Luke 16:19–31 (ESV)
The Rich Man and Lazarus
19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And
at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted
up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue,
for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted
here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there
to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—so
that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And
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 hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced
if someone should rise from the dead.’ ”
Jesus challenges the belief that earthly blessings are a sign of God’s eternal favor. He teaches us to heed the
Word of God now while faithful mercy can be shown, for this is God’s good and gracious will.
I pray: Lord, teach me to read and trust in Your gift of Moses,
the Prophets, and all faithful witnesses to the Gospel. May my tongue speak now of Your grace for all who have ears to hear. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht,
The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1751.