Parable of Rich Man and Lazarus

    Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .

         parable  of   r i c h   m a n   and   l a z a r u s          (  2  RELATED  PHRASES )                      

     The  phrase  'parable of rich man and Lazarus'  appears  xxx  times in the published writings of EGW                   See page on Original site                             Related Phrase:   Articles about rich man and Lazarus  ( below )   - -  bosom of Abraham

Those who desired a sign from Jesus had so hardened their hearts in unbelief that they did not discern in His character the likeness of God. They would not see that His mission was in fulfillment of the Scriptures. In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, Jesus said to the Pharisees, "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." Luke 16:31. No sign that could be given in heaven or earth would benefit them.  Desire of Ages, page 407.2


The parable of the rich man and Lazarus shows how the two classes represented by these men are estimated in the unseen world. There is no sin in being rich if riches are not acquired by injustice. A rich man is not condemned for having riches, but condemnation rests upon him if the means entrusted to him is spent in selfishness. Far better might he lay up his money beside the throne of God, by using it to do good. Death cannot make any man poor who thus devotes himself to seeking eternal riches. But the man who hoards his treasure for self can not take any of it to heaven. He has proved himself to be an unfaithful steward. During his lifetime he had his good things, but he was forgetful of his obligation to God. He failed of securing the heavenly treasure {COL 266.1}


In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, Christ shows that in this life men decide their eternal destiny. During probationary time the grace of God is offered to every soul. But if men waste their opportunities in self-pleasing, they cut themselves off from everlasting life. No afterprobation will be granted them. By their own choice they have fixed an impassable gulf between them and their God.  {COL 260.1}

When Christ gave the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, there were many in the Jewish nation in the pitiable condition of the rich man, using the Lord's goods for selfish gratification, preparing themselves to hear the sentence, "Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting." Daniel 5: 27. The rich man was favored with every temporal and spiritual blessing, but he refused to cooperate with God in the use of these blessings. Thus it was with the Jewish nation. The Lord had made the Jews the depositaries of sacred truth. He had appointed them stewards of His grace. He had given them every spiritual and temporal advantage, and He called upon them to impart these blessings. Special instruction had been given them in regard to their treatment of their brethren who had fallen into decay, of the stranger within their gates, and of the poor among them. They were not to seek to gain everything for their own advantage, but were to remember those in need and share with them. And God promised to bless them in accordance with their deeds of love and mercy. But like the rich man, they put forth no helping hand to relieve the temporal or spiritual necessities of suffering humanity. Filled with pride, they regarded themselves as the chosen and favored people of God; yet they did not serve or worship God. They put their dependence in the fact that they were children of Abraham. "We be Abraham's seed," they said proudly. (John 8:33.) When the crisis came, it was revealed that they had divorced themselves from God, and had placed their trust in Abraham, as if he were God.  {COL 267.3}


In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, the great Teacher rolls back the curtain, showing that God is the foundation of all faith, all goodness, all mercy.-- Manuscript 81, June 23, 1898, "The Rich Man and Lazarus."  {TDG 183.1}
There is a connection between the religion of Christ and poverty. Christianity is the solace of the poor. There is a false religion, endangering the souls of all who advance it, that teaches that selfish pleasure and enjoyment is the sum of happiness. But the parable of the rich man and Lazarus shows us that this is false. There came a time when the rich man would have given all he possessed to have exchanged places with Lazarus, once poor, and covered with sores.  {WM 172.1}


Is it proof that such men need? Is it evidence that is wanting? -- No; the parable of the rich man and Lazarus is given to help all such souls who are turning away from positive evidence, and crying, "Proof"! The rich man asked that one might be sent from the dead to warn his brethren, lest they come to the place of torment. "Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead."  {RH, December 23, 1890 par. 2}  {1888 764.2}
In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus a representation is given of those who refuse light. While the rich man was suffering the punishment of his sins, he asked that Lazarus might be sent to warn his brethren, lest they also share his fate. Abraham is represented as saying to him: "They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham; but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." Yet to the Jews one had come who had been raised from the dead. Among them was Lazarus, who had lain four days in the grave, but who was now a living witness of the power of Christ. But in spite of this, the priests not only plotted to put Christ to death, but Lazarus also; for he was likely to be an obstacle in the way of killing Christ.  {RH, December 28, 1897 par. 4}


There is a false religion, endangering the souls of all who advance it, which teaches that selfish pleasure and enjoyment is the sum of happiness. The parable of the rich man and Lazarus shows us that this is false. It was the rich man's duty to help Lazarus by giving of his abundance. But he refused to do this, and gave himself up to intemperate, luxurious living. There came a time when the rich man would have given all he possessed to exchange places with Lazarus, once poor and covered with sores. He fell sick, and during his sickness he learned what suffering meant. He is represented as calling constantly upon Lazarus to relieve him in his burning fever. But he had no knowledge of God, and Abraham is represented as answering, "Between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that they which would pass from hence to you can not; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence."  {ST, June 21, 1899 par. 3}


                                           Articles  about  the  Parable  of  the  Rich  Man                                                   


June 19, 1894 -  Parable of the Rich Man.  -  By Mrs. E. G. White. - 
"And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me." The man who asked this from Christ did not receive the benefit that it was his privilege to receive from the lessons that the great Teacher was giving to the people. Selfishness directed his thoughts into a different channel from that in which the Master would direct them, and the man thought within himself that if he could only turn the power of Christ in a direction by which he could be benefited in a pecuniary way, it would be a matter of congratulation. He saw that the words of Christ were attended with convincing power; that he was capable of putting matters in a clear light; that he spoke as one having authority; and the man thought that Jesus would have influence with his brother, and command him to do him the justice he thought was his due. His request was in keeping with his character; for he was one who thought that business, the attainment of property, was the one thing of importance.  {RH, June 19, 1894 par. 1}  There are 8 paragraphs


June 26, 1894 - Parable of the Rich Man. -  By Mrs. E. G. White. - (Concluded.) -

God has made men his stewards, and he is not to be charged with the sufferings, the misery, the nakedness, and the want of humanity. The Lord has made ample provision for all. He has given to thousands of men large supplies with which to alleviate the want of their fellows; but those whom God has made stewards have not stood the test; for they have failed to relieve the suffering and the needy. When men who have been abundantly blessed of heaven with large wealth fail to carry out God's design, and do not relieve the poor and the oppressed, the Lord is displeased and will surely visit them. They have no excuse for withholding from their neighbors the help that God has put it into their power to provide; and God is dishonored, his character is misinterpreted by Satan, and he is represented as a stern judge who causes suffering to come upon the creatures he has made. This misrepresentation of God's character is made to appear as truth, and thus through the temptation of the enemy, men's hearts are hardened against God. Satan charges upon God the very evil he himself has caused men to commit by withholding their means from the suffering. He attributes to God his own characteristics.  {RH, June 26, 1894 par. 1}    There are 8 paragraphs


Inspirational Message:   Parable of Rich Man and Lazarus
Notes:   This parable is symbolic not literal.  Rich Man represents Nation of Israel;  Lazarus represent Gentiles;  Bosom represents intamacy ( John 1: 18 );  Pharasees believed in Spiritualism ( John 8: 39 ) they believed in Abraham rather than God.  Purpose:  Jesus told this parable because he would resurrect Lazarus a month later and even though He resurrected Lazarus, the Pharasees still did not believe.  See Matthew 23: 23 and John 12: 9, 10  --  The Abraham in the parable believed in Resurrection, Luke 16: 30, 31


                                             Return  to  Phrases related to the Parables  page

                                             Return  to  Selected Quotations by EGW  page

Related Information

Parable of . . .(Separate page)