Lazarus and the Rich Man – Luke 16

            It is hard to not be envious of people who seem to have it all. Life seems so easy for them, while we fight, work and scrape to make ends meet. Life does not seem fair.

            Jesus told a story of Lazarus – a beggar – who daily lay outside the gate of the home of a very wealthy man. The rich man feasted, while Lazarus starved. The rich man was clothed in the finest linen, while Lazarus was covered with sores and rags. In time both men died.

            Lazarus was carried by angels to Abraham’s Bosom, where he feasted and was given a robe of the finest white cloth; the wealthy man was carried to hell “where he was in torment.” (vs 23) Looking up, he saw Lazarus, now living comfortably, and he pled with Abraham, “Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.” (vs 24)

            “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.’” (vs 25) The wealthy man had depended on his wealth to make his life comfortable without any thought to what comes after this life. And when he died that wealth was gone and he suffered for not placing his trust in God.

            He thought about his brothers still living just as he had and didn’t want them to suffer as he was, so made another request, “Send Lazarus to my father’s house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them.” (vs 27-28) Abraham responded, “They have Moses and the prophets; let them listen to them.” (vs 29) I can just hear the “Puh! Yeah right!” They won’t listen to them any more than I did.” But, “If someone from the dead goes to them they will repent.” (vs 30) Abraham answered, “If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.” (vs 31)

            After Jesus resurrection, He talked with two followers on the road to Emmaus. “And beginning with Moses and the prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself.” (Luke 24:27) What do you think? Are you comfortable in this life with no thought of the next? Moses and the prophets spoke of Jesus, and He rose from the dead. We have both witnesses. What will be your excuse?

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