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The parable of Lazarus (Luke 16) and the Resurrection

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by BobRyan, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. BobRyan

    BobRyan Active Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Non Baptist Christian
    At the end of a string of parables in the gospel of Luke - Christ provides the facinating parable of the rich man and Lazarus. One where the dead in hades are praying to the dead in heaven - specifically appealing to the sovereign authority and power of "father Abraham". (In this parable all dead saints are resting in Abraham's lap.)

    The reason for this exaultation of Abraham in parable form - is that the Jewish leaders were just on record as complaining about all the parables that had lead up to this point. So Christ gives them one they could not fail to love -- until they got right down to the end of it.

    As you read - pay attention to these two points for this thread.

    1. What is the "exact request" made by the "rich man" to Abraham in his second request to Abraham? What exactly is the rich man asking Abraham to enable Lazarus to do?

    2. What answer does Abraham give to the 2nd request.

    Luke 16 (The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus)

    24 “Then 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.
    25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.
    26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’
    27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house,
    28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’
    29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’
    30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’
    31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’”

    As I read it - I find that the rich man never asks Abraham to raise Lazarus from the dead -- the only request is that Lazarus be allowed to go and warn the living.

    However when Christ gives Abraham's answer - He inserts the point that Lazarus would first have to be resurrected if he were to communicate with the living.

    Why is He inserting that?

    (Hint - in 1Cor 15 Paul says that without the resurrection - Christians would have nothing of hope - no benefit - nothing by way of Gospel).

    This is the same thing we see in 1Thess 4 - When Paul speaks about comforting the living about the fact that some of their loved ones have sufferred the 'first death' -- Paul points them to the resurrection and then says "comfort one another with these words".

    Even in Philippians 3:11 - Paul states that his desire is to "attain to the resurrection"

    And Peter tells the NT saints to "fix your hope COMPLETELY on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" -- 1 Peter 1:13

    In Matt 22 Christ argues that God is NOT the God of "Abraham and Isaac and Jacob" at the time He speaks to Moses at the burning bush - IF it were not for the future resurrection of the dead. In fact Christ emphatically affirms in that chapter "God is NOT the God of the dead" when he makes his argument of the form - "so there MUST be a future resurrection"

    How is it that God can only be thought of as the God of those who have died - by considering the future resurrection?

    Notice that when Christ speaks to Mary about Lazarus being alive again (John 11) - her response as having been a student in the school of Christ - is that this is a reference to the future resurection, (Mary not knowing that Lazarus was going to be brought back to life that very day)

    Why is it that Christ insists that the only way for Lazarus to speak to -- or warn the living - is to first be resurrected?

    in Christ,

    #1 BobRyan, Jan 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 27, 2010
  2. BobRyan

    BobRyan Active Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Non Baptist Christian

    To which I replied --


    You have a good point about the Luke 16 story of the rich man -in death -- praying directly to Abraham asking for Abraham's sovereign decision on whether to send Lazarus to warn the living about hell. That is a good example of the dead praying to the dead and Abraham being in sovereign control of the dead saints.

    Good thing it is just a parable illustrating the point (as Christ said) that if they do NOT listen to Moses then neither will they listen though one rise from the dead.

    Funny thing about that - I have a thread that looks at the rich man and Abraham question in a lot of detail. Wanna talk about it?


    There we see that Christ in fact argues that it would take a literal resurrection for Lazarus to warn the living -- even though the rich man never asks that Lazarus be resurrected.

    How cool is that? (click the link to comment on that point).


    As for Elijah -- never died - so he can speak to living in Matt 17 without any trouble at all. It meets Christ's Luke 16 criteria for talking to the living.


    As for Moses -- Jude 1 affirms the account of the "Assumption of Moses" when it refers to the contest between Michael and Satan regarding the body of Moses (Moses being resurrected as per the document that it is referencing).

    And of course - a resurrected Moses would meet Christ's Luke 16 criteria for speaking to the living in Matt 16.