It’s Not All About The Benjamins, Baby.
I get it! We all need money to pay the bills and keep a roof over our heads. Those honey BBQ rib tips aren’t going to dance into your lap without the moolah first (if you ever see food dancing to “Watch Me Whip, Watch Me Nae-Nae,” throw it out immediately; it’s possessed. Haha). While we need money to provide for ourselves and our families, we must be careful not to worship money or turn it into a god (notice that I spelled “god” with a lowercase “g,” as only the one true God, who sent Jesus Christ into the world to save us from our sins, is worthy of an uppercase “G” in his name). The Bible tells us that the love of money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10 (KJV)); we love money when we’re willing to lie, cheat, steal, kill, destroy, sin (say, do, and think bad things), and do evil unto others to get (and keep) it. It doesn’t matter if you’re so broke that you can’t buy a vowel (welcome, Pat Sajak & Vanna White! It’s Wheel of Fortune!); it doesn’t matter if you’re so broke that you can’t pay attention (how are you wearing $600 Jordans, but your electricity, gas and water are about to be cut off?! BRUH?!). God will provide all of our needs, and he blesses us to bless others (use our resources to help others). What happens when we love our money and possessions too much, are stingy (it’s my popsicle!), and won’t help our fellow man? This brings us to the parable (story) of Lazarus and the rich man in the Bible.
To begin, the Lazarus in this parable is not the same Lazarus that Jesus raised from the dead in the 11th Chapter of John (“All Rise! That Means You, Lazarus.”->https://jesusbedtimestories.com/all-rise-that-means-you-lazarus/). The Lazarus that Jesus raised from the dead was his buddy, his pal, his homeboy, his homie, his road dog, his ace boon coon, his Day One, his ride or die friend (what’s up, Dawg! Roof! Roof!). The Lazarus in this parable was a poor man that Jesus was using to explain how we should love and help one another. These Lazaruses are two completely different people (Whew! I thought I was tweaking for a second. Haha). Now that we have that out of the way, let’s continue. Haha
In the 16th Chapter of Luke, Jesus tells the parable of Lazarus and the rich man. The rich man had money (he made BANK!), a big house, wore the finest clothes (he didn’t shop at The Gap, y’all. Haha), and had more food than he could eat (with your Fat Albert, Chubby Checker, crossbreed looking…sorry! Bad Carletta! *I just smacked my own hand*). Sitting outside of the rich man’s house was a poor man (beggar) named Lazarus; he was hungry, had sores all over his body (which the dogs licked-they’ll lick anything. Haha), and just wanted the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. The rich man, being a selfish, Grade-A piece of garbage (a bit harsh? Haha), never once offered Lazarus any food or assistance, and one day, both men died. Lazarus went to Heaven (thank you, Jesus!), while the rich man woke up in Hell (sorry, folks! We have to talk about it! It’s in my job description. Haha). The rich man was suffering (Hell is hotter than 100 jalapeno peppers on a hot summer day! Muy caliente!), and when he looked up and saw Abraham in the far distance, with Lazarus by his side, he said the following:
Luke 16:24 (KJV)–And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
SOS! The rich man is parched (give that man a Gatorade!) and needs a little H2O! When Abraham heard the rich man’s request, he responded as follows:
Luke 16:25-26 (KJV)–But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
OUCH! Abraham just treated that boy’s life! He told the rich man that since he had everything on Earth and wouldn’t help Lazarus, who had nothing (but had a pure heart), the tables have now turned: Lazarus is in Heaven (with God Almighty and Jesus Christ, in his mansion on high, enjoying milk and honey, and walking the streets of gold), and the rich man is suffering in Hell (I’m melting! Sorry. Haha). Once a person goes to Heaven or Hell, there is no leaving-Lazarus couldn’t bring the rich man any water, even if he tried. The rich man next asked Abraham to send Lazarus back to Earth to talk to his (the rich man’s) five brothers; he wants his brothers to repent of their sins and see Heaven one day (don’t end up like me, man!). Abraham refused to do such a thing, telling the rich man that his brothers had Moses and the prophets to listen to, and if they didn’t believe in God’s Word then, they wouldn’t listen to Lazarus either (Heaven-sent or not). Your bros have to find God for themselves, Richy!
Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, uses this parable to teach us to love one another, help one another, and not think that we’re better than anyone (none of us are perfect, so stop smelling your behinds and thinking that your “you know what” doesn’t stink. Haha). We must be careful how we treat each other, as our actions on Earth will determine our eternal future (where we end up when we kick the bucket. Haha). I feel a modern-day remix coming on! The feeling is just too strong! Get ready, get set, GO! NOTE: I will be utilizing modern-day language, technology, and ways of living in this story, as we’re picturing this happening today.
