeus worship was going out of fashion, so with the help of a 'prophet' from Arabia, Satan came up with a new guise. He now masquerades as Allah, the god who calls himself 'the Greatest of Deceivers' (Quran 3:54). Like Gyges, the long-limbed hundred-handed Hecatoncheire, the Antichrist will have a long reach into all the nations of the world. And like Gyges the king of western Turkey in the 7th century BC, Antichrist will be the 'chief prince of Meshech and Tubal' (ancient names for Turkey) - Ezekiel 38:3. Jihadist fighters will join his armies from all nations of the world to help him fight Jesus, the great son of El.
Symbols: Hades, Gehenna, Rich man, Poor man, Steward, Debtors
Tags: Parables, Judgments and rewards, Life after death, Heaven, Hell, Greek mythology
The Parable of the Clever Steward
16 Jesus also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who was informed of accusations that his manager was wasting his assets.
2 So he called the manager in and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Turn in the account of your administration, because you can no longer be my manager.’
3 Then the manager said to himself, ‘What should I do, since my master is taking my position away from me? I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m too ashamed to beg.
4 I know what to do so that when I am put out of management, people will welcome me into their homes.’
5 So he contacted his master’s debtors one by one. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’
6 The man replied, ‘A hundred measures of olive oil.’ The manager said to him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and write fifty.’
7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ The second man replied, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ The manager said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’
8 The master commended the dishonest manager because he acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their contemporaries than the people of light.
9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by how you use worldly wealth, so that when it runs out you will be welcomed into the eternal homes.
10 “The one who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and the one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.
11 If then you haven’t been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will entrust you with the true riches?
12 And if you haven’t been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you your own?
13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

More Warnings about the Pharisees
14 The Pharisees (who loved money) heard all this and ridiculed him.
15 But Jesus said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in men’s eyes, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly prized among men is utterly detestable in God’s sight.
16 “The law and the prophets were in force until John; since then, the good news of the kingdom of God has been proclaimed, and everyone is urged to enter it.
17 But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tiny stroke of a letter in the law to become void.
18 “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery, and the one who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.

The Rich Man and Lazarus
19 “There was a rich man who dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.
20 But at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus whose body was covered with sores,
21 who longed to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. In addition, the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 “Now the poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried.
23 And in Hades, as he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far off with Lazarus at his side.
24 So 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, because I am in anguish in this fire.’
25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things and Lazarus likewise bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in anguish.
26 Besides all this, a great chasm has been fixed between us, so that those who want to cross over from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’
27 So the rich man said, ‘Then I beg you, father – send Lazarus to my father’s house
28 (for I have five brothers) to warn them so that they don’t come into this place of torment.’
29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they must respond to them.’
30 Then the rich man said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
31 He replied to him, ‘If they do not respond to Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”