You Never Noticed! Weekend of September28/29, 2013
I Use to Think I Was Poor 1.Until people told me, not poor, but 2.Then I was told it was self-defeating to think of myself as needy; I was really 3.Now, its not deprived, the word is 4.Then I was told its not underprivileged any more, I was 5.Well, I still dont have a dine to my name, but I have a great vocabulary.
The Rich Man & Lazarus 1.In our Gospel reading for today, Jesus tells about a rich man who: A.Was dressed in purple and fine linen; B.Lived in luxury every day; 2.And a man by the name of Lazarus who: A.Laid at the gate of the rich mans home; B.Covered with sores which the dogs would lick; C.Starving for anything, even something that which would fall from the rich mans table;
Both Men Died 1.The beggar died and the angels carried him to Abrahams side, in Heaven. 2.The rich man died and was buried. But suffering in Hell, the man was in utter torment.
Both Men Died 3.The rich man looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called out to him, Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.
Both Men Died 4.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.
Both Men Died 5.If ever there was a parable that should keep us awake at night, its this one – the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus. 6.Why do I say that?
Distribution of Wealth Throughout the World Wealth per Adult
38% of the Worlds Wealth Resides in the USA 50% in just two countries: USA and Japan.
5 Billion People share the remaining 17.3% of the worlds wealth. 1 Billion People
Bible Teacher, Dr. William Barclay 1.When teaching the story of the Rich Man & Lazarus, titles this story, The Punishment of the Man Who Never Notices. A.How many of us have ever noticed how often Jesus talked about our responsibilities to the poor and down-trodden? B.Are we the people Who Never Noticed? C.Jesus seems to think so, as He teaches a whole story about not noticing.
Jesus said it this way in Matthew 25 Matthew 25:42-45 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'
Jesus said it this way in Matthew 25 44 "They will answer, But Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' 45 "He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' D.Just more people who didnt notice! E.Jesus was present in that poor person and
Do you recognize this lady? 1.She is Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. 2.She was volunteering at the University Settlement in New York City. 3.When they got back out on the street, Franklin said to his wife, My God, I didnt know people lived like that.
Remember this guy? 1.He is Ross Perot. 2.During his political campaign he showed a chart comparing poor children in Europe with that of America. 3.What percentage of children in European democracies are poor? 4.What percentage of children in America are poor?
Why did Jesus teach this parable? 1.Because the rich man in Jesus story is not alone. 2.There are people in every generation, who have much in terms of this worlds goods, but who turn a blind eye to the poor and needy. 3.What is the average cost for you to live on for ONE day? 4.Almost half of the worlds population, 2.8 billion people, live on $2 or less a day.
Jesus said that Lazarus was laid at the rich mans gate. 1.He didnt walk or ride there. Why? A.Had poor Lazarus lost his legs? B.Or were his legs crippled and simply un-usable? C.Bottom Line: Lazarus was totally helpless! 2.Often times today, people claim to be needy when in fact that may not be the case at all. A.Scams, falsehood and out and out lies abound today. B.This makes our caring and our desire to help all the more difficult.
Notice the Great Switch In Jesuss Parable 1.We could have called this parable The man who made a name for himself and the man who did not. A.The rich man in Jesus story was anonymous; Lazarus had a name. B.In the worlds Whos Who? the rich man was top on the list; In Gods book of Whos Who? Lazarus was top on the list. 2.Notice how Heaven does things opposite than the world in rating a persons value.
High School Assignment 1.Ms. Bunge asked her class to name some rich people in our world. Who would you name? 2.Now name some poor and homeless people? 3.God cares about everyone, but especially those who our society would rather not notice.
God Noticed Poor Lazarus 1.Jesus said when Lazarus died, the Angels carried Lazarus to Abrahams side. What a beautiful picture! 2.This time, it wasnt friends or concerned neighbors who carried Lazarus home at the end of a long day of begging. It was the Angels of God. 3.God noticed poor Lazarus.
God also Noticed the Rich Man 1.Jesus said in the story, the rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he wanted Lazarus to come and cool his tongue with a little water. 2.But what was the rich mans crime that so harsh a punishment was given? A.He was not a mass murderer or serial killer. B.He was not some terrorist or suicide boomer. C.In fact, if anything, he was honored and highly esteemed by people around him.
God Notices Our Neglect 3.The rich mans sin was not noticing the needs of people around him, and doing something about it. 4.But how often do we take the time to notice people around us, their needs, their concerns? A.Not just the homeless people asking for handouts; B.But the young mother down our street trying to keep her family together after her husband abandoned her and her kids.
God Notices Our Neglect C.How often do we notice the elderly person whom no one visits? D.How often do we notice the person just a short distance from us in the congregation who has just received a devastating report from the doctor?
God Notices Our Neglect 5.The sin of Not Noticing afflicts us all to one degree or another. 6.It is the sin of self-absorption – being so preoccupied with our own cares and concerns that we give no thought to others.
Why are Some People Generous & Compassionate? 1.Professor Robert Wuthnow discovered that people who are generous and compassionate had someone act with generosity and compassion toward them. 2.That experience, of being shown compassion, transformed their lives and helped them pay it forward to others.
We Are All Beggars before God! 1.Spiritually, we are all beggars, helplessly lying at Gods gate. 2.Jesus Christ noticed us; He loved us enough to redeem us and promises us Heaven. 3.Being noticed by Jesus, we now look around and see others who need our attention and our love. 4.This caused a chain reaction throughout the Early Church.
Luke describes what happened this way… Acts 4:32-35 32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had… 34 There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.