Summary: Lazarus chose to believe in God and trust his life to Him. Many complain about their injustice, their poverty and sickness, yet never turn to God. Life is tough and a difficult assignment, but we can fulfill our destiny.
Subject: Life is Tough, a difficult Assignment
Text: Luke 16:20-22
“And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;”
Job 14:1 Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.
Introduction: During Jesus’ day, the Pharisees considered wealth and ease as proof of righteousness and God’s favor. Jesus startled them with this story in which as diseased beggar is rewarded and rich man is punished. The rich man did not end up in hell because of his wealth, but because of his selfishness and to understand the reason for his wealth and privileges. The amount of money we have is not nearly as important as how we choose to use it. In Psalms 139, David give us insight concern human existence.
Ps 139:13 -14 “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. (14) I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”
God created and knows the most inward and hidden part of the body, he understand the seat of men's lusts and passions and he determines the color of their skin, their station in life, whether a man is born rich or poor, sick or healthy. David concludes that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made. Jesus does tell us how the rich man got his riches or how Lazarus ended up sick and poor. Yet both are fearfully and wonderfully made. I could talk more about the rich man, but this message centers on Lazarus. At a time when there were no hospitals, social service organizations, and no public assistance, being poor and sick was an incredible burden. Even the name Lazarus means afflicted, without help or hope, a man destitute of help, a needy, poor man. The rich man name is not mention because of his wealth, everybody probably knew his name. Yet Lazarus’s name is mentioned because He was important to God, his character was outstanding, his nature was good, and his glorious end. It is the purpose of God that the righteous should be highly esteemed and their memory be held in everlasting remembrance. We did not choose the days of our lives.
Lazarus’s position in life was a part of his assignment: He was carried and laid at the rich man’s gate. Lazarus was placed in the best position in order that he might obtain aid for himself and provide the best opportunity for the rich man to have a change of heart and be generous. This story really shows how connected we are. In our society, there is a attempt to separate the down and out from the in crowd. We are truly connected and what happens to one, effects the other. Lazarus’s position was determined by God.
Lazarus’s condition in life was a part of his assignment: Lazarus was clothed with sores; covered with ulcers; afflicted not only with poverty, but with loathsome and offensive ulcers accompanied his poverty and want. These circumstances are designed to show how different was his condition from that of the rich man. The rich man was clothed in purple; the poor man was covered with sores; The rich man fared sumptuously; the poor man was hungry and waited for the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table. God can equip us to go any situation and still allow us to fulfill our destiny. God created each of us, giving both our position and condition in life. God knows our frame and he knows how much we can bear. None of the things we go through can stop us from fulfilling our purpose. Lazarus’s position and condition were determined by God.
Lazarus’s comfort in Life was a part of his assignment: The dogs came and licked his sores! His miserable condition was so great, that even the dogs, were moved with sympathy, came and licked his sores in kindness to him. These circumstances of his misery are very touching, and his condition, contrasted with that of the rich man, is very striking. I wonder, why God allowed Lazarus to suffer so much?
There are not indications that the rich man was unkind to him, or drove him away, or refused to aid him. The narrative is designed simply to show that the possession of wealth, and all the blessings of this life comes with a responsibility. All of us will one day give an account to God. Wealth does not exempt one from death and misery. And the lowest condition of one does not exclude them from life and happiness beyond the grave.