Think, Act, Be, Day 13-Luke 16:19-31
He called out, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus.”
Jesus’ parable in Luke 16 features two characters before and after they die. While on earth the rich man feasts sumptuously; but after he dies, he’s tormented in Hades. Lazarus, though poor on earth, lives with Abraham after he dies. Surprisingly, the “rich man” can communicate with Abraham. In his plea, he calls Lazarus– whose name means “God has helped”– by his name. Lazarus is the only named character in Jesus’ parables. Jesus and Abraham know his name—and so does the rich man. These two had a relationship before they died.
Jesus parable tells us that God introduced the rich man to salvation before death. God’s help just came in the form of a beggar that he saw every day and had apparently known by name. Lazarus wasn’t a random stranger on the street hoping for a handout. He was someone who actually came close enough to the rich man’s table to qualify himself as a pet. Instead of receiving God’s help—and ministering to Lazarus– the rich man chose to remain imprisoned by his earnings. By ignoring the poor, he sentenced himself to die. Behavior and belief go together- positively and negatively. When we ignore the Lazaruses we know, we’re saying to God, “I really don’t believe that I need God’s help.”
19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham.[a] The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. 24 He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. 26 Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’ 27 He said, ‘Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’ 30 He said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”