I would like to spend, if you will allow me to, just a short amount of time in the account that Jesus gave in the Book of Luke on the subject of Lazarus and the rich man. (Luke 16:19-31) For those of you that are aware and well versed in these passages I will not be tedious, the subject matter is quite easily understood as a whole in the verse “neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead,” and as is always nearly true in the Word of God, the account is relevant to our current times, for the Lord Jesus did rise from the dead, and beyond even Moses and the prophets we have been blessed with the entire, inerrant Word of God, yet hundreds of millions still do not believe.
The context that I would like to keep this letter to you in is found in verses 20 and 25, where the beggar Lazarus was laid at the gate of the rich man each day, seeking crumbs from his table, and how we are told that he received evil things during his lifetime. To read between the lines, to see as much of the account that is written for us as that which is not, is something that only the Holy Spirit can divulge to us, and great care is always taken by myself in these areas not to interject my own opinions and conjectures, for I would most assuredly always be incorrect in them.
It you will notice please in verse 20, it is written that Lazarus was laid at the rich mans gate, he did not walk there, he didn’t catch a ride or take a taxi each morning to his daily spot, he was laid there by someone who cared about him, apparently someone who could not fulfill all of his daily needs, but perhaps at least some of them. He was laid there by someone who loved him. One might also suppose that since he was laid at this particular gate each morning, this same person, or perhaps a group of individuals who took turns caring for his needs, came back each evening, picked him up and either carried him or laid him on some type of stretcher and returned him to where he lived. We are not told why Lazarus could not care for himself physically, we do not know why or how he became so poor in the worlds view, nor do we know the reason behind his sores that the dogs licked each day, we know only that this was a day-to-day continuing occurrence that apparently had been going on for quite some time.
The compassion of these individuals that helped this man each and every day is more than admirable, and personally I would place them in the same category of the good Samaritan, (Luke 10:30-37) an event so well known and recognized as one of compassion and care that many countries around the world today carry on their law books a good Samaritan law. How many people in your life have you met that give up this amount of time on a daily basis, with no pay, for another, for one that cannot do for themselves, for one who cannot meet the needs of the body each day, it is a rare thing indeed in this fallen world today to meet such people.
One must also wonder, since Lazarus was laid at the same place each day, probably around the same time each morning, did the rich man know that he was out there waiting for his crumbs, and if so, was there a special ‘Lazarus plate’ in the household, one that was commanded by the rich man to be given to the beggar after he himself had finished “fairing sumptuously.” This is difficult to discern, for even though the lost, which the rich man most assuredly was, have within themselves the ability to show compassion, it is not normally a continuing attribute that they show on a regular basis, for self is their only true god. Perchance it was one of the rich mans servants, someone who, unbeknownst to him, each and every day brought food out to Lazarus, came to him just outside of the gate with a smile, a warm greeting and laid gently at his side that days nourishment.
Though at times I am sure he was, as we all are, bitter about the circumstances of his life, I do not believe that Lazarus was bitter continually, for though no one would welcome a fate such as his, and no one can, or should remain bitter continually, we know that he had friends, friends who cared deeply for him and did all that was in their power to do for him what they could, no one can remain disgruntled for long when they are loved and cared for by others.
If you will notice now in verse 25, we are told by Abrahams words that Lazarus received evil in his lifetime. I have thought long and hard on this over the years and have come upon only one reason why the Lord would allow, at least for a time perhaps, this mans life to become so despondent, so desperate in his physical circumstances, and this is the conclusion I have, I humbly suggest that it was for us, for all who would read this account and still be able to see the blessings of the Lord our God in adversity. Lazarus, as the man who was born blind was, (John 9:1-3) was allowed, even placed if you will, by God in the position he was in by God so that at that exact moment in time the Glory of God could be shown. As Christ healed the man born blind, I believe that Lazarus was blessed by God in the way he was so that all who would read and see throughout all of eternity the incredible blessings that await those who trust in Jesus Christ, and receive the Kingdom of Heaven.
If you have been saved by grace through faith, you must understand that every single trial or tribulation, every trouble that comes our way is allowed by God Almighty, nothing happens to one of His children unless it passes through the Throne of His Grace first, unless He allows it. It is how we handle these incidents that determine our true character in Christ, and affects not only our walk with Him, but our witness for Him.
If you are a child of the Most High God, whose faith rests completely in His Son Jesus Christ, and your physical body is broken and torn, I honor you, for you have a faith and trust in His Holy Name that many of us can only dream of. You and Lazarus will have much to discuss when you finally meet, and your praise of Christs wonderous love will resound throughout heaven for all of eternity.
Be of good cheer if God has placed you in the same circumstances as this poor beggar, continue to give glory to His Name, and wait patiently, as much as is in you, for that glorious day when you will run full speed into His loving, waiting arms.