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Parable..? by Merwin
Rich Man and Lazarus
Luk 16:19 ¶ There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
Luk 16:20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
Typically with parables we know that they are parables, because Jesus said they are parables. Or, because it is included with other parables, so even though it might not be specifically singled out as such, because it is included among other parables, you know that it too, is a parable.
This is not the case with the rich man and Lazarus... nowhere is there any indication that it is a parable.
I know we have all been taught that it is a parable and so we have assimilated that information into our personal dogma. What if this teaching is inaccurate? For years I thought that Saul, on his way to Damascus was knocked off his horse by the power of God and blinded... where is his horse..?
Act 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
Act 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
Let's briefly continue as though Jesus telling us of the rich man and Lazarus is as a parable... I don't think it is, but let us continue along that avenue.
Because something might be "only" a parable, is it then somehow worthy of being set aside, or, even worse, are we allowed to simply accept the things contained within, that are convenient..?
I know all the believers that read this will say, "No... even if it is inconvenient it is the Word of God and everything that came out of the mouth of Jesus is perfectly true." Granted, with a parable we have our Lord saying things, such as, "The kingdom of heaven is like..." and the word "like" can plant in our mind some leeway for interpretation. I think the leeway we take, is not a leeway that is given, at least in most cases.
So, the rich man and Lazarus as a parable..?
There are some very solid statements in the "parable" that need to be addressed. The account of the rich man and Lazarus illustrate the dual nature of that dimension, one side hell, the other side... paradise? Jesus said to the thief crucified next to him, "...today you will be with me in paradise." just before He spent three days in the belly of the earth. At any rate, Lazarus was comforted by Abraham, also, there was a great gulf between them that no one could cross, and in hell the rich man was tormented in flame.
Again, I personally don't think that this is a parable. It may very well be the accounting of Lazarus whom Jesus called from the tomb.
Lets consider that Jesus knew Lazarus and loved him before his death. Let us further consider that Lazarus may have been sick for a long time before dying, sick enough to make a beggar out of him and then suppose his condition takes a violent turn for the worse finally killing him.
His sisters send word to Jesus out of their loving care for their long ailing brother, but Jesus delays, so His power could be manifest before all. After Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead Lazarus tells Jesus what had happened since his death.
Yeah... I know, I am reaching. It is not as far a reach as calling something Jesus says a parable when He did not call it a parable.
Parable or no... Jesus described something, and you can count on it being just as He described it.