The Storyteller: Rich Man and Lazarus day 4
But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.’ Luke 16:25 NIV
In Jesus’ day people viewed riches as evidence of God’s favor. Poverty or disease surely meant God’s disfavor. How Jesus’ parable must have amazed them. Day after day, Lazarus lay at the rich man’s door, longing for the leftovers, the dogs licking his sores. The rich man shows no mercy. He serves wealth rather than the living God. After death, this rich and apparently favored man suffers eternity in hell. Poor, afflicted Lazarus is comforted in heaven by Abraham.
By Luther’s day, riches were viewed as a dangerous idol. The surest way to heaven was to pursue a life of poverty and prayer as a monk. But Luther found this an empty road.
Does receiving good things in this life lead to eternal damnation while enduring bad things assure us of heaven? Of course not. All that matters is Jesus. His sacrifice. His death. His resurrection. His love. Living in plenty or in want has nothing to do with our eternal salvation – only faith in Jesus does.
Always be ready to help the Lazarus before you in response to Jesus’ great love for you. Ask God for the will and the way to do so in this short life in the sure and certain hope of eternity with Him!
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