Our Savior's parable (Luke 16) of the Rich man clothed in purple linen and Lazarus the poor man covered with sores is revealing. The Rich man trusts in himself and magnifies his righteousness to himself as he deems himself worthy of his riches and cushy life. Both dying, the Rich man in hades sees Lazarus in heaven and is told by father Abraham that those with placement cannot travel from heaven to hades, and vice versa.
The Rich man in hades becomes concerned for his five living brothers and asks that someone from the dead go and speak to them so that they will not end up in hades. Abraham replies that if they will not listen to Moses and the prophets then too they will not be convinced by someone coming back to them from the dead.
Who can open the eyes of the Rich who love money more than God? Who can soften a heart hardened self will? Who can turn a life around a hundred and eighty degrees and fill that person with true compassion for others? When one listens to Moses and the prophets with expectancy for what God is showing us then through repentance the eyes of their heart may open to the Savior Messiah, the One speaking the parable. Jesus the Son of God.
Scholars say that Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees and this parable angered in lieu of humbled them. This parable is for us too. Jesus loves us and wants to draw us near to His heart so that we are more like Him in all ways. Yet we will be hindered, He indicates, when we so enjoy money and the cushy life, when here are the poor, widows, orphans, ill and hurting, and those who are in poverty who are at our gate.
Our gratitude for the One who has shed His blood and died for us, whose Resurrected Presence lives within us, and our thanksgiving for our Glorious God may cause us to look carefully at the Rich man and Lazarus and take Jesus' lesson to heart. Holy Spirit help us. May Jesus' parable have a great impact on our lives so that we serve and obey Him more genuinely.
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 Someone Rises from the dead.’” Luke 16:19-31