ODJ: named

August 13, 2014 

READ: Luke 16:19-31 

Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine (Isaiah 43:1).

After telling a Bible story, the teacher asked his Sunday school class, “What’s the name of the beggar?” Six year old Tommy confidently shouted, “Lazarus!” The teacher then asked another question: “What is the name of the other man?” Another student shouted, “Rich man!” 

Nothing worthy is said about the rich man’s legacy. The only thing he left behind was all his money! Surely there’s something tragic about a person whose entire life is summed up in just one word—“rich” (Luke 16:19).

At the opposite end of the social spectrum was the beggar, malnourished and utterly forsaken; his only companions were wild dogs (v.21). Soon, he would probably be their food! He was the epitome of poverty, neediness and helplessness.

But there’s one thing this beggar had which the rich man lacked. A name! (v.20). It’s interesting that Lazarus is the only character named in all of Jesus’ parables. 

To be named is to be significant. You matter to somebody! In contrast, the rich man was just another faceless, nameless zillionaire! That was the tragedy of the rich man. Jesus didn’t know him!

The beggar was known to Someone. And Jesus gave him the name Lazarus to tell us who that Somebody was, for Lazarus means he whom God helps. God knew this man. He knows those who are His (2 Timothy 2:19). To Lazarus, God said, ”Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1). 

God knew Lazarus. His name is found in the Book of Life. The rich man was not named. “And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15). —K.T. Sim

365-day plan› Luke 14:15-35

What does the Bible say about knowing Jesus’ name? (Acts 4:12; Romans 10:9-13). Why is it important that Jesus knows your name? (John 10:3,14,27).
How can you be sure God knows your name? What does it take to be named in the Book of Life?