The Story of Jesus

Rich Man, Beggar Man

There was a certain rich man who thought only of himself. He wore expensive clothes. Every day he ate the best kind of food. His many servants were quick to do his bidding. He lived only to enjoy himself.

At the rich man's gate lay a beggar named Lazarus. He was too ill to work for a living, so he asked for the crumbs that fell from the rich 

man's table. He felt he had a right to ask for help, since both he and the rich man were descendants of Abraham. But the rich man would not help Lazarus at all. Even the dogs seemed sorry for Lazarus, but not the rich man.

Finally Lazarus died and the angels carried him to heaven. Here he was not a beggar. He could live in peace and happiness with Abraham and other good people who had left the world.

Later the rich man died. His friends buried him in a new cave and mourned for him. The rich man was taken to a place of torment. There he lifted up his eyes. Far, far away he saw Lazarus. How happy Lazarus looked with Abraham! The rich man cried out, "Abraham, have mercy on me. Send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my burning tongue."

Abraham answered, "Remember the good things you enjoyed in your lifetime while Lazarus had only trouble and suffering. Now he is comforted and you are tormented. I can send nothing to you because no one can pass from this place to your place of torment."

The rich man remembered his brothers who were still living on the earth. He did not want them to come to this place. He said, "Please send Lazarus back to my father's house. He must warn my five brothers about this dreadful place."

Abraham answered, "They have the words of Moses and the prophets. Let them obey those words."

The rich man knew his brothers would never do that. He pleaded, "No, but if someone were to be sent from the dead, they would repent."

Finally Abraham said, "If they will not pay any attention to the words in God's book, they would not pay any attention to one who rose from the dead."

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