The rich and the poor

What value does people

  • who are poor
  • who are rich … have for God?

Describe typical characteristics of a poor person and a rich person. Or draw a picture of a poor person and a rich person.

Look at the characteristics or at the pictures of the poor person and rich person.

Questions:

  • Does it make the person good?
  • Does it make the person bad?
  • How do you think God would describe this person?
  • What do you think would God’s picture of this person look like?

What gives value to a person?

By what do you measure yourself and other people? The world attaches value to people who have:

  • money
  • success
  • popularity
  • education
  • status
  • influence and

The Bible says:

  • all people are created in God’s own image (Gen 1:26-27)
  • Jesus Christ laid down his life for us (1 John 3:16)
  • the Holy Spirit gives grace to each one of us (Eph 4:6-7).

The Rich Man and Lazarus

Luke 16:19-21: “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.”

Who is important in this story?

  • Who has the most value: Lazarus or the rich man?
  • With whom do you sympathise?
  • Who would you like to be?

If you read the story further on, you will see that even though the world thought nothing of Lazarus, nevertheless, Lazarus was still worthy of God. Lazarus had so much worth for God that when he died, the angels carried him to a place of honour beside Abraham. But the life of the rich man, who had great value in the eyes of the world, had no eternal value.

Do you feel like Lazarus?

Do you feel as if you have no worth?

  • How does Lazarus’ story help you to find God’s love for you?
  • Which gifts has God given to you?
  • What can a rich or important person learn from you?

Read Mark 12:41-44:

  • Why does Jesus say that the poor widow gave more than the others?

Read Mark 10:46-52:

  • Why did the blind beggar, Bartimaeus, not keep quiet when the people told him to?

Do you feel like the rich man?

Can rich people be saved?

Read the stories of:

  • the rich young man (Matt 19:16-30)
  • Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10).

What was the difference between the rich young man and Zacchaeus?

  • Who, does Jesus say, can be saved?
  • What was Zacchaeus’ salvation?

What does Jesus want to save you from?

Don’t judge according to appearance

James 2:1-4: “My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favouritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, ‘Here’s a good seat for you,’ but say to the poor man, ‘You stand there,’ or, ‘Sit on the floor by my feet,’ have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?”

An invitation and a challenge

Maybe Jesus wants to invite you to:

  • think differently about yourself
  • believe that you also have value
  • discover that the Spirit also gave you gifts
  • mean something for someone else, even if you have little.

Maybe Jesus is challenging you to:

  • notice people you usually overlook
  • chat to people you usually avoid
  • treat people with dignity even though they are poorer than you
  • share your gifts and opportunities with others.

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