Lazarus

There are two prominent people in the New Testament of the Bible with the name of Lazarus. The most prominent was the Lazarus who died and was brought back to life by Jesus. The other was known as Lazarus the beggar.

The Lazarus who was brought back to life was a brother to Martha and Mary who lived in Bethany. The two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling Him "Sir, Your good friend is very very sick" (John 11:3). When Jesus and His disciples arrived at Bethany, they were told Lazarus had already been in His tomb for four days. Jesus told them to open the tomb, then Jesus looked to heaven, said a prayer to the Father, and then shouted "Lazarus come out." And Lazarus came out, wrapped in a grave cloth. Jesus told them "Unwrap him and let him go" (John 11:41-44).

Later, six days before the Passover ceremonies began, a banquet was prepared for Jesus honor, in which Lazarus, Martha and Mary attended. The resurrection of Lazarus so shocked the chief priest and Pharisees, they decided to kill Jesus "before the whole nation follows him, and then the Roman army will come and kill us . . . " (John 11:48). Six days later, Jesus was crucified.

Lazarus the beggar was a poor man who was featured in a parable of Jesus (Luke, chapter 16). Lazarus, a diseased beggar, laid at a rich man's door, longing for scraps from the rich man's table. The beggar died and was carried by the angels to be with Abraham in heaven. The rich man also died, and his soul went into hell.

There, in torment he saw Lazarus in the far distance with Abraham. He asked Abraham for pity. Then, as explained in Luke 16:25-26:

But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.' (Luke 16:25-26, NIV).


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