Although all four gospels relate the story of Jesus’ life, the details of these accounts differ. Miracles and parables figure in Matthew, Mark and Luke, but only miracles are found in John. All four gospels stress Jesus’ love for the poor and humble, and champion the quest of justice for all of God’s children.
The parable of “The Rich Man and Lazarus” is unique to Luke’s gospel. Elsewhere in Luke, “The Good Samaritan” emphasizes mercy and kindness and “The Prodigal Son” promotes forgiveness, but this particular parable is deeply unsettling. The rich man has literally “dug his own grave.” Despite daily opportunities to help Lazarus, he does nothing. You can almost picture the rich man stepping over the beggar on his way to the dinner table.
There is no way out of Hades for the rich man because he ignored the laws of Moses and the warnings of the prophets. This parable is a dire reminder that as long as we ignore the “have-nots” in our midst, God’s kingdom cannot come.
Gracious God, forgive us for what we have failed to do. Amen. — CKA