Saturday, 20 March 2021
Title: Reverse Fortunes
By: Chan Yew Thai
The rich man and Lazarus – Luke 16:19-31 (ESV)
In his lifetime, the rich man clothed in purple and fine linen having sumptuous meals daily was in an enviable position while Lazarus, a beggar at his gate, who was covered with sores and wished to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table was in the opposite. As Pastor Mark Tan mentioned in his devotion on the same scripture that death is the greatest equaliser. When they both died, their fortunes were reversed. The rich man could not bring any of his wealth with him, neither could he buy himself a place where Father Abraham and Lazarus were. In the same way, Lazarus could not bring his sores and misery with him.
The second commandment according to Jesus in Matthew 22:39 is “Love your neighbour as yourself.”
While he was alive, the rich man had no compassion or love for others. Seeing Lazarus at his gate yet, he did not even give Lazarus the leftover of his meals. He could have done this act of kindness without having to go out of his way as Lazarus was at his gate, neither would it cost him anything. His actions tell us that he had not obeyed the second commandment. He probably found security in his wealth and position, and did not believe or trust in God till it was too late. Besides, he must have enjoyed life so much that he had forgotten that there is an end to life.
On the contrary, Lazarus must have been a godly man who suffered in silence. Scripture did not tell us that he complained or cursed his situation or the rich man who would not even share the leftover of his meal.
Upon their death, the rich man was in Hades being tormented while Lazarus was at the side of Abraham enjoying eternal life.
In Matthew 25:45-46, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me. And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” This passage does not imply that our salvation is by works. Salvation is by grace through faith. It is saying, that having the Holy Spirit indwelling in us we will have the heart of Jesus to be compassionate, merciful, and loving which means it should move us to help others in need.
Matthew 25:45-46 further affirms the seriousness of the second commandment, and as believers with transformed lives, we are to have compassion for those in need. Brothers and Sisters, may we not harden our hearts like the rich man who did not move a finger to help the needy person. In this current situation, with the Covid-19 pandemic many have lost their jobs or businesses. May we do our little bit, whether financial or physical, to help relieve the pain of those found in such circumstances, lest on Judgement Day we are sent by the King into eternal punishment.
Dear Lord Jesus, forgive us for being callous and oblivious to the sufferings around us. May You open our eyes and hearts to the needs in our midst. May we be compassionate for those in need and do our part to help others. May we learn to share the burden of family and friends and lend a shoulder so that no one need to suffer alone. By these simple acts, may many come to know You and Your name be glorified. In Your mighty name we pray. Amen.
有钱人和拉撒路 – 路加福音16：19-31
耶稣在马太福音25：45-46中说：“谁是忠心有见识的仆人，为主人所派管理家里的人，按时分粮给他们呢？主人来到，看见他这样行，那仆人就有福了。“ 这段经文并不意味着我们的得救是靠行为完成的。救恩是凭着信心得到的恩典。就是说，有了圣灵住在我们里面，我们就会有耶稣的心 — 充满同情心，仁慈和爱心，这意味着圣灵应该感动我们来帮助需要帮助的人。