The Uncomfortable Comfortable
Posted on November 20, 2019 by Graeme Wilson in Freedom Fighters
“But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish.” ~Luke 16:25 (NLT)
Pretty soon it’s gonna be turkey, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie, and thanks to pumpkin spice everything, I think we’ve had a taste of that pie since Labor Day. Anyway…can you imagine, if you will, the conversation around the Thanksgiving table this season. Those of us, who have a mind to trends upon everyone else’s political views, may serve up their version of impeachment pie with an infamous dollop of ready to whip your cream for voting differently than I. Bet ya that convo shortens any Christmas gift-giving list this year.
However, if, as many a Christian will hypothesize, Jesus showed up at our Thanksgiving tables, how that would affect our conversations then. Well, DUH, of course, it would affect it. No one is gonna ask Him what His political thoughts are, His are divine so the point will be moot. Would anyone ask Him to pass the sweet potatoes? I suppose that He would, I don’t think wanting sweet potatoes would cross any lines but I’ve been wrong about the simple stuff before.
But what if Jesus was asked to share a little insight on what He thought was important to be thankful for and He started off like this…
“There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores.” (Luke 16:19-21)
Now, if you’re there grimacing your face because you’ve just pictured Lazarus on the floor at your Thanksgiving celebration table, you may wanna take off that robe of purple for a moment because it’s gonna tougher from here.
For me, the set up for this parable starts way back in Luke 15, “Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that He was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them!” (Luke 15:1-2) So with that bad attitude in mind, let’s dig into Luke 16:19-31…
Well, we got a rich guy who apparently has no problem providing for himself and we got a poor man, afflicted with sores, waiting for scraps from this rich guy’s table. We aren’t seeing where this rich guy is directly doing this poor guy any harm but we ain’t seeing where he’s doing him any good. They both die and we’ll see the poor guy being carried away by angels while the rich guy is being buried in the ground. Then comes this twist, the poor guy is in the comfort of Abraham and the rich guy is in torment which causes our rich friend to say, “Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.” (Luke 16:24)
My reaction would have been, “Send Lazarus!? You gotta be kidding!? Now you know who Lazarus is!? Do you think you have some claim on him just because he ate your crumbs?” but it’s probably a good thing I’m not mentioned in this parable. Abraham’s reply is a better one anyway, “Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish.” (Luke 16:25)
Unfortunately for the rich guy, he only lived for the good things of the earth, experienced abundant temporal blessings and, from what I can gather, kept them to himself…well except for the crumbs. Maybe this rich guy didn’t understand the fact the world measures you by how much you get while God measures you by how much you give. Maybe he heard The Word but still rejected it because it ran interference with his agenda. Scripture really doesn’t tell us, but I suspect our human nature can…hmmm!! What Lazarus was, now the rich guy is, miserable.
I’m almost running outta words to share and this isn’t the end of this parable, the best is yet to come. It’s almost more like “A Christmas Carol” but in the end the truth isn’t gonna be Scrooge showing up with presents or a Thanksgiving turkey. What it’s gonna be is hard teaching by Jesus and it’s something we all should take heed to. So, until next time, think about this…Does comfort have to come first before we would consider others? Secularland is gonna make sure they’re doing good stuff for all to see. Will we do something for God to see? I hope so. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) has been married for 25+ years (Kathy), has a married son (Kevin) and a daughter in college (Karen). He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Think About This: “Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips and shows itself in deeds.” -Theodore Roosevelt
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness. – Psalm 17:15
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.