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Monday, May 2 2016

Luke 16: What Was Lazarus Doing At The Rich Man's Gate?

"There was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table"

The English-language word "mammon" originated from an ancient Greek word, which itself developed from a more-ancient Babylonian term that referred to personified wealth. Specifically and historically, in the New Testament era, "mammon" was the name of a Syrian idol that represented worldly wealth i.e. the term is used in Christian teaching to describe making an idol out of the acquisition or possession of worldly wealth as an end in itself. Perhaps a modern-day example of the same thing is how some people idolatrously (whether they realize that they are doing it or not) use the term "the almighty dollar" - "The Almighty" is a designation that belongs to God alone.

The origin of the Messiah's famous teaching that "No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon" (see The Mammon Of Past And Present) was the result of a lesson about how "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much."


"16:1 And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. 16:2 And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.

16:3 Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed. 16:4 I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.

16:5 So he called every one of his lord's debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord?

16:6 And he said, An hundred measures of oil.

And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty.

16:7 Then said he to another, And how much owest thou?

And he said, An hundred measures of wheat.

And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore.

16:8 And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. 16:9 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.

16:10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. 16:11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 16:12 And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own?

16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

16:14 And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God." (Luke 16:1-15 KJV)

Many of those who had made an idol out of money did so because they ignored the LORD's Commandment against making idols - of anything. The LORD's Eternal Law is not, and never will be, "done away" - only those who refuse be obey it will be "done away."

"16:16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. 16:17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.

16:18 Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery." (Luke 16:16-18 KJV)

There are two unrelated men by the name of "Lazarus" (as transliterated into English) recorded in the New Testament (the name is also found in the Old Testament in its original Hebrew form i.e. Eleazar; the Greek "Lazarus" is pronounced lad-zar-oh-s, while the Hebrew "Eleazar" is pronounced ale-aw-zawr).

The first Lazarus, recorded only in John, was a close friend of the Messiah who lived at Bethany. It was that Lazarus who died and was resurrected back to physical life (see Who Else Did They Want To Kill At Passover?). That Lazarus was not a homeless beggar.

The other Lazarus, recorded only in Luke, was the subject of the Messiah's famous parable of "Lazarus and the rich man." The parable is about the future time of resurrections, plural, and judgments, plural (see the Fact Finder question below). When Lazarus died, he was placed in his grave (see Sheol and Hades); if he had been an actual person, he would still be in that grave now, awaiting his resurrection on the day of Christ's return i.e. "4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first" (1 Thessalonians 4:16 KJV; see also Through The Gates Of Hell).

On the other hand, the rich, arrogant fool (he was evil because of his unrepentant arrogance, not his wealth - see No Class Struggles In Christianity and What Does The Bible Say About Lucre?) will remain in his grave until the later time of judgment i.e. "20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished" (Revelation 20:5 KJV). The Fact Finder question below fully explains verse 22 of the parable:

"16:19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 16:20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 16:21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

16:24 And 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.

16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 16:26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

16:27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: 16:28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

16:29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

16:30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.

16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." (Luke 16:19-31 KJV)

Fact Finder: What happens to the dead? Where are they all right now? When will they be resurrected?
See The Postponement Of Death and The Harvests Of Salvation

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This Day In History, May 2

1194: King Richard I of England granted the city of Portsmouth, on the south coast of England, its first Royal Charter.

1230: William de Braose, of the Marcher Lords dynasty in Wales, was hanged by the Welsh Prince Llywelyn the Great.

1507: Two years after entering the Augustinian monastery at Erfurt, future German reformer, Martin Luther, 23, was consecrated as a Roman Catholic priest. Luther remained in the order until 1521, when he was excommunicated from the Church of Rome. Although Luther rejected the immoral leadership of the papacy at the time, he maintained most of the Church of Rome's antichrist doctrines for the rest of his life (see Why Call Me, Lord, Lord, and Do Not The Things Which I Say?).

1519: Leonardo da Vinci, Italian sculptor, scientist and painter of the "Mona Lisa" and the "Last Supper," died at age 67.

1536: Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII of England, was arrested and imprisoned on charges of adultery, incest, treason and witchcraft.

Hudson's Bay Company 1611: The King James Bible was published for the first time in London, England, by printer Robert Barker.

1668: The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle between France and the Triple Alliance (England, Sweden and the Dutch republic) ended the War of Devolution (1667-1668) which Louis XIV of France had initiated to advance his claims to the Spanish Netherlands.

1670: The Hudson's Bay Company was chartered. Two French explorers and traders, Pierre Esprit Radisson and Medard Chouart des Groseilliers, proposed the fur-trading company to England's Charles II and a group of English investors. The "governor and company of adventurers" of Hudson Bay received title to all land in western and northern Canada that drained into Hudson Bay.

1776: With the sole purpose of strengthening their own imperial empires (in North America and around the world) by challenging the British empire, France (which at the very same time occupied much of northeastern North America and the vast Louisiana territory to the south) and Spain (which at the very same time occupied what is today Florida and most of southwestern US) began supplying weapons to the rebels in the New England colonies that the British established in the uninhabited wilderness over a century earlier.

1808: The outbreak of the Peninsular War. The people of Madrid rebelled against French occupation. Francisco de Goya later memorialized the event in his painting The Second of May 1808.

1813: During the Leipzig campaign of the Napoleonic Wars, the French won the Battle of Lutzen.

1816: Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, the first king after Belgium, and Charlotte Augusta were married.

1885: The Congo Free State was established by King Leopold II of Belgium.

1918: General Motors purchased the Chevrolet Motor Company of Delaware.

1933: Adolf Hitler banned trade unions in Nazi Germany (see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1941: After the coup against Crown Prince 'Abd al-Ilah of Iraq earlier that year, Britain began the Anglo-Iraqi War to restore him to power.

1945: The fall of Berlin at the end of the Second World War (1939-1945). The Soviet Union captured Berlin.

1951: The Council of Europe admitted Germany as a full member.

1952: The first scheduled jet airliner passenger service began with a British BOAC Comet that flew from London to Johannesburg, South Africa carrying 36 passengers.

1953: Jordan's King Hussein took the throne after his father, King Talal, was deposed. In Iraq, King Feisal II assumed power (see also Jordan's West Bank Invasion).

1965: The first communications satellite for relaying television pictures became operational.

1982: During the Falklands War, the British submarine HMS Conqueror sank the Argentine cruiser General Belgrano. The ship was previously the U.S. Navy USS Phoenix, that saw action in the Pacific during the Second World War, before it was sold to Argentina in 1951.

1989: Hungarian border guards started taking down the barbed wire along the Austrian-Hungarian frontier. It became the first breach in the "Iron Curtain" that ultimately led to the opening of the Berlin Wall 6 months later, on November 9.

2000: U.S. President Bill Clinton announced that GPS access would no longer be restricted to the U.S. military.

2004: The Yelwa massacre. 630 Muslims were killed by "Christians" in Nigeria.

2008: Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar (in southeastern Asia on the Bay of Bengal). Over 130,000 people were killed and millions were left homeless (a cyclone is a rapid inward circulation of air masses around a low-pressure center; circling counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern - a hurricane is a cyclone).



Copyright © Wayne Blank