Luke 16: 19-31, 19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 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.’ 25 “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. 26 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.’ 27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ 30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent. 31 “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.’”
Not many of us believe that everything does not ends with our death. What happens to us after death?? In the Bible we can see that Jesus makes use of parables to make His teachings be easily understood by ordinary people. To teach us to be kind to others He made use of the parable of The Good Samaritan:Luke 10:27-37.
Here what we focus on is Luke 16: 19 onward where we read about a rich man and Lazarus. The rich man lived a luxurious life and dressed in fine linen. He lived a life full of pleasure. His name is not revealed here. At his gate lay a beggar named Lazarus whose body was full of sores. Lazarus desired to eat even what fell down from the rich man’s table, how pitiful. His sores were licked by dogs which shows he had no proper clothes to cover himself. Both of them died. We do not read about the burial of Lazarus. Yet burial of rich man can be read. Lazarus was taken to Abraham’s side by the angels. The rich man was taken down into Hades into the hands of the evil angels.
The rich man’s burial must have been a grand affair since his social standing was such. A lot of wealthy and known people must have attended it. He must have been embalmed with spices and perfumed oils. The rich man had experienced all the joys this world could offer. Whereas who was bothered if Lazarus lives or dies.He was equal to nothing,
In today’s world, death ceremonies are no longer solemn and have become a grand show as in weddings and festivities. Here too is display of wealth. Earlier, a house where death took place was silent and filled with prayers and hymns. Hence the term, silent like a graveyard.
What Jesus says forward is something we too should think about. Luke 16:23 onward we see that the rich man looked up from hell and saw Lazarus near Abraham’s side. He pleaded 24 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.’ 25 “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.
This hints that our life does not end in death, it is only a continuation after death. Ephesians 2:10, 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. The rich man need have looked after Lazarus.He could have instructed one of his many servants to help,feed him and treat his sores.He could have clothes him in one of his many used clothes which he no longer wore. His selfishness made him tightfisted and one who ignores the needs of others. My wealth is for my family and coming generations only is what the rich man thought. Today’s generation is no better. I,Me,Myself. It is sad.
Let us hear a story. Mark 9:41, 41 Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.
Three believers died and reached the gate of Heaven. The angel that stood guard at the gate asked the first believer, “Who are you?”. He replied,” I was an evangelist on earth. I spread the word of God to many and hence brought many to faith.” “Good”, said the angel, “You may enter”. The angel repeated the same question with the second believer. He answered, “I am a prophet and with my words I have helped many transform themselves in Christ.” The angel said to him,” Good, you too may enter.” the same question was asked to the third believer also. He stood in fear before the angel and with a shameful heart said,” I am sinner. I have nothing special to talk about myself. If I have done anything to others it was only to glorify my Lord. I do not remember any acts in particular. Have mercy on me.” The Lord was listening to him intently and asked the angel to open the gates completely for him and let him enter with trumpets resounding. Lord said,” No one enters heaven empty handed like you did. Everyone carries a smelly baggage of their good deeds as recommendation to enter heaven.”
Dear children of God, think who are you from among the three believers. Where would you be if you get completely immersed in the worldly pleasures and serve no good to family, relatives and society??? With the rich man or with Lazarus??? Those who get the place of Lazarus are blessed.