It’s Not All About The Benjamins, Baby.
Biblical Reference: Luke 16:19-31 (KJV)
*A rich man is eating, drinking (non-alcoholic beverages!) and being merry in his mansion-with his front door WIDE OPEN-, while a poor soul, Lazarus, is laying outside of his house, in the grass (no mowing the lawn today. Haha). Lazarus is homeless, has sores all over his body (those Rottweilers are just licking away!), and wishes just to taste the crumbs from the rich man’s plate. The rich man isn’t biting, though. That amateur.*
Rich Man: It’s my party, and I’ll eat if I want to, eat if I want to, eat if I want to, it’s my food, I won’t give any to YOUUUUUU (doo-doo-doo-doo-doo!)!
Lazarus (a homeless military veteran who is weak and hungry, but speaking loudly enough for the rich man to hear him): Excuse me, Sir. May I please have something to eat? I will take the crumbs from your plate. I am homeless, don’t have any friends or family, don’t have any money, am not physically able to work, and haven’t eaten in two weeks. I am terribly hungry, and just need a little something to hold me over. Will you help me, please?
Rich Man (laughing like a moron, and looking like he’s smuggling cheeseburgers, Krispy Kremes and woodchucks in his stomach-I’m sorry. Haha): Be gone, Bum! I have worked far too hard for far too long to allow some worthless, lazy, no count, dirty, smelly, toothless (Hey! Leave his appearance alone! It’s not his fault!) HOBO to eat my food and take my money! Get off of my property (before he calls the cops! 5-0! 5-0!), wash your behind, comb your hair, and get a job! Stop expecting hardworking people like me to take care of you your entire life! Just looking at you makes me sick! You disgust me!
Lazarus (weeping): I’m sorry, Sir. I just need help. Please-
Rich Man: N-O! NO! Get off of my property! *He slams the door on Lazarus*
*A few months pass, and both Lazarus and the rich man die. Lazarus is in Heaven (Holy Ghost party over here! Ooh! Ooh!), while the rich man is in Hell (sizzling like steak and potatoes on 4th of July weekend). The rich man sees Abraham and Lazarus up in Heaven, and asks Abraham for a favor*
Rich Man: Father Abraham, please help me! I’m all hot and bothered (and not in a good way. Haha), roasting like chestnuts on an open fire, my throat is drier than the Sahara Desert, and I need something to drink. Could you ask Lazarus to toss me a water bottle? I need something-Aquafina, Dasani, Evian, ClearWater, something! Help a brother out!
Abraham: No can do! Remember when you were living it up on Earth with your big house, fancy cars, money up the wazoo (that is, the behind. Haha), women left and right (he was trifling!), and all the food you could eat? Remember when Lazarus begged you for help, and you wouldn’t help him? It’s payback time. Lazarus and I are now in Heaven, with God Almighty and Jesus Christ himself, eating shrimp and filet mignon, drinking the finest Juicy Juice, chilling in our mansion, walking the streets of gold, and partying like it’s 1999 (ain’t no party like a Holy Ghost party, ‘cuz a Holy Ghost party don’t stop!)! Besides, there’s a barrier between Heaven and Hell, so no one can cross from one to the other. I’m afraid you’re out of luck, my man.
Rich Man: Fine. I guess I deserve that. Could you at least send Lazarus back to Earth to talk to my five brothers? I want him to warn them to repent, turn away from their sins, and turn to Jesus Christ-I don’t want them to make the same mistakes I made and end up down here (kicking and screaming and looking like burnt toast; presenting, Blackie Chan! Hi-yah!). I’m miserable. Could you do that for me?
Abraham: There’s no need to do that, Richy. Your brothers have Moses and the prophets to help lead them along their spiritual journeys. If they don’t repent, turn to Jesus, and believe in God’s Word after talking to them, they won’t listen to Lazarus either, Heaven-sent or not. They must work out their own salvation; neither you nor Lazarus can do it for them.
Rich Man (heartbroken): Very well. I pray that they’ll listen (listen here, big fella!).
Hey there, kids (and adults. Haha)! Let us always remember to love one another, help one another, and serve one another, as Jesus Christ does this for us each and every day. I want us to make it to and party in Heaven like it’s 1999 (it’s time for the Humpty Dumpty dance!)! I’ll bring the chips and punch. I love you all, God bless you all, and I’ll see you all on the next one!