Finally, Jesus told this story to emphasize the absolute importance of not being slaves to money (145).

“Once there was a rich man, who dressed in expensive clothes & lived a life of luxury. There was also a poor man named Lazarus whose body was covered with sores.  Friends used to bring Lazarus to the rich man’s door, where he hoped to eat the scraps of food that fell from the rich man’s table. As he waited in vain, dogs would come & lick his sores.

“The poor man, Lazarus, died and went to heaven, where he was comforted by the side of Abraham. The rich man died and went to hell, where he experienced perpetual pain.  He looked up and saw Abraham, far away, with Lazarus at his side.

rich man and lazarus

“So the rich man called out, ‘Father Abraham! Have pity on me, and send Lazarus to bring me a drink of water, because I am in great pain in this fire!’

“But Abraham said, ‘In your lifetime you were blessed with wealth, which you kept to yourself, while Lazarus remained poor all his life. But now he is at ease here, while you are in perpetual pain there.

“Also, these places are permanently separated.  We cannot cross over to you, and you cannot cross over to us.’

“Then the rich man said, ‘I beg you, father Abraham, send Lazarus to my father’s house, to warn my five brothers, so they will not come to this place of pain.’  Abraham said, ‘Your brothers have Moses and the prophets to warn them; your brothers should listen to what they say.’

“The rich man answered, ‘That is not enough, father Abraham! But if someone were to rise from death & go to them, then they would turn from their sins.’

“But Abraham said, ‘If they will not be convinced by Moses & the prophets, then they will not be convinced — even by someone rising from death.'”



(145) Luke 16:19-31