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Rich Man And Lazarus

Mar_4:13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?
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Rich Man And Lazarus

Postby Itiswrittenkjv1611 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:41 pm

Luke 16:19–31

There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.


Many have supposed that our Lord here refers to a "real history," and gives an account of some man who had lived in this manner; but of this there is no evidence. The probability is that this narrative is to be considered as a parable, referring not to any particular case which "had" actually happened, but teaching that such cases "might" happen. The "design" of the narrative is to be collected from the previous conversation. He had taught the danger of the love of money Luke 16:1-2; the deceitful and treacherous nature of riches Luke 16:9-11; that what was in high esteem on earth was hateful to God Luke 16:15; that people who did not use their property aright could not be received into heaven Luke 16:11-12; that they ought to listen to Moses and the prophets Luke 16:16-17; and that it was the duty of people to show kindness to the poor. The design of the parable was to impress all these truths more vividly on the mind, and to show the Pharisees that, with all their boasted righteousness and their external correctness of character, they might be lost.

This is a parable

Properly speaking, we have here, not a parable-that is, a representation of physical facts which have to be translated into moral or religious truths-but an imaginary narrative, embodying a normal fact in a single case.

People in Hell cannot see into Heaven and see people there or have conversations with them.

Hell is described as outer darkness:

Mat 8:12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (See also Matt 22:13;25:30)

A place of total isolation and alienation from Heaven:

2Pe 2:17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.

Jud 1:13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.

2Th 1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

Even in the parable itself, Abraham says:

"between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence."

Therefore to take this passage as an account of a real event is not probable and we must understand it as a parable, a story, with the main purpose being to warn men that hell will be full of people who never expected to go there, they can never escape and will be tormented forever.


Rich Man

No great fault is spoken of in the rich man - no external, degrading vice - no open breach of the law; which leaves us to infer that the "mere possession of wealth" may be dangerous to the soul, and that a man surrounded with every temporal blessing may perish forever. It is remarkable that no "name" is given to this rich man, though the poor man is mentioned by name.

There was a certain rich man. He is thus introduced by the Lord without any details respecting his age or place of residence - nameless, too! Seems he not to have been reading from that book where he found the name of the poor man written, but found not the name of the rich; for that book is the book of life?"

Clothed in purple - A purple robe or garment. This color was expensive as well as splendid, and was chiefly worn by princes, nobles, and those who were very wealthy. Compare Matthew 27:28.

Fine linen - This linen was chiefly produced of the flax that grew on the banks of the Nile, in Egypt, Proverbs 7:16; Ezekiel 27:7. It was especially soft and white, and was, therefore, much sought as an article of luxury, and was so expensive that it could be worn only by princes, by priests, or by those who were very rich, Genesis 41:42; 1 Chronicles 15:27; Exodus 28:5.

Fared sumptuously - Feasted or lived in a splendid manner.

Every day - Not merely occasionally, but constantly. This was a mark of great wealth, and, in the view of the world, evidence of great happiness. It is worthy of remark that Jesus did not charge on him any crime. He did not say that he had acquired this property by dishonesty, or even that he was unkind or uncharitable; but simply that he "was a rich man," and that his riches did not secure him from death and perdition.

"Father Abraham"


Beggar - Poor man.

Named Lazarus - The word Lazarus is Hebrew, and means a man destitute of help, a needy, poor man. It is a name given, therefore, to denote his needy condition.

Laid at his gate - laid—having to be carried and put down. Paralyzed. At the door of the rich man, in order that he might obtain aid.

Full of sores - open, running, "not closed, nor bound up, nor mollified with ointment" (Isa 1:6). Covered with ulcers; afflicted not only with poverty, but with loathsome and offensive ulcers, such as often are the accompaniments of poverty and want. These circumstances are designed to show how different was his condition from that of the rich man. "He" was clothed in purple; the poor man was covered with sores; "he" fared sumptuously; the poor man was dependent even for the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table.

The dogs came - Such was his miserable condition that even the dogs, as if moved by pity, came and licked his sores in kindness to him. These circumstances of his misery are very touching, and his condition, contrasted with that of the rich man, is very striking. It is not affirmed that the rich man was unkind to him, or drove him away, or refused to aid him. The narrative is designed simply to show that the possession of wealth, and all the blessings of this life, could not exempt from death and misery, and that the lowest condition among mortals may be connected with life and happiness beyond the grave. There was no provision made for the helpless poor in those days, and consequently they were often laid at the gates of the rich, and in places of public resort, for charity. See Acts 3:2. The gospel has been the means of all the public charity now made for the needy, as it has of providing hospitals for those who are sick and afflicted. No pagan nation ever had a hospital or an almshouse for the needy, the aged, the blind, the insane. Many heathen nations, as the Hindoos and the Sandwich Islanders, destroyed their aged people; and "all" left their poor to the miseries of public begging, and their sick to the care of their friends or to private charity.


The soul and the afterlife

1. The soul is capable of an existence separated from the body, and therefore is not, as some atheists dream, a mere affection of that, and an accident, but a distinct spiritual subsistence.

2. The souls of the good, when they depart from their bodies, immediately pass into an eternal state of blessedness.

A lesson on Hell

1. People in Hell are fully aware of why they are there.

The rich man never says "Someone made a mistake!". He doesn't ask "Why am I here?"

2. There is no relief for those in Hell

3. People in Hell don't get better.

The rich man still saw Lazarus as beneath him, a nobody who could be given orders and sent where he pleases.

Rev 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still...

The rich man remains self-centered and his only concern is about a few people in his immediate family.

The sufficiency of Scripture

Luk 16:29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

1Pe 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Luk 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.


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