The video of the sermon I preached this morning is available here:
These notes are the first part of a set of full study notes that I used during the preparation of this sermon. They contain more material than I could actually preach, particularly in terms of the quotes. But, it demonstrates how helpful I find my Logos Bible Software in preparing. Every quote except one was found using that program, and you will see how some specific ideas either actually came from my reading, or were supported by my reading.
Intro – I had little to say by way of introduction, except to say that this little story we are going to look at together should come with a warning attached. It has the ability to get deep beneath your skin and really bother you! Matthew Henry said it had been designed to wake us up. In it we have the coming together of two of our least favorite subjects, but also Jesus’ favorite subjects – Money or the rich and the afterlife ie heaven and hell. Jesus has so much to say about those subjects and in embryonic form it is all right here in this story. So prepare to hear Jesus at his most offensive to the pride of this age:
Luke 16:19 “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.’”
1. The Characters
a. The Rich Man
This has been called, “The Parable of The Show-off . . . and The Beggar”[i]
Purple was expensive made from shellfish [ii]
He loved himself and wanted everyone to know how important and rich he was.
Life was one long party!
Rich were assumed to be blessed (eg Job)
Today–we wear fashionable clothes, carry iPhone 3G-S
The Rich man knew almost all the privileges a man could have- but there’s always a bigger fish…
b. The beggar
The Poor Man was as destitute as a human being could be[iii]
Repulsive but loved by God.
Only parable where someone is named: Lazarus from Hebrew “God has helped.”[iv] The essence of the Christian is one who makes themselves dependent on God and relies on HIS help.
God knew the poor man’s name, the rich man was inconsequential.
Does God know your name in the sense of it being in his book?
“God helps but apparently no one else does.”[v]
“Judaism of that period would likely conclude that the miserable condition of Lazarus was the result of God’s punishment for sin, and wealth, such as enjoyed by the rich man, indicated God’s blessings.”[vi]
It turns out that the Rich man is abjectly poor spiritually and the poor man is rich spiritually.
It is as though God could have said the words of Revelation 3:17 to him “For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.”
How can we avoid being like that rich man? What was the problem with him? We will see more in the next post.
[i]Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953-2001). Vol. 11: New Testament commentary : Exposition of the Gospel According to Luke. New Testament Commentary (782). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
[ii]Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953-2001). Vol. 11: New Testament commentary : Exposition of the Gospel According to Luke. New Testament Commentary (782). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
[iii]Simeon, C. (1832-63). Horae Homileticae Vol. 12: Mark-Luke (560). London.
[iv]Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953-2001). Vol. 11: New Testament commentary : Exposition of the Gospel According to Luke. New Testament Commentary (783). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
[v]Review and Expositor. (1997; 2004). Review and Expositor Volume 94 (vnp.94.2.279). Review and Expositor.
[vi]Review and Expositor. (1997; 2004). Review and Expositor Volume 94 (vnp.94.2.279). Review and Expositor.