In it the idol-images were sometimes arrayed. Still less needs to be said about that of Lazarus. Letting people fall through the cracks cheapens the meaning of all our lives. The riches of this world are deceitful and uncertain. Poverty and illness were seen as punishment for sin. At the moment, our culture features a powerful resistance to the truth about consumption and poverty; people prefer to remain ignorant.
Edward Fudge calls Jesus a False teacher! But God was not impressed because their hearts were full of pride and hypocrisy 16:15. We also learn from this story that believers immediately enter into a better place when they leave this life at the time of physical death. Despite walking past Lazarus several times a day, the rich man did not see him — or at least did not see him well enough to care about him. We are not told that the rich man did him any harm, but we do not find that he had any care for him. The same Inspired Book that tells us about heaven and the eternal bliss of the redeemed tells us about hell and the eternal misery of the damned. Some of the Egyptian linen was so fine that it was called woven air. In another text, Paul spelled out exactly when that change from mortality would take place.
Not much detail, not much explanation. Therefore a parable must be a true-to-life story in order for it to have any meaning to those who hear it. The rich man was a thoughtless, self-righteous, selfish worldling, dead in trespasses and sins. People, despite their wealth, do not endure; they are like the beasts that perish. But this can never be. There is a big difference between a fictional novel about two people falling love is based upon no one who actually exists and a fictional novel about leprechauns and unicorns. The juxtaposition of the two figures carries the whole lesson.
The Rich Man and Lazarus Much argument has taken place over whether the words of Jesus in Luke 16:19-31 were intended to be understood literally or as a parable. Ἄνθρωπος, a man This parable for it is a parable, though a true narrative may lie underneath it not only condemns the abuse of external goods by covetousness and pride, but also condemns a proud contempt of the law and the prophets: comp. He kept the household stores under lock and seal, giving out what was required; and for this purpose received a signet-ring from his master. The safest way for Him to do this was by parable and allegory. Lazarus depicts the faithful remnant of the body of Christ.
It would be tragic to miss the actual point of the parable by removing it from the setting in which Jesus gave it. They gave ten percent or more of their income to the temple. All of this from a man would rant and rave about those worthless immigrants sneaking across the border. However, even though it was under unique circumstances, there is no doubt that Moses suffered physical death and his body was buried Deut. Lazarus depicts the faithful remnant of the body of Christ. We know there were very few. That is a figure, and we view it as such.
God is a God of love and second chances, and third and fiftieth and seventy times seven. It is impossible to read the following passages in their context without concluding that regeneration and faith in Christ, gifts of God the Holy Spirit and operations of His irresistible grace are communicated to chosen sinners through the instrumentality of Gospel preaching Romans 1:15-17; 10:13-17; 1 Corinthians 1:21; Ephesians 1:13; 1 Timothy 4:12-16; Hebrews 4:12; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23-25. This was done not out of ignorance but out of willful neglect. More importantly, luxury is no substitute for blessed comfort. We feel it is rather fitting that he is in torment while his magnificent funeral is going on on earth. At the moment of death, it seems Lazarus journeys to Abraham's bosom while the Rich Man descends into torment. In other words, there is no hope of moving from torment to the blessings of Abraham's bosom, or of Lazarus helping the rich man.
With compelling Biblical reasoning, it unmasks the oldest and possibly the greatest deception of all time, namely, that human beings possess immortal souls that live on forever. He had never repented of his selfishness. Physical death is a natural part of the life experience of all mankind, but what takes place afterward is hidden from those who have not yet experienced it. Death and the grave came in between, and he referred to it as being unclothed and naked. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
There are three popular views that we must reject. There is absolutely nothing here that indicates that Jesus departed from the body during the time He was dead to go to any subterranean place to minister to wicked spirits. And accordingly the Lord now speaks more weightily and sternly with the disciples, who had been publicans, than He had spoken for them in their behalf to others. The question here might be asked - Why take for the principal figure of the parable so immoral a character as an unjust steward? It is true, Abraham addressed him as child but this indicates a kind Jewish address not an indication of faith. Heaven is pictured in the parable in the common Jewish symbolism as a Messianic banquet 13:28-29. That is the purpose of this story. It is not probable that there are discourses between glorified saints and damned sinners, but this dialogue shows the hopeless misery and fruitless desires, to which condemned spirits are brought.
The chasm simply indicates the impossibility of a change in either condition. He says that it would be better to have a millstone hung around your neck and be thrown into the sea than to go into the unquenchable fire Mark. Jesus recognized the value of parables in teaching the people. In fact, the rich man might have been a high-ranking official or member of the royal family. This parable appears only in the Gospel According to Luke.