B. We all need help sometimes.
1. Tough Mudder
2. I needed help!
C. The context of Luke 16:19-31
1. Told against the Pharisees, who were lovers of money.
II. A Tale of Two Lives
A. The Rich Man
1. Fine clothes
a) Purple outer garments and linen undergarments
b) Some people have nothing, and other people can afford expensive underwear.
2. Fine food
a) He feast sumptuously daily
b) He made himself merry daily.
3. Fine home
a) Word for gates is same word used for gates outside of temple, palace, or city.
4. Fine family
a) 5 brothers that he evidently cared deeply about.
B. The Poor Man
1. Immobile (Laid at the gate)
2. Unclean (covered in sores)
3. Starving (longed for the crumbs)
4. Humiliated (licked by dogs)
C. But, the poor man had one thing that the rich man did not.
1. God knew his name.
a) Only parable where a character is named.
b) We know the rich man’s name, but God knows the poor man’s name.
2. Lazarus means “One who God Helps”
a) He may be disadvantaged in every earthly way.
b) But, he has one big advantage: He will receive the help of God.
III. A Tale of Two Deaths
A. Death is the great equalizer
1. It is appointed once for a man to die.
2. Wealth is fleeting
B. Eternity is the great reversal
a) From poverty to paradise
b) From outside the rich man’s gates to inside heaven’s gates
c) From loneliness to lounging (with the patriarchs)
d) From famished to feasting
(1) “Matthew 8:11 states: “I tell you, many will come from east and west and
recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.”
2. Rich man
a) From ignoring the beggar to begging for the beggars help
b) Just like he did not give one crumb of food, he is not given one drop of
3. How many are longing for a day when the righteous will be vindicated and
wickedness will be vanquished?
IV. A Tale of Two Eternities
A. We are not told what Lazarus did to deserve “heaven.”
1. There are parallel, extra biblical stories that are very similar, with one notable
exception. They focus on the deeds of the characters.
a) The story of Setme and Si-Osiris
b) The righteous are punished for their few sins during their earthly lives, but will
receive bliss in the next life. Conversely, the wicked are rewarded for their few
good deeds during their earthly lives, but will receive torment in the next life.
2. We are not told about Lazarus’ deeds, because the emphasis is on God’s grace.
B. We are told what the rich man did to deserve “hades”
1. Appealed to his religious heritage: “Father Abraham”
2. Knew Lazarus’ name and still did not help.
3. Still sees Lazarus as his servant.
4. Looks out for his needs first
5. Wants to help his family, rather than right any of his previous wrongs.
C. The fate of the the rich man’s brothers.
1. If people won’t believe Scripture; they won’t believe signs.
2. “If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if
someone should rise from the dead.’”
A. If you have been trusting in your own efforts.
1. Some trust in horses, some in chariots, but I will trust in the name of the Lord
2. Wealth is relative.
3. Listen to the testimony of Scripture and the one raised from the dead
B. If you feel helpless and hopeless
1. Remember that God helps those who can’t help themselves
Ephesians 2:1-13- a) And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked,
following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the
spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all
once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body[a] and
the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.[b]
4 But[c] God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved
us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with
Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated
us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages
he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in
Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not
your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may
boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. 11 Therefore
remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision”
by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands—
12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from
the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having
no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once
were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.