THE RICH MAND AND LAZARUS: Luke chapter 16
Mark 4:34 says, "But without a parable Jesus spoke not unto them but when they were alone He expounded all things to His disciples." This scripture proves that the story of the rich man and Lazarus is only a parable. Contrary to traditional teaching, the rich man does not represent the wicked; neither does Lazarus the beggar represent the righteous. Psalm 37:25 says, "I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread." This parable is not a type of the righteous begging bread from the wicked.
The rich man in this parable represents Judah who had "five brethren." Judah retained the throne of Israel, which is typified by the purple the rich man was clothed in. Judah retained the priesthood which is typified by the fine linen that he was clothed in. And Judah retained Jerusalem, the prosperous headquarters of Israel, which "fared sumptuously."
Lazarus represents the rest of Israel who lived outside the gates of Jerusalem. They had lost the kingship. They had lost the priesthood, and they depended on Judah for both natural and spiritual government. Because of their rebellion against the Lord they had become spiritually starved and sick. The dogs represented the Gentiles, who shared the crumbs from the Master's table and were more of a comfort to the ten other tribes of Israel than Judah was.
The beggar died first, which represents the ten norther tribes going into captivity. "He was carried by the angels" represents God's control over their journey into captivity. And, he was comforted in Abraham's bosom, represents the spiritual revival that took place while they were in captivity.
Later on the rich man died. This represents Judah being taken into captivity about 100 years later. It says that Lazarus was carried to Abraham's bosom, but it says that the rich man was "buried." It does not say that Lazarus was buried. Judah, as a nation, was buried, never to be a nation in its own right again. The people of Judah will find restoration only when God reunites them once again with their brethren in the other tribes. It is true that some of Judah returned to their land after captivity, but they have lived out a miserable existence and have never been recognized as a nation in their own right again. Not even the present day state of Israel is the restoration that God is going to bring about.
The scripture says that Jesus came to his own, but His own received Him not. And Jewerey has been in a veritable lake of fire ever since they rejected Christ. There was a great gulf fixed between Lazarus and the rich man. This represents the division that was predicted in Zechariah 11:14. "I cut asunder my other staff that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel." And verse ten says they lost the covenant blessing. This great gulf is fixed so that even though Christ rose from the dead, they will not, indeed they cannot believe.
But thank God, this gulf is not eternal. A time is coming when God is going to purify and untie Israel once again and establish them as rulers in His millennial kingdom. Hosea 1:10 & 11 predicts, "In the place where it was said unto them Ye are not My people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God. Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together and appoint themselves on head (even Jesus Christ the Messiah whom they had before rejected).
Christ has bridge the great gulf and will restore the covenant blessing to a united Israel when the time is right to do so. Then will all Israel, including Judah, benefit from Ephesians 2:12-16, "That ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise. But now in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us, that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby."