What about that poor beggar Lazarus, anyway? (Read Luke 16:19-31) We don't really know much about him. I wish we had more information. Was he a righteous man? Did he know the Law? What did he do - besides suffer sickness, homelessness, hunger and death - that made him deserving of all that comfort?
"And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at [the rich man's] gate, covered with sores, and longing to be fed with the crumbs that were falling from the rich man's table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. Now the poor man died..." - Luke 16:20-22
Jesus was speaking to and directing this parable at the Pharisees (Luke 16:14). What was his message to them? They were smugly believing that Hades (Hebrew: Sheol) was reserved for those quite unlike themselves. They themselves were well-groomed, religious, better than others, "blessed" with prosperity. Oh, how Jesus offended them - and they were scoffing at Him!
Perhaps those of us here in the abundance of America should feel a bit tremulous as we reflect on Jesus’ words: “But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full. Woe to you who are well-fed now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep." (Luke 6:24-25) I, for one, know that I have always been well-fed. Compared to 95% of the world, we are all very rich in the U.S., isn’t that right?
So, as we consider Jesus' parable, we should ask ourselves, "Who do I identify with more: Lazarus or the rich man?"
Taken from: The Parable about Hell - or Not