The parable of the rich man and Lazarus

Luke 16: 19-31 19

He was a rich man, dressed in purple and fine linen, who ate every day. 20 And there was a vagabond named Lazarus, lying at his door, fed up with injuries. and even the dogs would come and lick his wounds. 22 And it came to pass that the vagabond died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. 23 And in Hades he raised his lamps, mortified, and saw Abraham from afar, now Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried out, saying, God Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of the water in water and cool my tongue. because I am concerned in this flame. 25 And Abraham said to him: Son, remember that in your existence you received your possessions, and Lazarus even evils; However, he already consoles himself here, and you are anguished, so that those who want to cross from here to you cannot exceed from there. 29 And Abraham said to him: They have Moses and the prophets, and they listen to them.30 And he said: No, Abraham procreator; 31 And Abraham said to him, If they do not hear the voice of Moses and the prophets, yet they will not be persuaded, then someone will rise from the dead.

REFLECTION:

It can only be found in Luke, it has no parallels, it is the only parable in which the Lord Jesus Christ names one of the characters in the story. It is considered one of the parables of difficult interpretation. To focus the purpose of this teaching, it is necessary to identify the topic for the original audience and build bridges between the application and our time. Think about it: is it a description of the two places people go when they die? Is it about the perception of consciousness after death? Is it the happiness of some and the evil of others in this world? Is it a confirmation of how a person gets to heaven and then hell and comes alive with a message of hope for unbelievers? All these questions are part of the various interpretations given to this unique parable,

Before getting into the subject, we should note what the parable says: A rich man had a comfortable life and spent his money. There was another man, a beggar named Lazaro (God helped), full of sores, he longed to satisfy his hunger with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table, they are in contact, Lazaro knew him and also the rich man, because he says he was threw it at his door. After both of them died, Lazarus goes to Abraham’s bosom and the rich man goes to Hades. The rich man tormented in flames in hell asks Abraham for help in sending Lazarus to cool his tongue. And Abraham said to him: Remember that he received goods while he was alive and Lazarus received it badly, that there was also an abyss that prevented the passage between the two places. Seeing this response to your request, the rich man decides again to ask Abraham to send Lazarus to his father’s house since he has five brothers who are warned of the agony that awaits them if they continue to share the same lifestyle. Abraham responds that they have Moses and the prophets to listen to them, but the rich man insists that when they see someone from the dead they will believe and repent, and Abraham finally tells them, if they do not listen to Moses and the prophets are not. persuaded even when someone is raised from the dead. and Abraham finally tells them, if they don’t listen to Moses and the prophets they aren’t. persuaded even when someone is raised from the dead. and Abraham finally tells them, if they don’t listen to Moses and the prophets they aren’t. persuaded even when someone is raised from the dead.

The central theme of the parable is a WARNING, addressed primarily to the Pharisees, who were greedy (Luke 16: 4) and boasted of their own righteousness (Luke 16: 5), so that they would repent of their sins and the Message. to believe in the kingdom of God preached by Jesus, otherwise they would go to hell to be tormented. In the context that has developed since chapter 15, when sinners and tax collectors came to hear Jesus’ message, there were also the Pharisees and scribes who complained and mocked him (Luke 15: 1-2 , Luke 16:14).

In verse 28, the key to this WARNING is when the rich man asks Abraham to send Lazarus to his father’s house, where he has five brothers, so that they too will not come to this place of torment. But we see that on other occasions Jesus warned them about the Pharisees and scribes (Matthew 2: 1-36) about their unbelief and disobedience: serpents, generation of serpents! How will you avoid being condemned by hell and woe to you, interpreters of the law! Because the key of knowledge has been confiscated, they do not even enter and whoever wants to enter is prevented from doing so. In Luke 11: 37-54 Jesus tells them: You Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and plate, and inside you are full of robbery and wickedness. They boasted of keeping the law, but they were more rooted in the traditions of the elders, since they gave more importance to external issues than internal ones, but Jesus, who knows all hearts, is not deceived and says to them: Hypocrites. ! The prophet Isaiah prophesied well when he said: They honor God with their lips, but their heart was far from me (Matthew 15: 7-8), the interior was full of evil, greed flooded their hearts. Jesus warned his disciples to beware of the Pharisees’ leaven, which is hypocrisy (Luke 12: 1). The clearest definition of hypocrisy was given by our Lord Jesus Christ, that is, one is done (Matthew 23: 3). The prophet Isaiah prophesied well when he said: They honor God with their lips, but their heart was far from me (Matthew 15: 7-8), the interior was full of evil, greed flooded their hearts. Jesus warned his disciples to beware of the Pharisees’ leaven, which is hypocrisy (Luke 12: 1). The clearest definition of hypocrisy was given by our Lord Jesus Christ, that is, one is done (Matthew 23: 3). The prophet Isaiah prophesied well when he said: They honor God with their lips, but their heart was far from me (Matthew 15: 7-8), the interior was full of evil, greed flooded their hearts. Jesus warned his disciples to beware of the Pharisees’ leaven, which is hypocrisy (Luke 12: 1). The clearest definition of hypocrisy was given by our Lord Jesus Christ, that is, one is done (Matthew 23: 3).

