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Essay on The Rich Man and Lazarus; Luke 16:19-31

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Throughout the first three gospels, Jesus uses short stories to illustrate or teach the truth known as parables. A parable is simply an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. In Matthew chapter eight verse ten, the disciples asked Jesus, “Why speakest thou unto them in parables?” Jesus replied, “Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the heaven, but to them it is not given.” There have been many discussions about the meaning of these parables as ministers and religious leaders have continued to spread God’s word. A parable, not so well known is about a rich man and a beggar named Lazarus. Jesus uses this parable to stress the evils of wealth, particularly towards the Pharisees who believed that riches bought righteousness. Patrick Hogan believes this parable is a statement that the very life of wealth is damnable, and that the poor deserve to be raised up. He believes the parable is a harsh condemnation of those who perpetuate a system of wealth and poverty .
Systematically, the disabled citizens were excluded from religious affairs and functions by Jewish leaders and other religious leaders. Lepers were often required to separate themselves completely from the community at large . This is why so many parables and teachings of Christ focused on the sick and the poor; they were outcast by religion and the rich. Some believe that there are many parables that are like so many folktales and fables. Many fables, especially Greco-Roman Jewish fables are closely parallel with the gospel parables and that perhaps when Jesus spoke the parable he was pulling from the original Egyptian Fable about a rich man and a poor man . Fables typically have a moral to learn and usually end in irony. Mary Beavis states the ...


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...n Pharisees and the Scandalous Ethics of Jesus: Teaching
Luke’s Gospel at the End of A Millennium. College Literature, 26 (3), 95-105. Accessed
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Kreis, Steven (2004). The History Guide: Lectures on Modern European Intellectual History—
Plato, The Allegory of the Cave. Accessed via the web
http://www.historyguide.org/intellect/allegory.html. Date: 14 March 2011.
Van Bierma, David, Ostling, Richard (1997) Does Heaven Exist? Time International (south
Pacific edition) (12), 44-53. Accessed via Ebscohost.
Van Der Horst, Peter W. (2005). Abraham’s Bosom, the Place Where he Belongs a short note on
απ[omicron]φερειν in Luke 16:22. New Testament Studies, Cambridge University Press,
52, 142-144. Accessed via Ebschohost.
Wilson, Ralph (1985). #71 The Rich Man and Lazarus—Jesus Walk.
www.jesuswalk.com/lessons/16_19-31.htm. Accessed 19 March 2011.


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