a reply to: TheoFieldsGardener
Its a parable first and foremost. And it is actually speaking about the loss of the jewish homeland and temple worship, and watching the promises
pass to the gentiles. Why Lazarus? Who is Lazarus? It could be Jesus' buddy that he raised, but very likely not because there is no evidence that
it is the same person, no mention of 5 brothers for the brother of Lazarus of Bethany. And I doubt he would be using his kin as the example of a
beggar, since it seems that Lazarus and his family had a home, and since his sister was Mary Migdal-ene (the pillar of the tribe of Benjamin, the head
of the tribe, but lets stay on topic)
There is a more famous Lazarus that was being used in this parable. That Lazarus or Eleazar(the Hebrew version of Laz) was the servant of Abraham,
who Abraham was going to make his heir when he thought he would not be able to sire any children in his old age. Eleazar was a gentile.
Now lets look at the story Jesus was telling. A rich man goes to "hell" (tell me where being rich is a sin worthy of eternal torture?) And he can
speak with Abraham, (but didn't your pastor say that hell is the absence of God and the Saints, that those in heaven won't be able to remember their
poor family members who are in burning agony for ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever)
This rich man has 5 brothers this is referring to Judah, who had 5 brothers, the 6 children of Leah, the first wife of Jacob.
In another thread I was just writing about the comparisons between Leah and Rachel, or Hagar and Sarah, or Esau and Jacob, or Adam and Jesus. But
these were the ones who should have the birthright. The older is the heir in that culture. I'm telling you this because in the chapter previous to
Luke 16 where we find the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, we have the triplet of parables about the Son of Man coming to seek and save the lost.
The woman with coins drops everything to find her 1 lost coin
The man with 100 sheep and one is lost and he drops everything to go and find the one lost sheep
The man with 2 sons and one goes astray and he drops everything to go and find the lost son...
Oh no thats not how the story goes, nobody goes after the lost boy. Now to the people of that day they would have known exactly what Jesus was
leaving out of the picture in the final parable. Part of the pleasure of getting the double portion of inheritance and taking over the position of
the father was that if a family member was in trouble you the older son would have to go after the lost son. That was the job of the older brother,
even to the point of giving his life to bring the younger back.
But what did the older brother do, beyond not go after the lost son? He complained that the father was having a party for him, AND refused to enter
in, though the end of the parable leaves us hanging on whether he decides to join the party.
In that story, which was leading up to the Lazarus story, the elder son represents the Firstborn Nation, the chosen ones, who were supposed to be a
nation of Priest-Kings to the other nations, leading the rest of humanity in to the kingdom of God. But what did they do? Jesus tells us pretty
plainly, they kept them out. They make their converts a child of "hell".
In the same way that the story of the prodigal son is speaking of the Literal Israel as the older brother who fails his duty, the Rich man and Lazarus
speaks of the loss of the firstborn status of the Jews, specifically Judah and his brothers, the 6 sons of Leah. Notice Jesus tells the story that
the rich man asks for help but Abraham says they already have the law and the prophets, and if they don't believe them they won't believe a man who
has risen from the dead.
I could follow up with chapter 17 of Luke that goes into the difference between the outward kingdom that the Jews were so proud of, and now the
religious mind still is, with its multimillion dollar churches, fancy pastors and rock concerts (I mean worship bands)-- In chapter 18 Jesus speaks of
the kingdom of heaven that is inside, and that the kingdom does not come by observation. This is the kingdom that the gentiles are a part of (and the
Jews too actually--the 2 have been made into one branch).
These 3-4 chapters should be taken together and when they are, along with pretty much everything else Jesus says, especially parables, (because they
were given to confound the wise), these are all speaking of the end of the Mosaic Age, and the beginning of the Messianic Age. That is the end of the
age that is spoken of. Almost everything he says is speaking of the removal of the good things from the stingy hands of the religious elite, and
giving them to all people. Oh yes there is weeping and gnashing of teeth by those dough boys when they see their spoils taken. And yes the fools
tried to actually revolt against Rome and were burned in the Valley of Ben-Hinnom, aka Gehenna, which is "hell".