And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. Luke 16:20-21
Jesus' Parable is about two men--a very ill poor man eating off the floor under the table of a messy-eater rich man. And Jesus message is about the consequences of separating ourselves from God.
A poor man named Lazarus eats the crumb droppings from under the rich man's table in poor degradation and is ill unto death. The rich man is extremely self involved. Some would say he is an egotistical, womanizing, mean spirited, cruel, ungenerous small man. The rich man so chooses disengagement and disinterest in God.
And as we're given the next powerful Parabolic scene with Lazarus in Heaven and the rich man in hell's torment, we may look intently at what the rich man implores to Lazarus and father Abraham from across the great chasm that separates Heaven and hell.
First please note that Jesus is not telling us that the rich man goes to hell because he was rich; He is saying he goes to the place of torment because of what is in his heart. Through this whole section of Scripture Jesus is saying that we cannot judge because of outward appearances. After death the rich man becomes the poor beggar and the poor man becomes rich.
Secondly let's closely look at the next powerful Parabolic scene with Lazarus in Heaven and the rich man in hell's torment. The rich man implores to Lazarus and father Abraham from across the great chasm that separates Heaven and hell.
Hear the rich man mightily pleading that Lazarus go from Heaven and warn his brothers of the severe eternal torment in hell. And standing beside Lazarus in Heaven is Father Abraham responding wisely-- surely the brothers won't listen to the Prophets so what makes you suppose that they will listen to anyone like Lazarus who returns from the dead?
Those with open hearts and un-stiff necks will have ears to hear Jesus warning here. Jesus' Parable directs the listener to consider where we will spend eternity. The sinner's afterlife is in hell.. Jesus speaks to believers in Him; He speaks to us of Heaven and affirms, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Those who believe in Me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (Jn. 11:25-26)
19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. 24 He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. 26 Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’ 27 He said, ‘Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’ 30 He said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” Luke 16:19-31