The two rich men
Many a time when we consider today’s passage, (the popular story of the rich man and Lazarus), we see the story of a rich man and a poor man. Possibly because the passage itself in verses 19-20 began with the description of a rich man and that of a beggar, full of sores. But recently, while reading this passage for my morning devotion, the Lord opened my eyes to the fact that these were actually two rich men. So, the title of this message is “The Two Rich Men.” I know you will want to ask me who is the second rich man, for what you can see is only one rich man. The bitter truth is that the world and its system have so much affected our thinking/perspective that we see riches largely from their own perspective. But that is far from the truth. It is very clear from the Bible that riches could be physical and spiritual. There are true riches beyond silver and gold (Luke 16:11). One could be rich in one and be poor in the other. Also, one could be poor in both and also one could be rich in both. Therefore, let us consider the aspects wherein these two men were rich.
Two Sides To Riches
• One was rich in Goods, while the other was rich in God. To be rich in goods is to be rich in livestock, silver and gold. (Gen. 13: • To be rich in God is to know God, fear Him and live for Him. (Luke 12:21) The rich man was rich in goods, while Lazarus was rich in God.
• The rich man was rich in Wealth, while Lazarus was rich in the Word of God, the word of wisdom. He was rich in integrity. (Pro. 28:6)
• The rich man was rich in Frivolities of Life, while Lazarus was rich in Faith. (James 2:5) To be rich in faith is to also be rich in the things of God/good works. (1 Tim. 6:18, 2 Cor. 8:2)
This parable, therefore, is the story of two rich men. Jesus warned us about ignoring God in this life. Honouring God in life makes life rich, while ignoring Him in life makes life poor. Every rich man might be poor in one thing or the other and every poor man has the capacity to be rich in one thing or the other. There are riches of God’s grace and glory that can only be found in Christ Jesus. (Eph. 1:18, 2:7) Do you have spiritual riches? The good news is that being rich in goods does not have to hinder you from being rich in God. You can be rich both ways, just like father Abraham in this parable. May you be rich both spiritually and physically! Amen. Shalom.
Shepherdhill Baptist Church (Sanctuary of Grace & Glory), Baptist Academy Compound, Obanikoro, Lagos.
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