The first request that the rich man makes of Abraham is that I send him Lazarus to help him in his suffering, but he replies that in his earthly life he received good and Lazarus bad, but now there is comfort for Lazarus and torment for the rich man. ; This does not mean that we have to seek suffering in our earthly life to be able to have consolation in the life to come, what is going to be reflected in history is as a rich Jew who boasted of knowing the law of God and the prophets. . when he saw someone in need, he did not react to help the poor beggar or to give him food and clothing.

Since the request of the rich man was not answered and there is also an abyss that separates them, that is, none of them can pass from Abraham’s bosom (paradise) to hell and vice versa, direct a second prayer to Abraham so that I send Lazarus . father’s house to warn his brothers and make them repent so that they do not experience this torment in hell. Abraham tells him that they have Moses and the prophets to listen to him, but the rich man replies that they will not, but that if someone rises from the dead they will repent.

The Pharisees and scribes strongly opposed Jesus, they asked him for a sign from heaven to believe in him as the Jewish Messiah, but he replied: The wicked and adulterous generation demands a sign; but no sign is given, but the sign of the prophet Jonah. Because as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights (Matthew 12: 38-39). Death and resurrection, you did not understand, even your own disciples saw this revelation interchangeably at first.

Different areas of Judaism constantly asked for signs and wonders (Matthew 16, 1, Matthew 12, 38, Mark 8, 11, Luke 11, 16); everything that Jesus did, the miracles, the demonic deliverance and all his sermons, did not meet their expectations of the great triumphal entry of the Messiah into Jerusalem. And although there were many crowds (John 6: 2) behind him as he gradually revealed the dynamics of the kingdom, many did not follow him later (John 6:66), but his disciples in Peter’s mouth said to him: Lord, what are? let’s go. You have the word of eternal life. That is why Abraham tells them in this parable: You have Moses and the prophets; Listen to them, because faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17). Scripture testifies of Jesus Christ (John 5:39). We read in John 11 that after the miracle that Jesus performed at the resurrection of Lazarus (not the one in this parable), many chief priests and Pharisees were expected to believe in the Messiah, but the opposite happened, now they want to be killed. (Jn 11, 45-57).

When Lazarus dies, he says that he was taken to Abraham’s bosom. And when the rich man died, he was taken to Hades, the place of torment, hell, which is destined for all unbelievers and awaits the day of judgment. The parable does not pretend to explain what the dynamics are like in heaven and hell, nor can we think that we will have normal conversations between those in heaven and hell. There are other verses in the gospels that confirm the reality of hell (Matthew 5:22, Matthew 5: 29-30, Matthew 10:28, Matthew 18: 9, Matthew 23:15, 33, Mark 9:43), the place where all the disbelievers and disobedient arrive at the message of the kingdom of God before the final judgment. The teaching that there is no hell, contrary to the scriptures, is gaining strength in various sects that preach them, with the premise that if God is good, he does not want these disobedient people to live tortured in hell and waiting for the final judgment. These sects teach things that when we die on this earth we will stop seeing, hearing and thinking. Our thoughts and memories also die, so we do not have a spirit that lives in another place, the absolute annihilation of the being (body and soul) will happen to them. Christians should reject this doctrine against those who proclaim the nonexistence of hell because they do it only to have more proselytes and deceive many people. the absolute annihilation of the being (body and soul) will happen to them. Christians should reject this doctrine against those who proclaim the nonexistence of hell because they do it only to have more proselytes and deceive many people. the absolute annihilation of the being (body and soul) will happen to them. Christians should reject this doctrine against those who proclaim the nonexistence of hell because they do it only to have more proselytes and deceive many people.

I end this reflection with the following: With the material wealth that God has given us in this earthly life, we must help those in need, we believe that we can take this wealth to heaven after our death. (1 Timothy 6: 7)); It is not a sin to be rich in material possessions, what is sinful is selfishness, arrogance with our possessions and confidence in wealth (1 Timothy 6: 17-19). This selfishness and arrogance are driven directly by the beating condition of a hardened heart, Jesus told us: Do not fear, little flock, because your Father was glad to give you the kingdom. Sell ​​what you have and give alms; Pack your suitcases that do not age, a treasure in heaven that does not go out, where no thief arrives, or destroys moth. Because where your treasure is, your heart will also be (Luke 12: 32-34).

An example of self-righteousness is what happened to the rich young man (Luke 18: 18-30) when he asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. The rich man says to him: All this I have achieved since my youth, and when Jesus hears this, he says to him: You still lack something, sell everything you have and give it to the poor, and you will become a treasure that you have in heaven. Then he comes And follow me, when the rich man heard this, he got sad, why did he get sad? By the greed of his heart he looked beautiful on the outside, but inside he was enslaved by greed and selfishness. This has to touch the fibers of our spirit because in the Christian life if we are obsessed with the outside and do not try to search our interior with the power of the Holy Spirit to renew us and obey Jesus Christ, we will end up in ruin of the soul.

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