This is a bittersweet passage in that we are told of Lazarus passing on to Paradise and the rich man passing into hell. It's important to understand that the rich man was not cast into hell because he was rich. No, it was because he was trusting in those riches to get him into Paradise. But no matter how good or how rich he was, he didn't have the key to entrance into Paradise. He didn't know Christ. He had not accepted the gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus.
What I find so fascinating about this passage, however, is that the beggar is named while the rich man remains anonymous. That's backwards from the way things are done today, isn't it? The wealthy are known. The names of the famous grace the covers of magazines. Many people today are striving to make a name for themselves. Why? Because no one likes to go unnoticed. Everyone likes to be recognized for who or what they are. We all like to feel at least somewhat significant in the grand scheme of things.
Yes, if it had been left up to man to write the Bible, I believe this story would read somewhat differently. The facts would be the same, but I think the rich man would have been named and the beggar would have been left anonymous. Thankfully, the writing was not left to man. Sure, God used human instruments, but He told them what to say. He specified for Luke to name Lazarus and not the rich man. Why? Could it be that He wants to remind us that no one is insignificant in His eyes? Could this passage serve as a reminder that we are all special to Him? Could it point out that it isn't wealth or fame that makes someone "stand out" but those who have accepted Christ?
To this day, the rich man remains anonymous. Until we reach Heaven, we'll never know the man's name. But we will always know Lazarus, the name of the lowly beggar.
Perhaps you're going through a time where you're wondering if anything you say or do really matters. It matters to God. You may be going through a spell where you feel lost, alone and insignificant. Never fear; the eyes of Heaven are watching. No deed goes unnoticed. No tear is missed. No cry is unheard. God loves you, and He knows your name. Never forget that!