The Story of Lazarus and the Rich Man is a parable narrated by Jesus in the Book of Luke Chapter 16 (verses 19-31). It is one of those parables of Jesus that affirms worldly and earthly possessions are of no benefit in the afterlife. People who have suffered on earth and were obedient to God’s words will receive their reward in Heaven.
Story of Lazarus and the Rich Man
Lessons from the Parable (Parables of Jesus)
The Parables of Jesus are found in the three synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The synoptic gospels describe events from a similar point of view, as contrasted with that of John. The parables comprise around one-third of Jesus’ teachings and are simple and memorable stories that convey messages that are central to the teachings of Christianity.
Here are five lessons that you can learn from the Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man.
- If you are wealthy, it does not mean that you are favored and blessed by God. Material prosperity is not indicative or evidence of spiritual abundance. The rich man in this story had no compassion, love, or sympathy for the poor, and there is no reference to his relationship with God, which would have been rather poor. We should not ignore our relationship with God pursuing riches and wealth. It is the first lesson from the Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man.
- Many times we assume that poverty is a curse. However, it does mean that a person is cursed if he is poor or in debt. Lazarus was a beggar and also sick. It did not mean that God was angry and displeased with him. He must have had a strong relationship with God, and his lack of physical possessions and health did not deter him from believing in God. If you are poor, it does not mean you are cursed and God is annoyed with you. God does not look at your physical or financial state of affairs. He looks at a loving heart that has genuine faith in Him. It is the second lesson from the Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man.
- Living with a deep sense of godly contentment, peace, and fullness of God’s love will make your time on this beautiful earth worthwhile. How you live your life here will determine how you will spend your eternity. The rich man indulged in the advantages of his wealth and the position afforded to him, without a thought to anything but his happiness. Remember that the decisions you make and the attitudes you exhibit will having lasting consequences. Your choices should be to glorify God and not to satisfy temporal pleasures and selfish ambitions. It is the third lesson from the Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man.
- Never neglect the poor and the oppressed. Cultivate the habit of sharing what you can spare. Taking care of the sick is an important aspect of God’s ministry and self-communication of love. We should practice the art of sacrificial and generous giving. Use all your abilities, energies, and wealth to honor God by helping the least of people among us. It is the fourth lesson from the Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man.
- Do you know we cannot escape judgment? Everyone will be judged according to their works. There are no second chances. Judgment to hell is permanent, and there is no escape out of hell. The rich man had many opportunities to repent before he died. However, he did not and had to face the consequences. We should never refuse to repent of our sins as this life on earth is short, and we can die at any moment. Believe in Jesus Christ and accept him as your Lord and Savior today, so that you may possess eternal life granted by our Gracious Father in Heaven through His beloved Son. It is the fifth lesson from the Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man.
One of the key takeaways from this parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man is people’s minds are committed to disobedience. They will always find ways to justify their lifestyle and insubordination to God’s word. Even if the dead arise and testify, people will harden their hearts just like Pharaoh hardened his heart against the Israelite people and will be unwilling to obey and believe. The Lazarus and Rich Man parable teaches us that spiritual blindness causes us to fumble about aimlessly, ignore those in need around us, and not see the beauty of this world that God shows us all the time.
The Parable of Lazarus and Rich Man encourages us to do some self-examination. And as James reminds us, we can’t “merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.” We have to “do what it says” (James 1:22).
Read our awe-inspiring collection of Parables of Jesus Christ with lessons that can be applied to our daily lives.