There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 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.Luke 16:19-21
If you saw the rich man walking around the streets of your city today, what would you think of him?
American society has equated worldly riches with God’s blessings. This account proves that material wealth is not a good indicator of the blessing of God on a person’s life. Perhaps this is why so many people leave off following the Lord and yet think He is still blessing them.
No doubt, God has promised to provide all our needs if we seek Him and His kingdom first. However, many follow the Lord with the hope of material wealth as their end goal. This kind of thinking confuses the mind. We think that if we are comfortable, we are righteous.
The truth is, we have become such a comfortable society, we see no need for the Holy Comforter.
Further, if we view earthly riches as evidence of the blessings of God, we probably view poverty as a punishment from God.
If we saw Lazarus, on the street today, what would we think of him?
He certainly was in a very poor condition. He was homeless, filthy, sick, and probably disabled. He was surrounded by filth and animals. Perhaps we would think he did something to deserve to be in that condition. Did he waste his life in drugs or other abuses? Is he insane? Or is he just plain lazy?
The problem with this kind of thinking is that whether Lazarus put himself in that situation or it was just part of living in the fallen world is not the issue. The fact is Lazarus is a child of God! We probably would have neglected him while we judged him, or even treated him as poorly as the rich man did.
Remember what James taught us:
Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?James 2:5
The biggest error behind both of these types of judgments is that we think we can tell who is a child of God and who is not. This leads us to self-justification comparing ourselves to others.
Therefore, rather than jumping to conclusions about someone, we should get to know them. If they have no interest in the Lord, then we should have no interest in them and their popularity or influence. If they love the Lord, we should work with them and help realizing that we are sinners saved by the grace of God. We our fellow heirs of the kingdom!