When Jesus was speaking on the mountain, he didn’t say that a rich person who enjoys the world with his money is blessed. He didn’t say that people who lord it over others because of their social position, or those who live a long time, are blessed. Jesus said in the book of Matthew, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6)
The rich man in Luke 16 was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. He had no experience of physical hunger and thirst, because his bardn was always full of grain. When you only consider his physical life, in which nothing was lacking, how can you begin to imagine that his soul was actually hungry and thirsty?
On the other hand, a beggar named Lazarus who ate what fell from the rich man’s table and lived and his gate, looked thirsty and miserable. People could only see that he was a beggar and pitied him. But they couldn’t see the spiritual richness of his soul, which was well-prepared for everlasting life. The time came when both the beggar and the rich man died. At that moment, it was revealed who was really thirsty and hungry in God’s eyes.
The happiest people in the world are those who know how hungry and thirsty their souls are in the time of the flesh, that is, the people who know about the true condition of their souls. You can prepare for the time of soul when you know about your soul’s condition.
Money, fame, knowledge, power and enjoying the culture of the world are not the real goals of life. When your life is over, it doesn’t matter if you were rich or poor in this world. True richness is the richness that you enjoy in the time of soul. I can therefore say that the happiest people are those who realise their soul’s hunger and thirst in the time of the flesh and prepare for the time of soul.
Pastor Seok-Jeon Yoon
Extracted from Yonsei Newspaper #582 (July 7, 2018)