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July 5, 2011 / Daniel

Lazarus and the Nameless Rich Man

Keller's preaching hand gestures

In his book The Reason for God, Tim Keller makes an interesting observation about the story of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16.   The rich man has no name.  His only identity is his riches.  He has based his whole world on his wealth.    He has decided to store up treasures on earth rather than treasures in heaven.

So the question is, Where is your treasure?  Is your hope in this world? Are you living for this age?  Or are you living for the Age to Come?  Jesus says in Matthew 13:44, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up.  Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”

This is the story of conversion.  When someone finds Jesus as his ultimate good, he gives up everything else because it is trash in comparison to knowing Jesus.

Bonhoeffer calls this “costly grace.”  It’s costly because we give up everything to follow.  It’s grace because Jesus and his kingdom are priceless.  The reward outweighs the cost.

Paul writes in Philippians 3, “But whatever gain I had,I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.”

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