Some thoughts on the rich man and Lazarus.

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There are times when we forget the context of Bible verses. Here is one: 
Luke 16: 16 Until John the Baptist began to preach, the laws of Moses and the messages of the prophets were your guides. But John introduced the Good News that the Kingdom of God would come soon. And now eager multitudes are pressing in. But that doesn’t mean that the Law has lost its force in even the smallest point. It is as strong and unshakable as heaven and earth.

Firstly in an earlier note, “heaven and earth” meant the temple, its system and the nation of Israel. It is unshakable because so long as Jesus was alive. When Jesus died the curtain that prevented people from going into the Holy of Holies was torn from top to bottom, rendering the temple useless.

Secondly, Jesus was speaking these words in rebuke to the Pharisees. 
“13 “For neither you nor anyone else can serve two masters. You will hate one and show loyalty to the other, or else the other way around—you will be enthusiastic about one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
14 The Pharisees, who dearly loved their money, naturally scoffed at all this.
15 Then he said to them, “You wear a noble, pious expression in public, but God knows your evil hearts. Your pretense brings you honor from the people, but it is an abomination in the sight of God. 
16 Until John the Baptist began to preach, the laws of Moses and the messages of the prophets were your guides. But John introduced the Good News that the Kingdom of God would come soon. And now eager multitudes are pressing in. 17 But that doesn’t mean that the Law has lost its force in even the smallest point. It is as strong and unshakable as heaven and earth.”

So here Jesus was making a point to the Pharisees about the sternness of the Law. He used the Law against people who insist on using the Law so that they would come to their senses and realize the Law cannot help them at all.

3rdly he then continues to speak about the parable of the rich man.

He spoke about the rich man. To Jewish law people, they actually think people who are rich are blessed by the Law. See the blessings in Deuteronomy 28. People who are poor are generally conceived to be people who don’t keep the Law. See the curses in Deuteronomy 28. So it came to a huge shock to the rich man he ended in hell (Sheol) and that Lazarus was with Abraham. Abraham became righteous before the Law was given.

So Lazarus enter heaven also by faith. That’s the point of the parable. This especially after the parable of the prodigal son. If the law was applied there, the Father would have stoned his son!

By the way did know the meaning of Lazarus means God is my help? Lazarus’ salvation depended completely from the help of God!

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Great article. Would love to partner with you in promoting each other’s works. Thanks again for writing this and let’s get the truth of the Gospel out there!

    1. Simon Yap says:

      Thanks.

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