16:19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.
16:20 And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
16:21 who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores.
16:22 The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried.
16:23 In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side.
16:24 He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’
16:25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony.
16:26 Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’
16:27 He said, ‘Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father’s house–
16:28 for I have five brothers–that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.’
16:29 Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’
16:30 He said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’
16:31 He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'”
This passage marks the fact that our lives cannot be defined by our money or riches. It also teaches us that if we go through life refusing to acknowledge another’s need and live selfishly, that path leads us to destruction. This rich man thought he had it all. He found his happiness and worth in his materialistic pleasures. He got up and found satisfaction in feasting “sumptuously everyday” and felt important in his purple and fine linen. This was a man who divulged in his money.
The poor man however could not be defined by much because he had nothing. He owned nothing, spent nothing and was left to be a poor helpless beggar on the street. He longed for the comfort of food and warmth but did not find his true happiness in these things. It is safe to conclude that despite this poor mans financial state, he still loved and trusted in God.
At the end of our lives we will be called to look back and see what it was we measured to be of great value. We have the opportunity know to seek what is truly valuable, which as Christians is our relationship with Jesus Christ. As Christians we are to recognize that our earthly gains are but a blessing from God and not a true source of joy and happiness.
This rich man learned that lesson far too late and as a result spent eternity in hell, separated from God. The poor man did not have any earthly riches but had spiritual gains that were above all else because they were deeply rooted in Christ.
Let us examine our hearts and pursue finding our true joy in Christ. He is the very definition of what joy is and so let us allow for Him to fill our hearts with what His definition of joy is. He is our protector, guider, helper, the utmost example and giver of love. Our riches come and go, but He never changes and is always faithful.