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The Prophetic Truth in the Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man

The Prophetic Truth in the Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man

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Published by: AAC-Tech on Jan 08, 2009
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06/16/2009

 
The Prophetic Truth in the Parable of Lazarus and TheRich Man(Luke 16:19 - 31)Elder Kenneth Miller, D.D.
Introduction
There is a story in the Bible which many people, whether lay-men, Ministers, or Learnersmake constant referrals to when teaching the morality of giving or the state of a personwhen he or she dies.Today’s topic by no means is intended to diminish the importance of anyone’s teachings. Nor is it my intent to discuss the state of the dead. The purpose of this lesson is only toanalyze the parable spoken by Jesus in Luke 16 verses 19-31.Read with me:
“There was a certain rich manWho was clothed in purple and fine Linen and fared sumptuously every Day. But there was a certain beggar  Named Lazarus, full of sores,Who was laid at his gate, Desiring to be fed with theCrumbs which fell from the richMan’s table. Moreover the dogsCame and licked his sores.So it was that the beggar died, And was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man Also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, He lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his Bosom.Then he cried and said, ‘Father  Abraham, have mercy on me, and Send Lazarus that he may dip the tipOf his finger in water and cool my
 
Tongue; for I am tormented in this Flame.’  But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember That in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he Is comforted and you are tormented. And besides all this, between us And you there is a great gulf fixed, soThat those who would want to pass from Here to you cannot, nor can those From there pass to us.’ Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, Father, that you would send  Him to my fathers house, For I have five brothers, that hemay testify to them, lest they alsocome to this place of torment.’  Abraham said to him, ‘They Have Moses and the prophets; let Them hear them.’  And he said, ‘No, father Abraham;but if one goes to them fromthe dead, they will repent.’  But he said to him, ‘If they do Not hear Moses and the prophets, Neither will they be persuaded Though one rise from the dead.’”
Here we can see an example of two men’s lives with a twist in fates after death. And theappearance of a two-way conversation between Abraham and someone who is beingtormented in the everlasting lake of fire, specifically, the rich man.A problem arising from this is the thinking that it is a true story. Something to consider when reading the Gospels and the acts of Jesus while on this earth, “Who was theaudience standing before Jesus while He was speaking?” The answer: Common,ordinary, everyday people in some instances, or His disciples alone. Depending on whoHis audience was determined the context. Parable or Plain Speech.
 
Read with me now from the Book of Matthew, Chapter 13, Verse 34:
“All these things Jesus spoke toThe multitude in Parables; and Without a parable He did not Speak to them.”
Webster defines a parable as, “A simple story illustrating a moral or religious lesson.”If we use this definition, and combine it with our studies of scripture, it would stand toreason, that we are to obtain a moral or religious understanding from “The Parable of theRich Man and Lazarus.” So, together, let’s read it, analyze it, and learn from it.
Body
Our story begins by contrasting the two main characters, a rich man and a poor man. Therich man is not given a name, but the poor man Jesus calls Lazarus.The rich man is described as being clothed in purple and fine linen. This is to illustratenot only great wealth, but also a great deal of importance, since purple and fine linenoften represents royalty.Deuteronomy 7:6 describes the mind-set of the Jews in the days of Jesus.
“For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God  Has chosen you to be a people for  Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.”
Here we have a people who are known, especially among themselves, as God’s chosen people. To use a word more effectively, they were God’s “royalty” here on earth. And because they were His chosen people, they were expected to keep His commandmentsand all of the moral laws. For this obedience, God would bless them among all of theother nations. And through them, He would send the Messiah to redeem the world fromsin. Of course, we can see from Jewish history their many ups and downs on thehistorical timeline. While they were obedient, they
“fared sumptuously.” 
When they became disobedient, they came under the rule of other nations.

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