22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 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 in this fire.’
As in many of His parables, Jesus warns that there will be a reckoning for our lives. We will be judged not by each other, but by God Himself, and we will be called to account for our treatment of each other. Lazarus the beggar is now comforted in Heaven while the rich man suffers.
This leads the rich man to ask Father Abraham to send Lazarus to help him, help he was apparently unwilling to give Lazarus when they lived side by side. He now knows what it is like to need help and not receive it. Jesus warned that “the last shall be first and the first shall be last” (Matthew 20:16).
We should help each other due to our love of God, not merely to avoid punishment, but Jesus says there will be judgement – Matthew 25:32-34 tells us He will separate us according to our obedience to His teaching and our care for each other. May we be obedient and caring as He was.
Heavenly Father, we often miss the opportunity to help those around us because we don’t pay attention. Help us to see the needs of others and use the gifts and resources we have been given for the good of all Your children. Amen.