Blessings everyone. Do you guys think this is proof that after we die we are to be with the Lord right away?
19"There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.20At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores21and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.22"The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried.23In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.24So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'25"But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.26And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'27"He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house,28for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.'29"Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.'30" 'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'31"He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.' "
This parable is very much misunderstood. People use this parable to validate their beliefs instead of trying to realize what the parable is about. In all of Jesus' parables, the story was to illustrate a deeper spiritual point and not the actual story of the parable. For instance, in the parable where the employer had people work for him and some of his workers started earlier, some started later and some very late and at the end of the day he gave each one of them the same amount of money. I heard an anchor on Fox News use that parable to try to say that this parable shows that the Employer has ever right to pay any amount he chooses regardless of the time his workers have worked and unions and so are not needed. Well this parable is the same thing.
This parable was not to show us what happens when a man dies. Jesus had just finished telling a parable about a steward who was unjust and wasted the goods given to him. This parable is also similar.
There is a rich man here, who felt like he had everything, and was selfish, self sufficient and did not want to share. Then you have the poor man who had a desire for just a little bit of food and was begging to be fed. The rich man is a representation of the Jewish Nation who were blessed with the gospel and who initially were supposed to convert the nations around them. Instead they got self righteous and felt the gospel was only for them and no one else. The poor man represented the gentile nations at that time. Here is the account of when a gentile woman approached Jesus:
Mat 15:22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
Mat 15:23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.
Mat 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Mat 15:25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
Mat 15:26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs.
Mat 15:27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.
Luk 16:21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
This is how the Jews regarded the gentiles, as dogs and so with the Samaritan woman Jesus only referred to her that way because that is how the Jews saw the gentiles. And that phrase of eating the crumbs which fall from the table apply to both the gentile woman and the poor man Lazarus. In this parable, Lazarus represents the gentiles who were poor because they did not have the gospel that the rich man had but yet had a strong desire for it, while the rich man had the wrong attitude.
Then when they die, who is in Abraham's Bosom. The Bosom is a indicator of closeness, of family. In other words, the true seed of Abraham is this case, is Lazarus because as the bible says, if any man be in Christ he is Abraham's seed. Lazarus exhibited the right character and had a genuine heart as opposed to the Jews who were rich in knowledge but lacked any sincerity.
Gal_3:29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Now here what the rich man says:
Luk 16:27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:
Luk 16:28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
Luk 16:29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
The Jewish nation had Moses and the Prophets or the law and the prophets, yet they were missing the mark badly and as Paul says, the gospel had to go to a nation bearing the fruits since Israel had rejected God. Rich in the knowledge of the scripture but totally missed the point. That's what the parable is talking about. How the nation of Israel who took so much pride in their heritage as being the descendants of Abraham, could spiritually be so far away from Abraham and would lose salvation.