He Alone is Worthy
Verse 31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”
Having looked at the wealthy man yesterday – who we mentioned represented the Pharisees – today we will look at the poor man who should remind us of all those who need to feel Jesus’ love and hear His Gospel, including us.
This parable is the only one where Jesus gave a character a name. While the man bore the same name as Jesus’ friend, Lazarus, this isn’t a story about him. The only thing this poor beggar had was a name. He didn’t have his health, wealth or the ability to walk. He lay there hoping for the smallest of crumbs to come his way but instead of the slightest morsel of food, he only received the attention of the local dogs who came to lick his wounds. The rich man didn’t have the time or desire to help Lazarus.
We don’t know much about the poor man except that he was so poor that he was a beggar. He also had oozing sores and was crippled. When Jesus said that at the rich man’s gate “was laid a beggar named Lazarus” He was saying that the man couldn’t get there himself. Knowing this we can guess that the man had someone that cared enough to put him in the most likely place to gain a handout. Or so they thought.
Lazarus was a God-fearing man even in his dismal state. We know this because he was welcomed into heaven and is seen being comforted. He wasn’t a frequent visitor of the Temple because he wouldn’t have been welcomed there, he was unclean and therefore not seen as a righteous man. As we mentioned during the lessons about Jesus’ healing miracles, having a severe ailment was seen as a sign that God had rejected the person. That was not the truth.
This poor man knew he had a need, just like those in our world who are hurting and in need of Jesus. They may not know that it is Jesus that they are needing in their lives but they know they need something. We need to make sure that we aren’t acting like the rich man or the Pharisees, ignoring people because they don’t fit our image of who is worthy for a relationship with Jesus. The fact is, none of us is worthy. Not a single one. We need to be sharing the grace that is so lavished on us.
Making It Personal
In what ways do you see your unworthiness? Why is it important to see your unworthiness? When did you embrace Jesus’ worthiness in your life?
Making It Personal Kids
How close are you to acting perfect like Jesus? Why is it important to know that you sin? Have you learned that you can only be worthy of heaven through Jesus?
Father, You are worthy, we are not. Thank You for sending Jesus to live the perfect life so that His worthiness can be applied to us. Give us a heart to extend Your grace to all those we meet. In Jesus’ name, amen.