In the Bible, we are warned about the deceitfulness of riches. It’s one of the sayings that gets repeated generation after generation. While having things can be awesome, when those awesome things have you they have the potential to steal your soul. The whole goal of Christianity is unity through the love of God and others but how can we love others when our hearts are partial to certain groups of people.
Matthew 16:26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?
He’s not saying that we should not have riches but rather that riches ought not rob us of the ability to treat others humanely. Nor should we allow it to take precedent over our decision making. God is not against success but He wants us to not lose our morality in the process or our compassion for the little guy. It is possible to build yourself up in a way where your untouchable but not only will you be untouchable you’ll also be untouched, meaning apathetic toward others who don’t belong in the same category as you do.
Luke 16:19-26 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. The time came when the beggar dies and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony on this fire.’ “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted and you in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ “
Jesus tells this story about the rich man and a beggar named Lazarus not his friend Lazarus of whom was raised from the dead but a figurative person. The rich man could be Lazarus’ boss or possibly a person who could better assist him but rather he feeds him scraps from his table. The drastic portion is the difference in the places they go after death. Lazarus the one begging for scraps gets sent to heaven while the rich man goes to hell.
In our society, riches and fame mean clout and prestige and those that have it obtain immediate honor among men. Even though we want to believe that we would treat others the same if they didn’t have what they had, truth be told, we wouldn’t. While I believe that this is one of the major reasons why there is a separation between classes of people I do believe that we all have the same mediator, Jesus Christ.
There are other aspects in this passage that are pressing but all point to the same avenue helping and empathizing with others.
So, how can Jesus Christ be the same for a rich man and a poor man. The answer is simple it’s because salvation is available to both and gives them the same benefits they just use those benefits on different levels. However, if not careful and left unchecked both can lose their ability to empathize with others. One because of being over looked and casted aside and the other from feeling like their being taken advantage of because of their status.
These remedies can be found within them as long as they stay connected with the one who blesses them. He can keep both of their hearts from growing cold because of the hard situations that they have to face. Jesus can restore both those rendering help as well as those who are in need of that help. The major key is for them to keep hungering and thirsting for righteous because this is the promise that guarantees that they both shall be filled (Matthew 5:6).
If you have not made that decision yet to follow Jesus Christ, I want you to know that you still have time right now all you have to do is say out loud, “Lord I believe that your son Jesus Christ died to save me from my sins. I receive your son as my personal savior.” It is just that simple but I encourage you to get connected to a local church home where you can continue to learn more about Christ and build your faith in Him.