Beneath the Surface…..

    Luke 16:19-22  Jesus said, “There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered in 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 died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried.”
     Jesus tells us a story about two men, who on the surface were as different as night and day. One man was so rich, that he was the envy of everyone and he had every imaginable luxury of life. Then there was Lazarus, a man so miserably poor that other people carried him and laid him at the rich man’s gate. There they were hoping that there he might receive something. Yet, in all the time Lazarus lay there, only the dogs came and had pity on him.

    In the end, both men die. When everything temporary is suddenly stripped away, what was on the surface suddenly changed in value. The rich man lost every opportunity he once had. He had financial resources and He had power, friends and every comfort. Yet, in all his short life the rich man did nothing that was important enough for us to even know his name. God had given him a page to write something with his life, and he left that page blank…There was nothing of any eternal value!
    Right at the rich man’s gate , God had put Lazarus. Lazarus could have been a part of the rich man’s life, yet he did not even receive a single crumb. On the surface was hopelessness, yet, Lazarus had an eternal hope. He put his faith in God. God gave him a page to write on and he wrote his life’s story, then signed his name!

   Every one of us is given a different page to write on. Some of us are rich and some poor. Some of us have every opportunity, every advantage and every encouragement. But when we finish the chapter that is ours to write, it will not matter how many things we had, but how many we gave away. It will not matter how many places we went, but what we did when we got there. It will matter little how many people we knew, but how many we loved.
    How amazing that Jesus came with every imaginable advantage and blessing of heaven, then gave it all away. He healed a man with a withered hand, then his own hands were nailed to a wooden cross. Jesus stood by to protect the woman the religious leaders wanted to stone, but as he carried His cross no one was able to protect Him. They took away everything Jesus had and then gambled for his last piece of clothing. Then as Jesus breathed His last breath he left behind, signed in blood, the name that will never be forgotten. His enemies were sure they had taken his life, but Jesus left behind an eternal treasure for everyone who comes and looks beneath the surface….