The Rich Man and Lazarus - McBride
Still addressing the Pharisees, Jesus tells his tale of the rich man and Lazarus. The man who was rich on earth is now in torment; the man who suffered poverty and hardship on earth is now in bliss. The tale ends: "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.
Some scholars dispute the unity of the parable as presented in Luke, arguing that the second section was later added by the early church upon learning of the failure by the Jews to believe in the resurrection, and hence their failure to believe anything because of it.
The parable makes more sense as a pre-resurrection story since it emphasizes the sufficiency of God's revelation at any given time, and man's capacity to respond to a message in his own time, without waiting for visitors from another world. Jesus' listeners have Moses and the prophets in their tradition, and they have Lazarus on their doorstep. And that is enough to be going on.
The rich man in the parable is portrayed as a figure who makes a vocation out of self-indulgence. With outer garments dyed purple from the…