The story of the rich man and Lazarus in the Bible often puzzles me because without reading between the lines, it might sound like Jesus was despising wealth and embracing poverty, though that is clearly not the message our Lord was trying to pass across to His disciples. The lessons of the story however is humbling enough for those who want to make Heaven their home eternally.
I will be inspiring you with the ‘good things of life’ from the story and also share my thoughts about the ‘bad things of life’ from the discourse of father Abraham with the rich man. It is instructive to note the following verse: ‘but Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in your lifetime received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things, but now he is comforted and you are tormented’ (Luke 16 v 25).
For the sake of those who may not be familiar with the story above, I will recap in a few words thus: our Lord Jesus told the story of a rich man who fed sumptuously daily and clothed in purple raiment but with a very poor man called Lazarus in front of his gate who desired crumbs of bread from the table of the rich man, he was also very sick and had dogs vying for the same food with him. They both died and an angel carried the poor Lazarus to his place in paradise while the rich man woke up in health torment. While in hell, he called out to father Abraham for succour and was told it couldn’t happen because of the earlier passage I shared.
The lessons are very deep and I will briefly share the good things of life and bad things of life from the above passage.
GOOD THINGS OF LIFE
- To Look Good: I am amazed at the fact that one of the few times that Jesus spoke about dressing, he mentioned it in this story as a good thing to look good. It is a sign of wealth and good life, there is nothing bad in looking good and dressing well if one can afford it. It is a good thing in life to look good or simply put, looking good is good.
- Ate Good Food: The rich man also ate good food daily not occasionally like we do and the Bible notes that as a good thing in life. It will amaze you that this is a gift of God to man. In fact the first thing God gave man was food in the garden, so believers should not shy away from good food if they can afford it as well.
- His Gates: it is clear from this passage that having your own accommodation is another good thing in life, whether built by you or leased, it is important to understand that the rich man had a gate mentioned in that passage. This incidentally is what economists have agreed as the basic needs of man….shelter, food and clothing. I make bold to say that the three were provided by God for Adam in the garden.
BAD THINGS OF LIFE
- Full Of Sores: The first thing mentioned by Jesus about Lazarus was that he was full of sores, which father Abraham noted as ‘evil thing’. Going through the general wards of government hospitals will make you agree with father Abraham that sicknesses are bad and evil in life. The sight is often sickening for me and triggers the healing anointing within me.
- Laid At The Gates: Lack of accommodation is one of the ills of life being combated by the United Nations through ‘habitat for all’ but we just haven’t been able to solve that human issue. The poor man was carried to the gate of the rich man, this is bad in the sight of father Abraham and was mentioned to the rich man as such.
- Desiring Crumbs From The Table: When you see a man who is sick, homeless and hungry, then you know that the combination of these three ills must truly be bad for humanity. These are the things that father Abraham strongly adjudged as ‘bad things in life’. We should ask God to rid these ills off our people in Jesus name.
Finally, my thought of the Error of the Rich man is that he did nothing about the man that laid at his Gates, which seems to be what many rich men do today even in church. There are people around us that we see daily in suffering Situations and we just do nothing about their state, yet hoping that God will still bless us continually. We have to do something about the plight of the poor for us to partake in eternal bliss in paradise.