Luke 16:27

ESV And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house—
NIV He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family,
NASB And he said, ‘Then I request of you, father, that you send him to my father’s house—
CSB " 'Father,' he said, 'then I beg you to send him to my father's house--
NLT Then the rich man said, ‘Please, Father Abraham, at least send him to my father’s home.
KJV Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:

What does Luke 16:27 mean?

When the rich man arrived in Hades, he seemed to know he would never leave. Instead of begging Abraham to cross the great chasm into paradise, he only asks for a bit of water. Abraham tells him that's not possible. The wealthy man's thoughts go to his family, still living for their own pleasure instead of honoring God (Luke 16:19–26).

The rich man asks Abraham to send a man Lazarus, who is in paradise with Abraham, to give him the water. This is not the man later raised from death by Jesus (John 11:41¬–44). On earth, the Lazarus of this passage was a tormented beggar, dumped at the rich man's gate, covered in sores and starving. The rich man lived in a mansion, wore regal robes and fine linen, and feasted every day. It's this poor man, now died and in paradise, that the wealthy man asks to be sent to his father's house.

The wealthy man has five brothers who are making the same mistake he did: worshiping money instead of God (Luke 16:28). Perhaps the man realizes how bold this request is. He wants Lazarus, whom he ignored when he could easily have helped, to travel back from death to warn the rich man's equally shallow brothers that they should care for the poor so they won't wind up in Hades.

Jesus is telling this story to the Pharisees who think they can love money and God at the same time. They don't see that the way they accumulate money is directly contrary to God's will (Mark 7:9–13; Exodus 20:12). They have already claimed that Jesus performs miracles through the power of Satan (Luke 11:14–15). Jesus, through Abraham in His story, warns them that if they do not understand who He is through the messages of Moses and the Prophets, neither will they accept the truth even if someone is raised from the dead (Luke 16:31).

In the case of the Pharisees, this proves true. Many Pharisees reject Jesus after He rose from the dead. Even before then, when Jesus raised his real-life friend—coincidentally also named Lazarus—the Pharisees plotted to kill them both (John 11:38–53; 12:9–11). The basic idea holds true for many people today: those who reject the clear message given by God will not come to saving faith (Romans 1:18–20), no matter what they see or hear.
What is the Gospel?
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