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 (Manna 17)
The Parable of The Rich Man and Lazarus
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Parable of The Rich Man and Lazarus

Matthew — 23 says, “Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evil doers.”’ Think about it. Isn’t it sad if a Christian cannot enter the kingdom of heaven? The Lord told this parable: “There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, full of sores, who desired to be fed with what tell from the rich man’s table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried; and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted u p his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame” (Lk —24). The rich man, like Lazarus, was a believer of God. There is no indication that he has committed any serious sins. There is also no mention that Lazarus did any good works. Why the different destiny? The rich man went to the Hades sufferings great torment whereas Lazarus was taken into tile bosom of Abraham to enjoy in heavenly bliss.

The rich man was clothed in purple and fine linen. He was not just a weal thy person hut also a man of power and influence, possibly a community leader (Lev 6:1). But he had no compassion for poor Lazarus. The Bible says, “If anyone has the world’s goods and sees a brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” We in the Lord should love one another for it is the commandment of God (Jn ). Although this rich man was a believer of the Lord, he had no pity for others at all. To such the Bible has this to say, “For yet mercy triumphs over judgement” (Jas ).

1.  Forbearance

Lazarus was a beggar afflicted with sores all over his body, one who saw him would keep a distance from him, In such a terrible state, lie was probably going through more mental suffering than the physical. Despite all the odds against him he did not murmur a word but rather willingly gathered the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table for his meals. Though he was poor he was honest. He was a believer of the Lord. In order to preserve his purity he had determined to suffer from poverty rather than to design an ill intention to get rich. This is highly commendable. As we are living in this perilous period it is unavoidable that we meet with various kinds of hardships and it is during such periods that we are easily tempted by vicissitude life Therefore, when we are laced with such situation we should hold on to our faith and remember the sufferings that our Lord had undergone and we should also emulate the forbearance of Lazarus (2 Cor 4: 17), then only shall we obtain blessing from the Lord.

2.  Contentment

Lazarus had no relatives or friends. Afflicted by sores. Despised by many. But fortunately, he was a believer of the Lord. To some extent he had received love and concern from his fellow believers. His poverty and sickness had prompted him to deny the world, strengthened his hope in the kingdom of Ha Veil, confirmed his faith in keeping the word, enabled him to live a contented life. Because he had lived a con tented life he did not sin and because he had kept the word of God there was joy and hope in his heart (Rom 14:7). Indeed, he was more blessed than most of the rich men who were without God and troubled by their wealth. As we are believers of the Lord and in anticipation of our blessings in futures, we must emulate the character of Lazarus to live a contended and God—fearing life; lest we should become greedy and sin against God.

3.  Humility

Though Lazarus was poverty—stricken, afflicted with sores, and helpless, yet he possessed the good virtues of humility and obedience, symbolical of selflessness. Lazarus was poor and ugly looking. To the world lie looked contemptible. But he understood that God was merciful to him. He believed that God had a beautiful will to which he could not comprehend (Rom , 34).

God made Lazarus poor and afflicted with sickness with the purpose to train him and also to set an example of endurance for others to follow. Moreover God has absolute power to make man in whatever state he wants him to be. Man is but a created being. He cannot question God by saying, “Why have you made me thus?” (Rom , 21). As created beings we are, we need to be obedient and submissive to Him. Only then can we gain favour from Him and be blessed by Him. Lazarus had understood this truth so he was humble and obedient to God on all matters. Despite of his poverty he was able to conduct himself very well. Lazarus had manifested so well that it only concludes that he was man of high spirituality.

In conclusion, the cause of the rich man to have fallen in the Lades was that he was arrogant, egoistic, merciless; there was no God in his heart, he was a man without conscience, seeking only after his own pleasures (1 Tim 1:19). He was a hard hearted person. Outwardly he looked strong but inside him was a ‘believer’ for name sake only. His downfall can well serve as a warning to us.

On the contrary, Lazarus was a man of forbearance, humility and obedience and he was full of faith. He bore no grudges of his poverty and sufferings for he had lived a contended life. He took God as the centre of his life. Though he had no outward appearance yet inside him he was strong; worthy of emulation. Therefore, it is hoped that we who are desirous of entering into the kingdom of heaven should take note of the rich man as a warning and take Lazarus as an example for our emulation. May the Holy spirit guide us so that we may be able to work our way to the heavenly kingdom.


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