All he lived for was to get a meal from scraps off the rich man’s table. His best friends were the dogs who came and licked his sores. Luke 16:20 (MSG)
What type of reaction to we get from others when we do and/or engage in certain things. For example I have entered in to the “Five Finger” craze. All be it a few years late, but I have them! It has been amusing to see other people respond to them on my feet! I never realized how many people look at feet. The shoes just seem to draw attention and force a conversation. The reaction has been funny! But it is why I have a pair. I saw someone else with a pair started a conversation, had a reaction and then, well today I am wearing a pair!
Then there is the facial reaction from the foods we eat! Have you ever seen or tried the “Jelly Belly” product “Bean Boozled”? You really don’t know what you are eating…until! For example you may find in the box two Jelly Beans side by side and both will be black. According to the box one bean could be Licorice and the other could be Skunk Spray! Yes that is right Skunk Spray! It is simply amazing how when you chew that one bean you can recall that first time you smelled that very pungent smell of the skunk! Then there are white ones that taste like baby wipes, blue ones that taste like toothpaste, green ones that taste like boogers, and so on! The best though is watching both the reactions of the ones eating as well as the reactions of those watching!!! Go ahead grab a box this Easter season, I dare you!
What I have mention above are simply our reactions to everyday occurrences in our lives. For every action there is a reaction and vice versa! It is how things function. But what is our greater reaction to the world around us?
- The world is mostly good and needs little adjustment or help
- The world is mostly a mess and is in need of serious help
- I haven’t really thought much about the world… I’m a mess
- I haven’t really thought much about the world… I’m not a mess
- I am not OK with injustice, poverty, disease, isolation, racism, etc.
- I am OK with injustice, poverty, disease, isolation, racism, etc.
When we read those statements above we will be able to identify with at least one of them completely and all of them somewhat. However when we hear the Gospel story does our reaction to the world change? Does it impact enough to change?
Is Luke 16:20 where we get the phrase…”Man’s Best Friend”? I really don’t think so, but this section in Luke’s writings does cause a unique reaction! “His best friends were the dogs who came and licked his sores.”
This man “Lazarus” was so lonely and down in the dumps that he really did not care that dogs were licking his sores, matter of fact he referred to them as his best friends! The parable/account goes on to explain one of the great chasms that is very evident today…the rich man vs. the poor man. The parable/account even goes further in identifying for the reader/hearer the differences in both Heaven and Hell and the perception of the after life.
The focus should not be on the story itself and whether or not it is true or whether or not it is a correct snap shot of eternity. Rather the focus should be on the fact that there are dead men talking about the fact and realization that the opportunity was missed to react to the Gospel in a positive way. There was a reaction on the part of the rich man…to simply hear but not to listen. For each time the that the love of Christ and His grace that was given to each of us is shared their is a reaction. What is yours?