The story of Lazarus

Wishing you a Blessed Palm Sunday.

Lazarus in the New Testament refers to two different persons. One must not conflate the two.

In Luke (16: 19 – 31 ), Lazarus is the desperately poor and sick man in The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus . The message in this parable is that a wealthy man who neglects the poor will have terrible consequences visited on him. This parable is not mentioned in Matthew, Mark or John. 

Whereas the arguably more famous Lazarus refers to The Raising of Lazarus of Bethany by Jesus after he was dead for 4 days. This story is only mentioned in The Gospel of John (11: 1 – 57). 

Lawyers will equally be familiar with the famous Lazarus case. This case was applied recently by Justice Nallini Pathmanathan FCJ in the Federal Court decision in Ong Leong Chiou and another v Keller (M) Sdn Bhd and 2 others. 

(see para 43 Grounds of decision 25 March 2021).

In Lazarus Estates v Beasley (1956) 1 All ER 341, Denning LJ famously said:

‘No Court in this land will allow a person to keep an advantage he has obtained by fraud. No judgment of a court, no order of a Minister, can be allowed to stand if it has been obtained by fraud. Fraud unravels everything. The court is careful not to find fraud unless it is distinctly pleaded and proved; but once it is proved it vitiates judgments, contracts, and all transactions whatsoever.

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