"Walking in Sacred Sensitivity"
Our God is a God of love, and out of His love comes generosity. Since the beginning, His generosity has been manifested through His creation. Jesus revealed in John 3:16 the generous nature of God, and this passage is considered as the key to man's salvation. Man, being created according to God's likeness and image, also has that nature of loving generosity.
In Psalm 146:3, it mentions princes and man as sources of riches, but they cannot help man enter the Kingdom of God. Giving financial assistance, food, shelter and clothing to the needy are not bad at all; but the wealth of man can choke the message of salvation and cause unfruitfulness (Matt.13: 22). Jesus addressed our Gospel reading today, Luke 16:19-31, directly to the Pharisees who were lovers of money instead of preaching God's Word.
In this story of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man was not sensitive enough to reach out to the needs of Lazarus, who was just a stone’s throw away from him. The story gives strong emphasis on spiritual salvation because Lazarus was in heaven at Abraham's side while the rich man was in hell in torment. After hearing the response of Father Abraham, the rich man was begging him to send Lazarus back to his house to warn his five brothers to be saved from their sins and torments from the fire of hell.
The rich man learned that it was repentance from sin and acceptance of the message of salvation that leads to eternal life. The two characters of this story represent the world and Jesus. The rich man was the world who succumbed to his worldly riches, while Lazarus was Jesus, Who bore and died for our sins. A parallel passage of this story can be found in Revelation 3: 14-22. Laodicea, a rich church, loved their riches, and this caused them to become lukewarm, poor, naked, and blind to God’s Word.
We are living in a world surrounded with technology that affects our quality time with God. It is as if we close the spiritual door and spend all our time fellowshipping with man's creation rather than the Creator Himself (Rom. 1:25). As our God has blessed us with everything pertaining to life and godliness, let us also bless others and share the Gospel of salvation.