By: Staci Stallings
In our last discussion, we talked about the parable of the beggar Lazarus and the rich man. In this story that Jesus told, the rich man was sent to hell; Lazarus to heaven. A great chasm was between them so that when the rich man begged father Abraham to send Lazarus with a cool drink, father Abraham said that Lazarus could not bridge the gap even if he wanted to.
The rich man then asked that Lazarus be sent back from the dead to the rich man’s brothers because he was sure that once his brothers saw a man come back from the dead, they would believe in God and repent.
However, father Abraham says that even if Lazarus came back from the dead, the brothers wouldn’t believe anyway. That prediction, such as it is because this is a parable told by Jesus, became disturbingly accurate.
Much like the parable of the workers who attack and kill the Master’s Son, this parable is spot-on in its aim at the human race. It shows that Jesus held no illusions about how His death and resurrection would turn out.
I think it would be easy for Jesus to have thought that, “Okay, once I die for them, they’ll finally get how much I love them. After all, what more do they want? And surely after I come back from the dead, THAT will make them all believe.”
But Jesus clearly knows that the ultimate sacrifice that He will make will not be enough for some people.
Just like father Abraham says: “If they don’t listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if one rises from the dead.”
Notice, that the moral to this story is pointed out only later. First when Lazarus dies and Jesus raises him back to life and then when Jesus Himself dies and is raised from the dead.
And Jesus accurately, through the voice of father Abraham, predicts what will happen.
Yes, there are some who come to believe, but there are many who continue on their wicked way, unpersuaded even when someone rose from the dead.
How’s that for getting the details right?