Painting Luke's Gospel

The Rich Man and Lazarus

The story of the Rich Man and Lazarus has deep meaning for us at St George’s Tron Church of Scotland. So often, the poorest in society are ignored and invisible, while those of us who live in comfort are given priority. In this painting, our Lazarus takes prominence whilst the rich man in torment is placed at the back of the painting.

David (our model for Lazarus) and his wee dog Casper are regulars here – on Sundays at the services, and in The Wild Olive Tree café during the week. He’s one of the folk who makes use of the gifted soup and coffee scheme, where people can pay in advance for food and drink for someone who can’t afford it. Iain opted to paint the rich man as a self-portrait, inviting those of us who live in comfort to challenge ourselves on the stance we take to the poor.

The Rich Man and Lazarus

‘There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

‘The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, “Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.”

‘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 set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.”

‘He answered, “Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.”

‘Abraham replied, “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.”

‘“No, father Abraham,” he said, “but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.”
‘He said to him, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.”’

Luke 16: 19-31 (NIVUK)


Painting Handout

Explore this painting in more detail with our free PDF including colour-in section.

The Rich Man and Lazarus: Painting Handout Download
Gospel Bible Study

This study considers both the Biblical text and the painting on which it is based, encouraging participants to think about how to apply the Biblical text to their context.

The Rich Man and Lazarus: Bible Study Download

The Portrait Gospel

The Gospel of Luke uniquely illustrated by Iain Campbell

The Portrait Gospel is uniquely illustrated by Iain Campbell. By using modern day Glaswegians as his models, Iain’s compelling paintings bring 21st century life to the words of a first century disciple.

Copies of The Portrait Gospel are available to buy in person from St George’s Tron Church, Glasgow.

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