Q. My question has to do with Luke 16:19-31, the story (not parable) that Jesus gave to the Pharisees and the crowd about Lazarus and the rich man. I know it’s not a parable, but I also know that it has a much deeper meaning than just a story. Look at the characters in the story and what they represent… in the story the rich man asks father Abraham to send Lazarus to his brethren’s house so he (Lazarus) can testify to them (Luke 16:27-28). But then Abraham says something very key (at least to me) he tells him…”they have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them” (verse 29). You have stated before that Moses and the prophets refer to the OT. Then in the next two following verses it gets really good, the rich man says “nay father Abraham but if one went unto them from the dead they will repent” (verse 30). I love Abraham’s response in verse 31…” If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
If Moses and the prophets are a type or name for the OT which points to Christ, who then is Lazarus (one rose from the dead) verse 31 picture here? I believe the Holy Ghost reveals much more in this story. What are your thoughts?
A. It’s somewhat confusing, but the Lazarus of Luke 16 is not the brother of Mary and Martha in John 11. The Lazarus of Luke 16 is a sore infested beggar whereas the brother of Mary and Martha had a home in Bethany large enough to host Jesus and His Disciples.
And as you correctly surmise, the story of the rich man and Lazarus is not a parable. Therefore the characters are not representative. The one Abraham spoke of who would come back from the dead is Jesus, and those who didn’t accept the Old Testament prophecies didn’t accept Him, just as Abraham predicted. Actually the name for the Old Testament was the Law and the Prophets, but Moses specifically foretold of the coming Messiah in Dt. 18:17-19.