19 There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 Then 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.' 25 But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.'
27 Then he said, 'I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father's house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.' 29 Abraham said to him, 'They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.' 30 And he said, 'No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' 31 But he said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.'
The purpose of this parable is to confirm several aspects of the spiritual truths of the mystery of the Kingdom of God revealed elsewhere in the Bible. The first thing we need to understand is that the rich man and Lazarus are two fictitious characters who represent two groups of real people. It is important to identify who these two groups of people are.
The rich man calls Abraham, Father Abraham, and Abraham calls him son, in verses 24 and 25 above. It is clear that the rich man is an Israelite, a direct physical descendant of Abraham through the spiritually rich line of Isaac and Jacob. The rich man represents all unbelieving Israelites who are olive branches that have been temporarily cut off from their own natural spiritually rich and royal Holy Olive Tree of Israel. (Romans 11:16-17)
Let us now understand that Lazarus represents all of the Gentile Elect, who are naturally wild olive branches that are now grafted into the spiritually rich Holy Olive Tree of Israel. (Romans 11:19) The story of Jesus dealing with the Gentile Canaanite woman in Matthew 15:21-28, gives us the revelation of the identity of Lazarus as a Gentile Elect.
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