What Are the Lessons Behind the Story of Lazarus and the Rich Man?


Quick Answer

The lessons behind the story of Lazarus and the rich man are that wealth does not bring salvation and that no amount of miracles or Christian wonders can bring a person to believe if the person does not have faith. In the parable of Lazarus, God instructs the Pharisees not to live for man's approval but rather to serve God.

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Full Answer

The Book of Luke describes Lazarus as a physically impaired beggar. The rich man looks down on Lazarus. Lazarus asks the rich man for help, but the rich man doesn't even allow Lazarus to eat from his trash. When Lazarus dies, angels carry him away. When the rich man dies, he goes to hell. Not even Lazarus can stop the rich man's torment in hell.

The parable of Lazarus makes the point that not even the rich man's opulence affords him salvation. Because the rich man didn't accept salvation and help Lazarus, God did not save the rich man. The parable encourages readers to help those in need, regardless of the person's social status or sin. It is also a warning that a person's situation can change quickly so he should not look down upon others with contempt. In addition, a person should reach out and help others while the person has the opportunity.

The story of Lazarus ends with the rich man in torment. The rich man wants to go warn his brothers to follow God and accept salvation. God refuses to send warning to the rich man's brothers. God says that the brothers have the law and the prophets to hear about salvation. If the brothers don't accept salvation with the law and prophets, God says that no miracle or sign can change their hearts.

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