Lazarus & the Rich Man: A New Twist!
One of the more intriguing passages of scripture to me is found in Luke 16:19-31, 19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.22 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; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 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. 25 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. 26 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.27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: 28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
I think, though I am not sure, that perhaps one of the reasons this intrigues me so much is that I, too, had “five brethren.” And, like the rich man, I would have wanted someone to ensure that they be told the truth so that they could be saved. That, however, is only a sidebar to the issue!
The thing is, I was brought up my whole life being told that this portion of scripture was one of the Parables of Jesus. In fact, if you GOOGLE “Parables of Jesus,” up will pop “The Rich Man and the Beggar.” But, a few years ago (to me, “a few” can range anywhere from 1-50, so your guess is as good as mine as to when we are actually talking about!) I had somewhat of an epiphany: This is not a Parable, it is Prophecy!
Now, you may be thinking, “Hold on thar, Floyder, how come all the great Bible Scholars for generations have believed this to be a Parable and you are the one God gives the epiphany to?” And, to that I say, “I have no idea!” BUT, it is so blatantly obvious to me that I can’t believe that I am the only one who sees it as Prophecy. Let me explain.
What we have here is a man named Lazarus who has someone ask that he be sent back from the dead to save a household. The answer to this request is, “If they will not believe Moses and the Prophets, even if one were to come back from the dead, they would still not believe.”
Now, let’s make our way to the Book of John, Chapter 11. A most intriguing thing happens – – a man named Lazarus is raised from the dead! And, lo and behold, those who had been doubting the Ministry of Jesus did not all of a sudden bow down and accept the Messiah! In fact, the Pharisees had a little pow-wow, under the direction of Caiaphas, and came to a rather drastic conclusion. You see, John 11:53 says, Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.
WOW!!!! Not only did one come back from the dead and the Pharisees still not believe, the individual who came back was named LAZARUS!!! Does that not just jump right out at you? I mean, let’s be honest here: Jesus KNEW that He was going to be raising Laz from the dead in the near future, AND that those who doubted Him before the Miracle of Lazarus would still be doubting Him after the Miracle.
A coincidence that the beggar was named Lazarus and so was Mary and Martha’s brother? I think not! In fact, it is, and always has been, my contention that when it comes to God there are no coincidences! So, Parable or Prophecy – you decide. But, my money is on Prophecy – – That’s my story and I am sticking to it!!!