The Rich Man and Lazarus – Luke 16:19-31
Jesus told a powerful parable and yet it is not a parable because it actually names the participants. He tells of rich man and Lazarus. The rich man lived in luxury while the poor man lived in poverty. They both died and the rich man went to hell and Lazarus went to paradise. This story by the way gives a clear picture of what hell looks like and who better to know than Jesus. In hell the rich man who had had the best saw Lazarus. Lazarus who during his life time could not even get crumbs from the rich man’s table was with Abraham. The rich man called out to Abraham to send Lazarus to have him wet his tongue so he could get relief from his torment. Abraham said, “There is a wide gulf between us.” The he went on to explain to the rich man that in life he had the best while Lazarus lived in agony. It was now Lazarus turn to enjoy life. Jesus was saying there is a day judgment coming where all things will be put right.
The rich man asked Abraham to send someone to warn his brothers. Abraham said, that even if someone came back from the dead many will not believe. This was of course a direct statement to Jesus’ rising from the dead. Jesus then closes off this story by reminding His audience that even the prophets and Moses had warned them about the coming judgment but they still did not believe.
This is a strong warning to watch how you live and teach others. It is also a story about how things will be put right and to believe when you have been given the opportunity.