he knew his name…

“There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on 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.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house—for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’” (Luke 16:19-31 ESV)

We have all heard this story before. And it is the same as all of the stories we have been hearing for a while now from the pericope. It is not about the rules we follow but how we look out for the other…

You see the thing I am always struck by in this reading is that the rich man has no name. He is simply referred to as the rich man. But in life from the way the story goes, everyone would have known his name. He was in the in crowd. He wore the right clothes, and probably got invited to all the parties, and was more than likely one of the people to know if you wanted to make it in town. He was some body and he had a name. Then there is Lazarus. The poor man who laid outside the rich man’s house and begged for scraps and had the dogs to help him keep his soars clean. In life he would not have been known right? He was a no body and didn’t have the right clothes or run in the right crowds. He was not invited to any parties, and he couldn’t help you at all. He was a burden and there fore a waste of time. You wouldn’t want to know his name. Yet the rich man knows his name…

The rich man does not call out from Hades to Abraham and say “please send the poor man to help me.” He calls and asks Abraham to send Lazarus. Now I don’t believe we are given name tags in Heaven. Maybe it just is that we all instantly know the name of everyone else. But whatever it is the man who had a name now has none and the one who was unknown is known by all. The first shall be last and the last shall be first…

Then interestingly Abraham tells the rich man that if he and his brothers could not listen to Moses and the prophets (the majority of the Hebrew Scriptures) that they would not believe if one came back from the dead! They would not believe even after they killed Jesus and he rose again from the grave! Jesus came and showed us how to live the life that God has told us and the Israelites to live. One that looks out for the other. #1 must become number #2 and we need to think about the other person. Even in life the rich man probably knew Lazarus’ name, but more out of disgust because that man is still here.

You see the one who dies with the most toys, dies! And leaves his/her family more to deal with. The one who helps the other instead of amassing things here, will also die. But will leave his/her family with a legacy of people who have been touched. Being rich does not mean having things, it means being loved by the one who first loved us, and giving that love away as freely as it was given to us.

Published by asacredrebel

Lions tamed Dragons slain Leaders equipped Disciples trained Jedi Christian Living the Gospel out loud!

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