Friday, August 26, 2011

And Lazarus was... carried?!

In Luke 16:19 Jesus begins one of the most memorable parables on the afterlife with ""There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day." This parable continually contrasts the riches of money which the Pharisees loved but God hates with the riches of character, which He loves and they hate. And you all know the story I'm sure, on one hand we have someone who has more money than he knows what to do with (purple clothes cost the earth), who is the envy of all society, and on the other we have a worthless crippled unclean bum from the lowest most despised class in all society. "And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores"
But something is truly interesting here, and it's more or less a throw away line: Lazarus was laid at the gate of the rich man. In other words, Lazarus was incapable of walking.  He had his friends carry him everywhere- if he wanted to go to his home, his friends carried him. If he wanted to go beg, his friends carried him.
Now if I was paralyzed and died the first thing I would do when I got my new legs is run, leap, and dance my way to the feast.  I would be like the paralyzed man in Acts 3.
But look at v22: "The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried,"
 He was carried his whole life, and now, having new legs, he's carried some more. Perhaps he was carried on earth as an honor from God who appointed friends for him. Or perhaps being carried in heaven was a sign of riches and triumph, just as the rich man didn't have to walk if he didn't want to. Or perhaps his weakness is what God honors, because He loves to be strong. Or perhaps not.
Regardless, I find it fascinating the paralyzed man was carried.

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