Jesus mentions about the destiny of human life in so many places. But only in the parable of ‘the rich man and Lazarus’ he explains clearly about the judgment of an individual after death. Only in this parable he names a person, Lazar, who is taken to heaven by the angels.
The Purple Dress and the Purple Man
There was a rich man who was dressed in purple linen and feasted every day. There was also another man, called Lazar, waiting at the gate of the rich man’s house. His body was covered with sores, which looked like a purple cover of the body licked by the dogs. He was in a wretched condition sitting at the gate of the rich man’s house.
Death of both Lazar and the rich man
Both Lazar and the rich and died and were taken to the gates of heaven to be verified with the book of life. Lazar was taken to heaven because of his suffering and patience. He was further tormented by the dogs when they licked his sores. But the rich man was taken to the hell.
Why was the rich man taken to the hell?
Actually the rich in the parable does not mention to have done any evil deed. He did not murder. He did not do anything against the commandments of God. But the problem with him is that he did not do any good deed—a sin which is called sin of omission. Though the rich man used to see Lazar sitting at the gate of his house his heart was not moved to do any good for him.
Luke’s Gospel, chapter 16, narrates the parable of ‘the rich man and Lazarus’. No other evangelist tells about this. This parable comes after the parable of the ‘Prodigal son’. This gives us a hint to think about the sin of omission. (Luke 16: 19-31)
The sin of omission
Most of us think that we keep the commandments of God and are regular to the church activities and that makes us eligible for heaven. But we never say an encouraging word to our folks at home. The flat system of modern life has imprisoned us in our homes making us blindfolded not even looking at our neighbors. The consumerism has made us like snails that we pull ourselves into our shelters when we see some one is in trouble. We say in our hearts, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” We are least bothered about the global warming, or the people dying of hunger, or a disaster that occurred elsewhere.
The criterion on the last judgment
Matthew clearly states about the people who are allowed into the Kingdom of heaven. It is not those who do not murder, who do not commit adultery, or who go against the commandments of God. Jesus clearly says that love and voluntary works of charity only can make a person eligible to enter into the Kingdom of God. (Matthew25:31-46)
The parable of the purple dress and the purple man Lazar should open our eyes. In the modern selfish lifestyle it has an important role to play. We have to stand above the differences of country, color, creed, and what not, and treat one another as children of the same Father.
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Sadly you are right about people in this day and age, although, it was much the same back then.I am for the underdogs in this world,the poor and needy, those who are outcasts, etc..Jesus died for all not just some.