Luke 16

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Jesus offers a glimpse into the nature of life after death in Luke 16 with the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus.


Jesus emphasized the importance of trustworthiness in Luke 16:10. The principle is simple. One who is trustworthy in small things will be trustworthy in great matters. One who is unfaithful in small matters will also be unfaithful in matters of importance.

This maxim holds true in business, relationships, and spiritual faithfulness. If you want to be charged with great things, start by being faithful with the little matters in your life.

Luke 16 Outline

Lessons on being faithful
Parable of the unjust steward
Faithful with small things
Jesus addresses scoffing Pharisees
Pharisees were lovers of money
Maxims about the Old Law
Parable of the rich man and Lazarus
Men contrasted in life
Men contrasted in death
Rich man begs Abraham 3 times
Send Lazarus to me with water
Send Lazarus to my living brothers
Send a dead man to save my family

Life After Death

The parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus illustrates the necessity of proper stewardship, provides a warning about the sin of neglect, and offers a glimpse into the nature of life after death.

In this parable Jesus paints a stark contrast between the lives and after-lives of two men. In life, the rich man wore the finest clothing, and happily lived in splendor every day. Lazarus, who "was laid" at the rich man’s gate, suffered physically, and received medical relief only from dogs that licked the sores on his skin.

In death, the rich man suffered the torment of fire, while Lazarus was in paradise with Abraham.

The spiritual domains of torment (Hades) and paradise (Abraham’s bosom) are depicted in this parable. The fixed Gulf represents the permanent separation between the saved and the lost. Death irreversibly seals a person's eternal destiny.

The Rich Man had a change of heart after he died. If the Rich Man's remorse did not save him from eternal punishment, then it's unreasonable to assume that the final state of any lost soul can be changed, regardless of how penitent that soul may be after death.

Fast Facts

  • In all of Jesus’ parables, only Lazarus is given a proper name.
  • Purple clothing was associated with royalty because the dye to make it was very expensive. The dye was extracted from a small rare shellfish, commonly called the "Purple Dye Murex."
  • Linen was produced from flax plants that grew on the bank of the Nile River. It was extremely valuable in Christ's time.
  • Being buried was an honor in Christ's day. Funerals were splendid occasions, where final tributes were given to the departed. The rich man's funeral would have been costly.
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