“There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.”
- Luke 16:19-21
Jesus draws a comparison between two men – the one who was rich and had everything. In today’s world he would be the kind of rich business executive in a designer suit who arrives at the best restaurant each day in his luxury car and wines and dines only on the best food.
The other man was poor, wretched, hungry, homeless and covered with sores. His only source of comfort, were the dogs that licked his sores. Unfortunately, this sight is not unfamiliar in our cities these days where beggars are encountered on almost every street corner.
This poor beggar is placed at the gate of the rich man’s mansion by those who hoped that the rich man would care enough as he went in and out and would show a little compassion by giving the poor beggar a little food and care.
But why care? He is only a beggar. Nobody wanted him as a friend. He had offered no worth or value to anyone. He was just unlucky and that was his station in life.
Jesus is showing how unsympathetic certain people are. And even when they have money are too stingy to give any away.
We as individuals cannot feed all the hungry people in the world or even in the city, village or neighbourhood, but we can help someone who is at our gate. Someone, somehow divinely may come across our path in our daily lives. It is obvious. God placed them on that path. And we need to respond with love, compassion and practical help.
Must the animal kingdom show more concern than we? Jesus said, “The dogs licked the poor beggar’s sores,” bringing him a little comfort. How heartless of us when there is someone who needs the basic requirements in life and we, despite having the resources, ignore the desperate need.
Dear heavenly Father, help me today to fulfil Your royal law and go out of my way to help someone in need, in Jesus name.