Luke 16:21-25

Luke 16:21 (KJB)
And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

Lazarus was not looking for a full meal, but I doubt he would have refused it if offered to him. He was just looking for the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. It was probably a reference to the bread which the wealthy used to wipe their hands. These pieces of bread were then thrown on the floor and were either thrown out or given to the dogs. This is why the dogs were probably mentioned here as they were the ones who got the food instead of Lazarus. Then the dogs would lick the sores of Lazarus which would be medically unclean and maybe cause infection. Lazarus as a Jew would also suffer disgrace because under the law, dogs were considered unclean. There may also, possibly be an inference that Lazarus had to battle the dogs for the scraps.

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And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

Finally, the beggar had died for who could live very long in the condition? Lazarus was a believer and once he died he was released from all his suffering and so the angels had carried him into Abraham’s bosom. Abraham was the father of the faithful and Lazarus being a believer was a son of Abraham. (Mat 22:32 KJV) I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. Abraham’s bosom was another name for Heaven. The thief on the cross went to paradise with the Lord Jesus Christ that very day. There is no intermediate place where the souls of the saved go, they go right to Heaven. The term “Abraham’s bosom” was a well known term to the Jews of that day. Then in the second part of that verse we read that the rich man died and was buried. There was nothing else beyond him being buried. No fanfare of any kind or promise of eternal life as Lazarus had.

Luke 16:23 (KJB)
And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

For illustration purposes, Jesus teaches that the rich man is able to see Abraham and Lazarus afar off in a state of bliss. Now the tables are turned. For many years, Lazarus was tormented by his physical condition but now he is in Abraham’s bosom and the rich man was in torment in hell. In reality, those in Heaven will not be able to see those in hell. For what kind of Heaven would that be if we were able to hear our loved ones from earth in torment.

Luke 16:24 (KJB)
And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

The rich man was in total torment now as he was being tormented with heat and flame. He cries out to Abraham and asks him if he would have mercy and send Lazarus to dip his finger in water and bring it to him to cool his tongue. Even while the rich man is in torment, he still views Lazarus as a servant to do his bidding. If you also notice that the rich man called out “Father Abraham.” (Mat 23:9 KJV) And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. The Jews had thought that because of their physical descent from Abraham, they thought automatically that they were all saved and in right relationship with God. The rich man should have known by now that Abraham was not his father but only God is his father and it is too late now to acknowledge that. He basically had no right to call Abraham “father” because he had not done the works of Abraham.

Luke 16:25 (KJB)
But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

Here Abraham calls him son because of the physical descent from him but his mistake was that he had expected the benefits of that heritage which was only given to those who had become saved. Abraham now gives the rich man a dose of reality. Apparently the rich man had forgotten how he acted on earth toward Lazarus. He would not so much as even offer Lazarus a meal or even food that was not meant for dogs. Now the rich man is told straight out that while he lived sumptuously on earth, he had all the good things like food and clothing, and anything else wealth could provide. On the other hand, Lazarus had only evil or bad things such as his debilitating disease and the fact that he had to be carried and the fact that he was not even treated nicely by those who carried him plus he lived among the dogs which was an unclean place. Lazarus, being a believer, was now in a place of eternal comfort and the rich man who thought nothing of God was now in a place of eternal torment. Now he is in an unclean place. Here is the deceitfulness of riches with its main outcome.

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