Lazarus and the Rich Man by Jacopo Bassano (1510 – 14 to 1592)
Join us as we read through the Gospel of Luke during this Advent Season...
By Cecilia Gibbs, Assistant Principal Rock Solid Christian Academy
Luke 16: 1-31
Our Advent reading for today is from Luke 16. Luke records the teachings and parables of Jesus Christ, including the famous parable of the "rich man and Lazarus”.
The story of Lazarus is probably well known to all of us. A rich man is dining at his table, dressed in the finest clothing and eating an extravagant meal. Apparently, he does this “every day” but “there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.” (Luke 16: 20-21 NKJ)
Lazarus dies and is carried by the angels to Abraham. The rich man also dies, but finds himself agonizing in the fires of Hades. From the flames of Hades the rich man can see Lazarus in the arms of Abraham. He begs for Abraham to send Lazarus to minister to him with a drop of water. He also begs for Abraham to send a messenger to earth to warn his brothers to repent. Both of his requests are denied.
In this lesson, Jesus teaches that heaven and hell are both real, literal places. He also teaches that once we die, there are no more chances: we will either face eternity with Christ in heaven, or eternal separation from Christ in hell.
The other lesson is that Christ desires for us to have compassion on people who have less than us. God has great love for the poor and wants us to care for them. Proverbs 22:9 says, “Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.” Proverbs 31:8–9 says, “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
This season is a perfect time to reach out to help others who are less fortunate. My prayer is that we find ways to bless others in our community throughout the year, not just at Christmas! What is Christ calling you to do today?
“God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.” (Hebrews 6:10 NIV)