Lazarus and the rich man — A parable of Jesus — Luke 16:19-31
Lazarus and the rich man, one of Jesus’ parables (Luke 16:19-31)
- Verse 19:
- The rich man is not named but Lazarus is named (Lazarus = “God is my help”). Lazarus is the only character in one of Jesus’ many parables that is given a specific name.
- “purple… linen” — This was the costliest garb available in that day.
- “every day” — He obviously lived in total extravagance.
- Verse 20-21:
- “…laid at his gate…” — The rich man obviously lived in a ‘gated’ palace, Lazarus was unable to walk, probably due to open sores and pressure. ‘Gate’ on earth versus ‘gulf’ in heaven.
- Rich man’s company versus Lazarus and the dogs, food versus crumbs, clothes versus ‘sores’.
- Verse 22:
- Lazarus ‘died’ versus the rich man dying and being ‘buried’. Beggars bodies were discarded into heaps.
- “…carried by angels…” — carried in disgrace on earth but carried in joy and celebration in heaven.
- “…bosom…” — see Bible Dictionary under ‘bosom’, with ‘bosom’ referring to a place of refuge.
- Verse 24:
- “…Father Abraham…” — quite hypocritical for the rich man to now claim membership in the family of Abraham. Notice the role reversal.
- “…have mercy…” — where was your mercy for Lazarus?
- “…send Lazarus…” — he still does not understand. He speaks as if Lazarus was a servant or slave. I had servants during my life. Surely Lazarus could serve me now.
- Verse 25:
- “Son…” — Was Abraham being sarcastic? Probably not.
- “…remember…” — how many times in the Book of Mormon are we admonished to ‘remember’? Look back, consider your ways. Realize that there are consequences, both good and bad, for our actions.
- Verse 26:
- “…gulf…” — Christ’s visit to the spirit world bridged the gulf.
- Verse 29:
- “…Moses and the prophets…” — Scriptures and prophets provide all that we need to obey God and come back into His presence. Lazarus apparently read, believed, and obeyed. We can do nothing less.
- Verse 31:
- “…neither will they be persuaded…” — miracles don’t convert!
- Lessons to be learned:
- The rich man wasn’t damned simply because he was rich, nor was Lazarus saved simply because he was poor. THey received their stations based on actions and attitudes.
- The rich man was rationalizing when he inferred that he would have repented if he had been taught.
- Send the man to help me whom I refused to help during life.
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