Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus - Bock

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Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus - Bock

The parable of the rich man and Lazarus is not really about money. It is about much more than the dollar. There may not be many Donald Trumps in the world, but appeals to greed and the desire for self-indulgence abound, especially in advertising. Jesus wants disciples to see the great spiritual danger in that path. It pictures reality through a two-character story that mirrors life. "The Rich Man" is never named. He is nameless because he represents the danger of wealth. He could be anyone. Lazarus on the other hand, is derived from Eleazur, which means "God helps."

Two people and two contrasting sets of life circumstances drive this story. The rich mas is "in" with style, while Lazarus is definitely "out". But often the way we read circumstances and the way God does are not the same. The rich man is finely clothed and eats well. While some people eat heartily and can afford expensive underwear, others have nothing. So we meet Lazarus. He is very poor and probably crippled, since he lies down at the gate. His hope for sustenance is alms, the offerings of those who have something. His skin is a snack to lick for the wild dogs that roam the streets . These dogs were considered unclean, as they were constantly licking dead animal corpses. Lazarus wears his poverty's pain on his ulcerated skin - a graphic contrast to the rich man's soft clothes. The story's initial impression is clear: the rich man has a great life, while the poor man does not. The rich man throws away food; the poor man must scrounge for it. We might well conclude that God has blessed the


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