Summary: Think about that which is eternal. Only God can truly satisfies our heart. Seize every opportunity to seek God and live for Him.
I entitled this story – the poor and blessed life
• These two words poor and blessed does not usually go together but we see them here.
• At a glance, Lazarus’ life looks pathetic and sad. He is homeless and poor.
• But at the end, we saw him returning to God, because he knows Him and got what is eternal. We realized that he is more blessed.
The rich man has everything, on earth, but when he leaves, he lost everything.
• Whatever we own on earth, cannot last forever. They are temporary.
• Whether we are rich or poor, famous or ordinary, living comfortable or difficult life (although we all want to be rich, famous and comfortable).
• But at the end of the day, these are not as important as we thought.
Jesus wants to remind us not to think only about this life, but the life beyond. Not that they are not important, but they are not MOST important.
• We need to think about that which is eternal. We need to seek God, if life comes from Him.
A young man works as a photographer for a magazine. In 1981 he was flown into an Alaskan wilderness to photograph the natural beauty and some rare flowers. He had everything prepared - photo equipment, 500 rolls of film, and several days of provisions. He kept a diary of events.
3 months later, the rescuers found him, dead. They found his diary - the entries in his diary, which at first detailed his wonder and fascination with the wildlife around him, turned into a pathetic record of a nightmare.
He wrote, “I think I should have used more foresight about arranging my departure. I’ll soon find out.” He waited and waited, hoping that somehow a helicopter will fly pass but no one came to his rescue.
He had carefully mapped out his venture, but had made no provision to be flown out of the area.
It was a serious mistake. Some mistakes can be easily corrected.
• But not all mistakes can be corrected. Things about life need to be planned and prepared.
• To change room is easy. To move house needs more thought. To migrant needs more planning.
• We want to seek God and know why we are living. We cannot afford to neglect.
Jesus wants to give us this important reminder - what is most important and what is eternal.
• He paints a huge contrast to help us understand.
VERY DIFFERENT LIFE
Rich man - no name. Probably because he is selfish and do not have many friends.
• Big house, Clothed with purple - wealthy family, Healthier, lived in luxury EVERYDAY!
Lazarus, meaning “God is my help.” He knows God, and therefore God knows Him.
• May not have a proper home (homeless). Poor, no proper meal each day. Eat leftovers, crumbs. Sick, sores on his body.
Yet A COMMON ENDING. Both died. We all will die.
Rich man may have a big funeral. Lazarus probably no proper funeral. Maybe someone buried him somewhere, without even a tombstone.
Then A DIFFERENT DESTINY - End up in Hades, away from God, rejected God
Suffers in “torment”, in “agony”, absence of God. All man has sinned.
For Lazarus, the “Angels came for him…” (v.22) He was “comforted” (v.25) at Abraham’s side; in paradise, where God is. He knows God when he was on earth, through Christ.
This is what Jesus meant when He said, in Mark 8:36-37 36What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? 37Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?
• Jesus tells us it does NOT really matter what you have in life. It is important that we KNOW God, through Him. He has come to save man.
• It is good to have wealth, fame and status, but these are not the MOST important. Even if we have them today, they will pass away.
• You may have it for 10 years, 20 years, but they will go away.
Italian proverb: “Once the game is over, the king and the pawn小兵 go back into the same box.”
• So we want to seek God, know His will, do that which has eternal significance.
LESSON 1: Think about that which is eternal
Lazarus lived an extremely difficult life.
• Lazarus was very sick; being unable to work he was forced to become a beggar, because he had no means to support himself. Therefore he is poor.
• But he knows God. Jesus specifically tells us his name (the rich man has no name). But Jesus wants us to know that this poor man’s name is Lazarus, meaning “God is my helper.”
• He trusted God to provide, and indeed, he was able to survive, outside a rich man’s house.