Today, I’m going to share with you a Bible lesson activity that will help you teach your students about the parable of the rich man and Lazarus.
Bible Lesson Activity Overview:
Lazarus and the Rich Man is a parable which many adults say sticks with them through many life experiences. They rely on the parable to bring hope for them when life seems unfair. To help children understand that eventually they will see rewards for kind and charitable actions in Christ, this parable is presented using the metaphor of oil and water (which eventually separate).
“There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, full of sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried; and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom. And he called out, `Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.’
But Abraham said, `Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’
And he said, `Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’
But Abraham said, `They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, `No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, `If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'”
Materials for Bible Lesson Activity:
– ½ cup of water
– ½ cup of oil
– Separate see”through containers for each: a glass or jar
– 1 clear glass measuring cup to mix both in
– Red food coloring
– Tea spoon or plastic spoon to stir
1. Mix the red food coloring into the ½ cup of water
2. Put the container of oil, the container of red water, the measuring cup and spoon in front of you.
Here is one important lesson we can get from Lazarus and the Rich Man: Whatever goes wrong for us on earth, God will make right in heaven. This is our great hope!
When people are mean and not giving and won’t share and don’t care about our hurts and what is going wrong”¦God always cares. But we all notice something as we go through life:
God may not bring a quick solution to every problem we face! We go through unfairness and hardship, and he doesn’t solve it right away.
And because we Christians love God more than money, we often see people who have more than we do.
But eternity is a long time. And someday we’ll get to be with God and the Lord Jesus. We’ll get to live on as part of the most important and special family in the universe – God’s family.
Hold up your oil and your water in the two separate glasses.
Life really doesn’t look fair sometimes. It seems like really selfish and crabby people (hold the red water up higher) don’t get any consequences for their selfishness and crabbiness. Let’s say this water is a whole crowd of crabby people, red with anger and jealousies and hatred and non”caring towards others. (Hold up the oil).
And history has shown many good, generous and kind people who love Jesus don’t stand out as the most beautiful, most popular, most wealthy. God doesn’t always reward us with “stuff” that people envy either. Let’s say this oil is a whole crowd of good people, golden in their love of Christ and their behavior toward others.
Matthew 5:45 says God causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Mix the oil and water together. Stir heartily with a spoon. It should be orange”ish.
This is a little like what our world looks like. Down here “justice” can look like a big old mess! You really can’t see “good from bad” clearly. It’s all mixed up.
Everything looks kind of anemic”¦The good golden people look like the bad people. And the rich and the poor are all mixed in with the beautiful and those not”so”beautiful.
We may do a lot for others. We may share with our siblings, and remember our chores, and ask Jesus every day to help us be people he can call friends. And yet”¦others get the money, and the fame, and the looks, and the fashion, and the belongings.
But wait! After a while, people begin to arrive in the kingdom of heaven”¦called Abraham’s Bosom in the parable. Look at the world inside our cup. What’s happening?
The red is slowly starting to separate from the gold. The red is sinking, and the gold is rising to the top.
Look! Some golden people are beginning to experience God’s justice. We just had to wait a little bit, didn’t we? If we keep waiting, what will happen? More and more gold people will arrive in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Does anyone know the scientific principle behind this? Why the red water sinks and the gold oil rises? Water weighs more than oil, so it sinks, and the oils rests on top of it.
If we waited another ten minutes, what would we see? All the oil would be on top. All the golden people would have gotten into heaven.
Sometimes our biggest challenge is being paJent. We want our rewards now! How can we be patient? How can we help ourselves to NOT expect to be the most noticed people here on earth? Take answers.
Here are some helpful suggestions:
1. Enjoy and be grateful for what rewards we get on earth; as Americans we have many!
2. Don’t compare yourself to others. As a wise man once said: “Comparison is the root of all discontent.”
3. Focus on not becoming like the rich man! Your heart can harden over time, according to Proverbs 30:8 & 9, which says this:
“¦give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, “˜Who is the LORD?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.
Lazarus did not have a happy life here on earth. But God made it up to him when he went to heaven. The rich man had a lot of wonderful things on earth, and what kind of a person did all those opportunities make him? Did he use his money to help others? Did he care about poor people and sick people like Lazarus?
Let’s be sure to use our gifts unselfishly and live in the same hope that Lazarus did.
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