Search the Scriptures – The rich man and Lazarus
Hosted by Ricky Morgan and Justus Dixon
Much argument has taken place over whether the words of Jesus in Luke 16:19-31 were intended to be understood literally or as a parable. Some Christians feel that in this story, Jesus was offering His hearers a glimpse of what existence in the afterlife is like. Others, citing numerous passages of Scripture that seem to contradict the portrayal of heaven and hell contained in this passage, feel that Jesus was teaching an altogether different kind of lesson.
Unfortunately, many modern religious teachers have isolated the story from its original context and used it as a device for scaring people. Religious “conversions” resulting from a fear of hell as it is depicted in this passage have indeed occurred, but are based on a foundation sorely in need of the strength that comes only from a genuine appreciation of God’s character and a proper understanding of Scripture.
To begin this study, we’ll take a closer look at just what a parable really is, and then examine the setting in which Jesus told this story.
Perhaps then we will better understand what lessons there are for us in the story of the rich man and Lazarus.