Explanation of Scripture read by Orthodox Christians on the 22nd Sunday after Pentecost - The parable of the Rich man and Lazarus

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QUESTION 1

There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: {20} And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores" (Luke 16:19-20)

Why is the rich man unnamed, and only the poor beggar, Lazarus, given a name?

QUESTION 2

What is the goal of the parable? Jesus had at least two distinct reasons for telling it, one which was of a more immediate nature, and one which applies in any age. Explain both.

QUESTION 3

Are the rich man and Lazarus real persons?

QUESTION 4

Why might Jesus have chosen to call the beggar Lazarus? This has to do with the time, Lazarus being a name that the Jews would recognize, and also because of the meaning of the name. What real person may the Lord have been alluding to? What does the name mean?

QUESTION 5

What were the sins of the rich man. There were much more than one!

QUESTION 6

"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" (Luke 16:22)

Why into Abraham's bosom?

Comment on the different way in which the rich man and Lazarus ended their days. There is a great significance in these terse words!

QUESTION 7

"And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. {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. " (Luke 16:23-24)

Jesus begins to reveal the reality of the next life to us as he describes the rich man. What can you glean from this statement. Mark it well!

QUESTION 8

"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. " (Luke 16:24)

Why is the tongue mentioned, and in general, what is the nature of the rich man's torments, which are metaphorically pointed to by his thirst?

QUESTION 9

"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." (Luke 16:25)

Jesus teaches, through Abraham, a critical truth about this life and the next here. What?

QUESTION 10

Allegorically, the parable has many meanings, especially for the Jews of the time.

Let us pick out two of the most important ones. Who does the rich man represent? Who does Lazarus represent?





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