Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Rich Man and Lazarus

This is a book first posted on Grace Connection, the Magazine. There is no printed edition. All 30 chapters will appear on the Wheel in the following weeks.


Luke 16:19-31

In the parable, The Rich Man and Lazarus, Jesus adapted a well-known folktale to illustrate an important spiritual truth. This familiar story may have had its source in an Egyptian folk-tale of the journey of Si-Osiris to the underworld. It concludes with the words: "He who has been good on earth, will be blessed in the kingdom of the dead, and he who has been evil on earth, will suffer in the kingdom of the dead." (His listeners clearly understood that this "story" did not describe the reality of life after death.)

In a popular version of this story the setting was Palestine. The characters were a poor scholar, and a rich publican. When the poor scholar died, no one noticed; no one came to his funeral. But when the publican died, it was a splendid funeral with many in attendance because, although he was a great sinner, he had done one good deed just before he died. A friend of the poor scholar had a dream in which he saw his friend in paradise, enjoying the water from cool flowing streams. The rich publican was standing on a riverbank unable to reach the flowing water no matter how hard he tried.

Read more at Adventist Perspective.


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