Sabbath, November 26, 2011 - "The Richman and Lazarus Parable"
This sermon is based on Luke 16:19-31
1. First why did Jesus teach in parables?
Mat 13:1 The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. 2 And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. 3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: 8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. 10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
Jesus spoke in parables to conceal the truths of the spiritual meanings to which He shared to His disciples.
2. Mat 13:34 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: 35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
3. Psa 78:2 I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:
· Luk 16:19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
To start Jesus describes this rich man garments to be clothed in purple. As most of us know purple is symbolic for royalty.
4. Joh 19:2 And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe,
5. Joh 19:5 Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!
6. Exo 28:39 And thou shalt embroider the coat of fine linen, and thou shalt make the mitre of fine linen, and thou shalt make the girdle of needlework.
7. Exo 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
The rich man garments were symbolic of royalty and the priesthood. Is it true that they fared sumptuously in this figurative statement?
8. Rom 9:3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: 4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; 5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
So yes they fared sumptuously taking in all the spiritual blessings in which God set for them and around them. They were rich in blessings.
9. Isa 43:10 “Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen:”
10. Heb 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
The Jews who were to be His witnesses, a “royal priesthood” who feasted on His blessings eventually despised the surrounding nations.
11. Rom 11:9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:
· Luk 16:20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
· Luk 16:21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
In opposition to the rich man we now have a beggar named Lazarus. We will again look to Paul’s writings to see how he describes where the gentiles were before Jesus would take it upon Himself to give His life for the world.
12. Eph 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
The Gentiles were beggars desiring to be fed the crumbs (Bread of Life) from the rich man’s table. Now in addition we see it written that dogs came and licked his sores.
13. Mar 7:24 And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid. 25 For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet: 26 The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter. 27 But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. 28 And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs. 29 And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter. 30 And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.
As we can see the heathens (dogs) are a description of the unclean Gentile surrounding nations. Yet they desired the spiritual blessings (crumbs under the table) from the Lord.
14. G2976 Λάζαρος, Lazaros, lad'-zar-os
Probably of Hebrew origin [H499]; Lazarus (that is, Elazar), the name of two Israelites (one imaginary): - Lazarus.
אלעזר 'el‛âzâr el-aw-zawr' From H410 and H5826; God (is) helper; Elazar, the name of seven Israelites: - Eleazar.
15. God is helper, God is my help, One who God helps, God has helped, He whom God helps.
16. Eph 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
· Luk 16:22 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;
Let’s notice the beggar/Lazarus dies and is carried to Abraham’s bosom, but the rich man dies, and is buried. There is no burial for Lazarus.
What does His Word say about receiving the promises?
17. Heb 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
18. Heb 11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
So Noah, Abel, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph etc… All died but never received the promise. Also to conclude that when we die we go to Abrahams bosom is just senseless.
In ancient customs one would give honor to a guest who sits closest to the host.
19. Joh 13:23 Now there was leaning on Jesus bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.
One of the disciples here reclined on Jesus bosom, as a show of closeness.
20. Gal 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
This explains how we are now favored to be carried symbolically to Abraham’s bosom. Not by being his descendant, but by Faith just as Abraham believed in God.
21. Eph 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
· Luk 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Is this verse now saying that his place of torment (hell) and Abraham place of abode with Lazarus in his bosom is in close proximity? Again it is a big No.
Hell = G86 ᾅδης hadēs hah'-dace
From G1 (as a negative particle) and G1492; properly unseen, that is, “Hades” or the place (state) of departed souls: - grave, hell.
Hades has a meaning of “unseen”. So in this allegory we can now also see how the rich man (Jewish nation) would fall away from the promise of God, and truly become Unseen by God.
22. Hosea 2:23 declares … “and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God. This Parable as we see is about a role of reversal of two nations.
23. Joh 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
Why is the rich man unseen?
24. Hos 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
Now what about the meaning of “being in torments” in verse 23?
25. Torments =G931 βάσανος basanos bas'-an-os
Perhaps remotely from the same as G939 (through the notion of going to the bottom); a touch stone, that is, (by analogy) torture: - torment.
1. A hard black stone, such as jasper or basalt, formerly used to test the quality of gold or silver by comparing the streak left on the stone by one of these metals with that of a standard alloy.
2. An excellent quality or example that is used to test the excellence or genuineness of others: "the qualities of courage and vision that are the touchstones of leadership" (Henry A. Kissinger).
1. a criterion or standard by which judgment is made
2. (Earth Sciences / Minerals) a hard dark siliceous stone, such as basalt or jasper, that is used to test the quality of gold and silver from the colour of the streak they produce on it
The testing and proving of punishment is by the rich man demise. The transfer of the position he lost has become his torture. He just didn’t compare to the standard of genuineness.
· Luk 16:24 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.
Can a drop of water cool ones tongue in a flame of fire? Would not this drop be absorbed before it reaches his tongue? This literal thinking is flawed. Sadly here the rich man is in great distress and is calling upon his forefather Abraham for salvation. His lineage was sufficient for him and his cry of prayer was not to God.
26. Joh 8:39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.
27. Joh 8:33 “They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man”
It is understood that Jesus alone is to be exalted.
28. Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
29. Act 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
What is this word here “tormented” in verse 24? “for I am tormented in this flame”
I am tormented = G3600 ὀδυνάω / odunaō / od-oo-nah'-o From G3601; to grieve: - sorrow, torment.
· Luk 16:25 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.
Abraham calls the rich man his son! He is identifying him as one of his descendants. He explains to the rich man how things have changed, and the roles have been reversed.
· Luk 16:26 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.
This passage here Jesus is thus expressing that there is no turning back when probation has closed. While His grace is offered grasp the opportunity. What is that great gulf fixed spoken about here between him and Abraham in verse 26? Disobedience! The self-righteous character of the rich man caused him to be separated from God.
30. Mat 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Jesus here is feeling the separation of the Father as he is dying of a broken heart. He is taking on the sins of the World. The very sins you and I commit every day. Sin separates you from God….Why is this rich man in this place with grief?
31. Joh 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
The day we die our thoughts perish, there is no more reward. There will be two classes at the very end. One who faithfully serves God: His wheat into eternity, or those who serve the world. They will be the tares being prepared for a fiery destruction. You can’t repent from the grave.
End of Part 1