(Scripture)Read: Luke 16:19-31
Luke 16: 21 (NLT) As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores.
- In Jesus parable, the rich man represented a Pharisee with his rich heritage of being a descendant of Abraham, God’s covenant, and God’s message.
- Pharisees referred to Gentiles as “dogs”. Hence, only the Gentiles would be low enough to show compassion and tend to the wounds of someone as low as Lazarus.
- Even in hell, the Pharisee considered himself great and did not ask, but told Abraham (verse 24) to “Send Lazarus over …”
- Jesus knew the Pharisees well enough to know they would never ask Lazarus for help. Their whole identity was wrapped up in their prestigious rich heritage. The irony was that in the end, they are far from Abraham.
- The rich man was in hell for his refusal to share his rich heritage of God’s message, even the scraps, with anyone but his own family.
- In verse 27, Jesus related that rich man’s compassion was only for his fellow Pharisees when he tells Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his brothers.
At the end of my freshman year in college, I went to the Florida Keys to study marine invertebrates. Although I earned college credit, I walked away with a rich experience. We snorkeled around the island where we stayed, and collected specimens to place in a salt water tank in the lab. While snorkeling around this little island paradise, I came face to face with a shark, and was unafraid. It being behind a chain linked fence might have helped. The shark was breathtaking, like all the coral and fish I saw. For a small town kid, it was my first great adventure that has stayed with me all these years.
I came home and told all who would listen about my great adventures and what I learned. Many years later, it was the same enthusiasm which inspired me to want to share my love of learning, the shark, and science as a teacher.
My Walk to Emmaus was like my Florida Keys experience. God and I have beaten sharks when there was no chain linked fence. God has never left my side. The enthusiasm continues to inspire me to share His message in any way I can. Not sharing His rich message is inconceivable and impossible.
Loving Father. Use me to spread Your message. Help me not to overlook the Lazarus’ of the world. In Your name I pray. Amen.