With Money Comes Spiritual Responsibility


Luke chapter sixteen, verses nineteen through thirty-one tell the story of the rich man and the beggar. Take time to read it for yourself.

I want to point out a few things about this parable:

  • The rich man had more than he needed.

Now, you don’t have to be “rich” for this to apply to you. In answer to the question “What it the greatest commandment?” Jesus responded:

“’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27

When asked, “who is my neighbor?”, Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan. Now, we aren’t told that the Samaritan was rich. We are told that he used what he had to help someone in need. When Jesus asked, “Who was a neighbor to the one who fell among robbers?”:

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:37

  • A man in need was in his “orbit”.

A beggar, Lazarus was at his gate. Who in need is in your “orbit”?

  • The rich man apparently did nothing for Lazarus.

This is a major point in this story because in eternity, the rich man wanted help from Lazarus but didn’t receive it.

  • As far as we know, the rich man went to hell for no other reason than he didn’t help Lazarus.

Okay, there were “idols” that were root causes of his entry into hell:

Selfishness. Lack of compassion. Failure to understand the responsibility of his station.

Did this man attend synagogue? Did he go to temple and sacrifice? Did he study Torah? Probably. Why?

He was held responsible for the teachings he knew.

Upon entering eternity, what was the rich man’s cry?

Send Lazarus to my father’s house – to my brothers so that they can learn this teaching and obey it!

The answer from heaven? These teachings are clear in the Word.

The rich man cried, “They will repent if someone who rises from the dead teaches them!”

Answer? If they don’t listen know they will not listen even if someone rises from the dead.

Truth? Someone who has risen from the dead brings this teaching to you. His name is Jesus. Do you follow it? Or, are you riddled with selfishness, a lack of compassion, and fail to understand the responsibilities of your station?

People who are rich in this world’s goods can be a great blessing. Why do those who are often feel the need to lavish themselves? So that we can all see that they are a “favored” one?

Remember the parable of the Rich Fool found in Luke 12:16-21?

Do you remember the story of the Rich Ruler found in Luke 18:24-27?

Do you remember the repentance of Zacchaeus found in Luke 19:8-10?

Allow me to close with his words:

“Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

We all understand the “cheating” part of his repentance, but what about the giving half of his possessions to the poor?

According to Jesus, Zacchaeus experienced true deliverance from selfishness and a lack of compassion. Zacchaeus had a revelation of the responsibilities of his station. He also learned one great biblical truth:

With money comes spiritual responsibility.

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