Dearest Tec... re the Rich Man and Lazarus..

by AGuest 27 Replies latest jw friends

  • Ding


    I have similar problems locating threads because they keep changing location depending on recency of posting.

    You can either scroll through the list or try the search window on the website. My problem with that is that what I'm looking for often gets lost in the mass of info.

    Maybe someone more experience with the site can suggest a solution.

  • theMadJW

    Maybe they got burned up in Hellfire while the Rich Man was reading them....

  • PSacramento

    What you guys can try doing is clicking on your screen names and going to the "Topics posted on" tab and look for it there, if you psoted on that topic, it should be there.

  • Vanderhoven7

    Thanks Ding,

    I don't feel so alone anymore. :o)

  • Vanderhoven7

    Hi Maryland,

    <<..."Ba'al, Zeus and Jehovah were arguing over which one was more powerful, and Zeus said...."

    While a Greek philosopher might construct such as a teaching method, I can't see Jesus doing it.>>

    OK, but how about Elijah on Mount Carmel challenging the priests of Baal to shout louder in case their god had gone to the bathroom? I Kings 18:27

    <<I believe the Lord would not use a parable teaching a false principle.>>

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    Maybe, but consider Jesus' account of the "Dishonest Steward" told in the presence of the Pharisees as well as the common people. (Luke 16:1-16)

    The account begins with the Master discovering that the steward handling all his business affairs has squandered his possessions. With the cat out of the bag, the covetous steward makes one final dishonest attempt to secure his own temporal future, by ingeniously letting his master's debtors off the hook with a rather attractive partial-debt repayment plan. Jesus, no doubt, had most of the people in his immediate audience in stitches by having the Master, who seems entirely impressed, commend his servant for shrewdly carrying out this absolutely unscrupulous, self-serving and financially ruinous scheme.

    Assuming that God is the Master who is being defrauded, this parable appears to be saying that God will honor servants who swindle him in the pursuit of self-interest. Jesus then concludes this "tongue in cheek" presentation with some "go ahead" advice that more than merely borders on irony.

    9. And I say unto you, make to yourselves friends of

    the mammon of unrighteousness; that when ye fail,

    they may receive you into everlasting habitations.

    Now contrast with this, the point Jesus was actually driving home through this satirical parable.

    10. He that is faithful in that which is least is

    faithful also in much...

    11. If ye therefore have not been faithful in the

    unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust

    the true riches?

    13. No servant can serve two masters... Ye cannot

    serve both God and mammon.

    The Pharisees were the ones in Jesus' audience who were guilty of "making to themselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness". They knew Jesus spoke this parable against them but they couldn't refute His satirized logic. Good satire, subtly but forcefully, brings home moral or spiritual truths and at the same time leaves unworthy opponents speechless; unable to argue, without first acknowledging that they fit into the negative allegory. The Pharisees were defenseless. They could only attack the person, not the concepts Jesus was challenging them with.

    14. And the Pharisees also who were covetous,

    heard all these things: and they derided him.

    The parable of the dishonest steward was clearly told to discredit, not praise, the Pharisees. Through the vehicle of satire, (i.e. by having the master commend the steward's dishonesty) Jesus publicly ridiculed their claim to God's recognition and approval. After pointedly exposing both their covetousness and disloyalty, Jesus directly condemns the Pharisees for whitewashing their actions before men.

    15. And he said unto them, YE ARE THEY WHICH JUSTIFY

    YOURSELVES BEFORE MEN; but God knows your hearts:

    For that which is highly esteemed among men, is abomination

    in the sight of God.

    I believe the account of the "Rich Man and Lazarus" shows how the Pharisees could be covetous and unwilling to "lift a finger" to help the poor, and still appear to the people to be holy and just.


  • Vanderhoven7

    Thank you PSacremento. In my case, if it's not self-evident, it's hopeless.

  • Vanderhoven7

    <<I agree, the rich man and Lazarus is not a parable but an account. I made the point in a similar thread that no parable contains the name of actual characters. To make this account allegorical makes not only Abraham, Lazarus but also Hades, the "place of torment" fictional.>>

    Exactly. The account is not a parable. It was understood literally. But it does not represent "historical narration". Unfortunately, as much as many would like to see the rich and blessed in this life tormented in the next, the literary form is a type of satire called. "parody".

    The name Lazarus is significant to the story because it's meaning is exactly what the Pharisees and other teachers of the law would say to the oppressed in denying them assistance of any kind. Look the name up, to see how the religious elite passed the buck. :o)


  • Vanderhoven7

    The Pharisees explained to the unrighteous that they could not in good conscience lift a finger to counter God's judgment on sinners in this life; the wide gap between them and the unrighteous was created by God Himself for a reason. Even though they might desperately want to help, they were constrained from doing so by the Almighty's justice. If sinners did not suffer sufficiently in this life, they would have to do so in the next. So, in fact, the Pharisees were justified before men, thinking only of the sinner's eternal good. How gracious were the Pharisees.

    As Abraham confirms in Jesus' story; "Remember what you taught Son.... bad now, good later...well now the roles are reversed."

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