Nineteenth Sunday of Pentecost

A Rich Man Ignores a Poor Man

Luke 16: 19 - 31

Only two people are named Lazarus in the Bible. One is the brother of Martha and Mary, whom Jesus raised from the dead in Bethany (and whose resurrection the Gospel writer John believes was the reason Jesus was crucified (Palm Sunday)), and the other is only a character in a story, a poor man covered with sores.

There seems to be no connection between the real person and the name in the parable, although Jesus does point out that there is no reason for raising people from the dead: the unbelievers still will not believe.

The rich man in the story has no name: his personality is defined only by his wealth, so he doesn't come as alive for us as Lazarus does.

Because of the sad picture this story paints about Lazarus, his name in later years became a synonym for beggar or leper.

Dogs in Palestine ate table scraps instead of dog food - Lazarus is so hungry he is willing to compete with the dogs for scraps of food that were thrown on the floor.

1. How did the rich man treat Lazarus in his lifetime?

[The rich man seems to have ignored Lazarus.]

2. Where did Lazarus go after he died?

[Lazarus was comforted in the bosom of Abraham.]

3. Did Abraham offer the rich man any comfort?

[Abraham told the rich man he had already had a lifetime of comfort and ease.]

4. What did the rich man ask Abraham for?

[The rich man first asked for Lazarus to bring him water, and then he asked for Lazarus to go to his brothers to tell them to change their ways.]

5. What did Abraham tell the rich man his brothers would do?

[The rich man said that if they ignored Moses and the prophets, the brothers would not listen to someone who came back from the dead either.]

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