Luke 16:25-26 (NIVUK)
25 ‘But Abraham replied, “Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 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.”
Remembering that this is a parable not a factual description, is what Jesus is trying to say is that our actions have consequences? The rich man had the resources to make a difference, but he kept them to himself, and chose or was unable to truly see those around him such as Lazarus, leaving Lazarus begging and himself in his current predicament. If after taking a long look at yourself, you feel, like I do, that you have more in common with the rich man than Lazarus, find hope in the message of the story, that God recognises our plight and acts with compassion as seen with Lazarus. If you find yourself trapped in a self-orientated life – as realistically we all do, that’s the nature of fallen human nature – then have hope that God knows our helplessness and acts; after all, isn’t that exactly why Jesus came, because we can’t help ourselves?
Father, ‘the moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in your commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question? The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does!’ (adapted from Romans 7:21-25 MSG)