Nice. So Lazarus was in Christ as Paul mentions in his epistles.
In re-reading the story of Lazarus and the rich man found only in the Gospel of Luke, some new insights became apparent that I had never noticed before. Viewing Lazarus as a symbolic type of Christ, many strong similarities come to light painting a picture of our Lord often overlooked.
First there is the comparison between the poor beggar Lazarus and the rich man (probably a religious leader) who is described as being clothed in purple and linen (priestly garments). Jesus lived in this world as a poor man with no place to lay his head, teaching His Disciples that it would be far easier for a camel to pass through 'the eye of a needle' than for a rich man to enter heaven, because where ones treasures lie, there will be his heart also. Jesus knew that because of the religious leader’s position and wealth they thought they had a more righteous standing with God then did the poor, consequently their wealth and power blocked their entrance into heaven.
Luke 16:19-21 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar (poor man, ptochos) named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
Matt.8:20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head..
Matt.19:23-24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Luke 12:33-34 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
When Lazarus dies he is carried by the angles to Father Abrahams bosom, this is the exact language that Jesus uses when he speaks of Himself being in the bosom of the Father. The rich man also dies and goes to Hades and from the grave he cries to father Abraham asking for mercy that he might send Lazarus to him and he may dip his finger in water, for he is tormented in the flame. This gives a perfect portrayal of the saving water given by Christ (who was sent from God) that allows us to stand before our God who is a consuming fire.
Luke 16:22-24 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared himThe narrative continues with father Abraham conversing with the rich man who is pleading with him to send Lazarus (who is now comforted) to his five brethren, for if his five brethren could see one who has risen from the dead they would repent. As we know when Jesus raised Martha’s brother Lazarus from the dead the religious leaders took counsel to have Jesus put to death. And as the rich man asked: God did send His only begotten Son into the world; He was crucified and rose from the dead (as requested by the rich man), and there are many who still do not believe even though one rose from the dead!
John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
Heb.12:29 For our God is a consuming fire.
Luke 16: 25-31 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us that would come from thence. Then he said,I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him (Lazarus) to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this 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.
John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;Rose
John 16:17 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
John 11:44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go…..53) Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.
Luke 23:34Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
Luke 24:6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,
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Nice. So Lazarus was in Christ as Paul mentions in his epistles.
The parable of the rich man and Lazarus does show some aspects of the afterlife (directly from the mouth of Jesus). But what are the main points that we can learn from this parable?
A. THE MAIN POINT...
1. The importance of heeding the Word of God! - Lk 16:29
a. Only by heeding the Word of God can one escape the torment
b. The rich man had not done so; for his brothers, it would be
their only hope
2. If God's Word doesn't move you to repentance, a miracle won't
either! - Lk 16:31
a. Some people say they would believe if they only saw a
b. But many people saw Jesus' miracles, and did not believe;
even His resurrection from the dead did not convince some!
-- This may explain why the apostles depended upon the
Scriptures more than miracles to convince people Jesus was
the Messiah - cf. Ac 17:1-3
B. OTHER LESSONS TO BE DRAWN...
1. A few points adapted from those listed by J. C. Ryle:
a. A man's worldly condition is no test of his state in the
sight of God
1) One may be rich, but not rich toward God - Lk 12:21
2) One may be poor, but rich in faith! - Jm 2:5
b. Death is the common end to which all classes of mankind
must come ("the same event happens to them all" - cf. Ecc
c. The souls of believers are specially cared for by God in
the hour of death ("...carried by angels to Abraham's
bosom" - Lk 16:22)
d. The reality of hell
1) This story depicts the intermediate state of the wicked,
between death and the resurrection
2) We learn that the wicked...
a) Do not cease to exist ("he lifted up his eyes and
saw") - Lk 16:23
b) Are aware of where they are, and what is going on
around them ("I am tormented in this flame") - Lk 16:
c) Recognize others ("Father Abraham...send Lazarus...")
- Lk 16:24a
d) Remember those who have yet to follow them in death
("for I have five brothers") - Lk 16:28a
e. Unconverted men find out the value of a soul, after death,
when it is too late
1) Jesus tried to teach the value of the soul before it was
too late - Mt 16:26
2) When we will learn? Now, or when it is too late?
f. The greatest miracles would have no effect on men's hearts,
if they will not believe God's word
1) This relates to the main point of the story
2) Which emphasizes the importance of heeding the Word of
God, and not depending upon some sort of miracle!
2. A lesson NOT to be drawn from this parable is that it is
sinful to be rich...
a. The rich man was not the only person in this story who had
been rich in his life
1) Abraham had been very rich! - cf. Gen 13:2
2) But he was also very hospitable - cf. Gen 18:1-8
b. The difference is that Abraham...
1) Was a man of faith (which comes by heeding the word of
God - Ro 10:17)
2) Was a man who "made friends...by unrighteous mammon"
1. Why did Jesus tell this story?
a. Was it directed to His disciples in particular?
b. Or was it told with the Pharisees in mind?
2. While the disciples would learn from it, I suspect the Pharisees
were the intended audience...
a. They were "lovers of money" - Lk 16:14
b. They had just derided Jesus for His parable and the application
of "The Unjust Steward"
-- The story of "The Rich Man And Lazarus" illustrates the folly of
trusting in one's wealth
3. May this story also serve to remind us of...
a. The reality of punishment prepared for the wicked
b. The importance of preparing our soul for eternity
c. The place the Word of God has in that preparation!
As James wrote in his epistle...
"Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness,
and receive with meekness the implanted word,
which is able to save your souls.
"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only,
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