The Parable Of The Rich Man And Lazarus
KEY SCRIPTURES: Luke 16:19-31; Matthew 16:26
Matthew 16:26 “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
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The parable of the rich man and Lazarus was narrated by Jesus Christ in the book of Luke Chapter 16(19-31) which talks about a rich man who had all the worldly possessions and always had a different feast. He was gorgeously dressed in purple and fine linen. There was also Lazarus, who was a beggar at the rich man’s gate, always lying down at the gate and desires to be fed from the crumbs at the rich man’s table but never had the opportunity. He had a sore all over his body and dogs do come to lick his sores. One day, he died and so did the rich man. Lazarus was carried by angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man found himself in hell life where he was being tormented daily. One day, he lifted his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus was with him. He requested that Abraham should ask Lazarus to dip his finger in water to cool his tongue from thirst, but Abraham reminded him of how he had received his good things while on earth, but Lazarus received the evil things and that he is being comforted now. Abraham also said the great gulf is fixed between them so as to prevent anyone from passing through. The rich man requested that Abraham should assist him to send someone to warn his five brothers to live a good life, so they won’t end up where he was, but Abraham told him that they have prophets to listen to.
The parable of the rich man and Lazarus is one of the parables of Jesus that affirmed that worldly and earthly possessions have no benefits in the afterlife. People who suffered on earth and were obedient to God’s words will receive their reward in heaven. There are many lessons to bring out from this parable and in this article, few of the biblical lessons on the parable of the rich man and Lazarus will be discussed.
- BUILD RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
No matter the position you are or the state you are, we should learn to build a strong relationship with God. The rich man has no compassion, love or sympathy for the poor, he was only concerned about his happiness which is a good indication that he doesn’t have or build any relationship with God. Pursuing riches and wealth is good but it doesn’t give eternal life. Don’t allow your wealth or riches control you to the extent of losing your soul. As believers, don’t neglect your soul, you should not ignore your relationship with God when pursuing riches and wealth. Having abundant of riches doesn’t mean you are blessed or favored by God. Material prosperity doesn’t equate to spiritual abundance. We should be careful not to allow the things of this world take away our salvation or intimate meditation with God. Plan your time to have communion with God daily and through that God will give you riches that exclude sorrows and guaranteed eternal life afterlife.
2. GENUINE FAITH IS WHAT LEADS TO ETERNAL LIFE
Whether one is poor or rich, God doesn’t look at the state of man but the genuine faith in God with a loving heart is what is required from a believer. Lazarus was poor but he doesn’t mean God was angry with him. That was why he made him poor, but God knew the intent of the heart of man and often denied us of worldly pleasures that might hinder from making it to heaven at last. Despite all that Lazarus was going through, he still had strong faith in God and believed in God. No matter the situation or circumstances, we find ourselves, as we believe, nothing should shake our faith in God. We must believe God is involved even if we are not seeing the manifestation of a good turn around of the situation yet. Nothing should hinder us from believing and having a loving heart always. God doesn’t look at the financial or physical state of man, he looks for a loving heart with genuine faith in Him.
3. MAKE GOOD CHOICES
Making a good choice here on earth will determine where you will end up after death. The rich man lived a life indulging in what his wealth would afford him without a thought on where he would spend his eternity after death. His decision to neglect God in all his dealings resulted in lasting consequences. Lazarus despite everything made the right choice to build a relationship with God and he was compensated for this. As Christians, we should learn to make the right choices because every choice we make has lasting consequences either good or bad. We should learn to live a life of good contentment, peace and full of God’s love to people around us. Our choices always, as we believe, should be choices that glorify God and draw people to the kingdom of God. Our choices should not take people away from the faith or give temporal pleasures. We should afford ungodly and selfish ambitions as Ambassadors for Christ here on earth.
4. SELF-EXAMINATION SHOULD BE DONE DAILY
As Christians, we should self-examine ourselves always to know if we are still in the faith or we have deviated from it. We will be judged on the last day by the works of our hands, so we must be somber and live a life worthy of eternal life. We should not commit ourselves to disobedience and trying to justify our lifestyle or insubordination to God’s word. We should be watchful and prayerful always in order not to be a castaway after we have led people to Jesus Christ.
5. BE KIND TO THE POOR AROUND US
The rich man wasn’t kind or loving to Lazarus despite seeing him at his gate. As Christian, we should be compassionate and kind to people around us, especially the poor or oppressed, as it is very important in God’s ministry. We should practice the life of sacrificial and generous giving. We should not be after only our own happiness, but the happiness of others too should be embedded into our lifestyle. Jesus Christ went about doing good, we should also go about doing good to others especially the least among us.
The parable of the rich man and Lazarus teaches us to be spiritually sensitive. When we are spiritually blind, it causes us to behave aimlessly, ignore the needy people around us, not seeing the things God wanted us to see as believers and finally, it can rob us of eternal life with God in heaven.