Yesterday, Jesus taught us that we can’t serve both God and $$$. Today, he takes that lesson even deeeeeper with this rather haunting parable:
There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, “Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.”
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. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.”
He answered, “Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.”
Abraham replied, “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.”
“No, father Abraham,” he said, “but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.”
He said to him, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.”
The people generally believed that rich folks were blessed and poor folks were cursed. Jesus turned those expectations on their head.
The world says: Get rich.
Woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort. (Luke 6:24)
The world says: Eat well.
Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry. (Luke 6:25a)
The world says: Be happy.
Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep. (Luke 6:25b)
It isn’t necessarily about whether we’re rich or poor. Jesus is after something much deeper: our ♥s.
The #1 command is to love God and #2 is to love others. The rich man in the parable did neither and showed what was really in his ♥ by living in luxury and ignoring the beggar at his gate.
Living that kind of unloving life has eternally disastrous consequences. Ask God to give you a new ♥ and to help you live by his loving standards, not the world’s.
(Image credit: Shutterstock.com)