There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:…
I. THE RESEMBLANCE BETWEEN THESE TWO MEN.
1. The parable speaks of a rich man and a poor man; and the resemblance between them may be traced, first, in the mortality of their bodies. They were both men, sinful men, and consequently dying men. No sooner is it said that "the beggar died," than it is added, "the rich man also died." And thus must end the history of us all.
2. These men resembled each other also in the immortality of their souls. The soul of the poorest amongst us is as immortal as the soul of the richest.
3. To these two points of resemblance between these men, we may add a third, not indeed absolutely expressed here, but, like the fact we have just alluded to, evidently to be inferred — accountableness to God. It was not chance which placed them where they are. They went thither from a bar of judgment.
II. Let us proceed to notice, secondly, THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THESE TWO MEN, WITH THE GROUNDS OR REASONS OF IT. They differed in two points.
1. In their earthly portion. How great a contrast! Where shall we find its origin? It warns us against judging of men's character by men's condition. That diversity of condition, which we may wonder at but cannot alter, which has prevailed more or less in every age and nation notwithstanding every attempt to put an end to it, that diversity must be traced to the sovereign will of God. And He suffers, or rather He establishes it, because it is conducive to our welfare and His own glory.
(1) It serves to show us, among other things, the poverty of the world and the all-sufficiency of God.
(2) Besides, this diversity of condition, this mixture of poverty and riches on the earth, answers a further end — it proclaims to thoughtless man another world. There must be a world in which the just Governor of the universe will assert His justice, will vindicate His character, and render to the sons of men according their works,
2. The two men it speaks of differed in their eternal condition.
(C. Bradley, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: