Luke 16:19-20 (ESV)
“There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores.”
The rich man is my focus. I know if he wore purple and fine linen he had more money than most men in the streets around biblical Jerusalem. Purple dye came from a labor/time intensive process. Purple dye was expensive. Fine linen came from elsewhere, driving up its cost. To have such ensures the rich man had money. In bible times, money was distributed very unevenly. Money is still distributed unevenly. We live in a wealthy country, but 36% of the world’s population is poor, 1.85 billion. Fifty-one percent of the people in developing countries live on $1.25/day. By world standards most of us reading this note are rich. So listen up. It would behoove us to understand just what the rich man did wrong. I feel his transgression was not that he did nothing at the gate, but that he cared only about himself. In a culture where those with plenty were convinced they were blessed, there is no incentive to care for the poor. Then Jesus came along and said, “Blessed are the poor.” Jesus teachings needs repeating to this day. The same false belief is prevalent in churches today, it is called prosperity gospel, that faithful believers will become wealthy. The irony is that Jesus ministered as a poor Galilean peasant. Are you rich?